2016 December Meeting Minutes



The CFOA Postseason meeting was called to order by President Kirk Russell, at 8:55 AM at Kent Denver High School on Saturday December 17, 2016.  The following members were present:  Clair Gausman (State Secretary Treasurer)  Kirk Russell (President) George Demetriou (Rules Interpreter)  Scott Saucke (President Elect)  Robert Loyd  (Past President)   Tom Robinson (CHSAA)  Harry Waterman (CHSAA)  Rick O’Block (Area 12)   Doug Clayton (Area 14)  Matt Mirks (Area 14)  Rusty McRight (Area 16)   Kyle Sprouse (Area 9)  Damian Savolt (Area 10)  Terry Haynie (Area 11)   Doug Ross (Area 8)    Mark Drummond (Area 8)   David Trimble (Area 7)   Greg Guzzo (Area 5)   Robert Smith (Area 15)   Robert Samaniego (Area 6)   Jim Sprague (Area 4)   Dan Cronin (Area 3)   Dennis Bremser (Area 3)  Mark Nethercot (Area 2)   Mark Usery (Area 1)   Jim Altman (Area 1)   Jon Schuppacher (Area 1)   Chris Stearns (Area 1).


A motion was made and defeated to move items from the lower portion of the agenda to insure discussion earlier in the meeting.


Secretary Clair Gausman presented minutes from the Pre-season Meeting of CFOA from June 25, 2016.  That meeting was held at the CHSAA office.  The minutes were reviewed and passed by a vote of the Board.

Financial Report: 

Treasurer Clair Gausman distributed to the Board the 2015-2016 tax return prepared for CFOA.  Members were reminded that per tax guidelines for non-profit organizations the fiscal year for CFOA begins on July 1 and concludes on June 30 of the following year.  All members of the Board are listed in the tax return.  Mr. Gausman answered questions in regard to the expenses of the past year.  Although the CFOA sponsored two clinics the expenses was covered by the fees of participating officials.  The current balance of CFOA was reported as $11, 849.09.   635 members paid their dues according to CHSAA although funds for all the dues have not been processed at the time of the meeting.  The Board approved the financial report.


Rules Experiments:

Colorado participated in a rules experiment involving timing and the blind-side block during the previous season.  Their actions were also implemented by 8 states.  The use of the 40-second clock received strong support via a survey of eligible officials.  The concerns expressed regarded the difficulty of adjustment and the purchase of a “Ready Ref” timing device to administer the rule.   Mr. Tom Robinson indicated that their results will be shared at the National meeting in January and he is encouraged that the rules will be enacted nationally.


CHSAA Reports:

Mr. Tom Robinson and Mr. Harry Waterman from the CHSAA office both reported to the Board concerning the previous season.  Mr. Waterman specifically praised the efforts of Board members Kirk Russell, George Demetriou and Scott Saucke for the efforts and time commitment in reference to the 2016 playoff assignments.  He stressed the importance and value of the game reports that are submitted by crews after contests.  He addressed a game management issue that was a concern by officials with a CHSAA school.  In addition he discussed a specific concern by a school district concerns with racial slurs by opponents and alleged bias by officials against their schools.  Mr. Waterman was pleased with the outcome of these discussions and encouraged by the progress of those meetings.

Several officials expressed their concern with unsportsmanlike behavior of coaches and specifically the use of video technology to point out errors by officials.  Officials were urged to enforce fouls according to the guidelines of the rule book and not to tolerate the use of technology which is in violation of the rules.

Mr. Robinson discussed with the Board the upcoming NASO Summit to be hosted by Colorado in 2021.  The summit will require a financial commitment by CHSAA and respective officiating associations to insure the success of the meetings.  CFOA would be responsible for an estimated $1,000 for the summit and likely would utilize the forum as a basis for the state clinic in lieu of area clinics.

Much discussion involved a survey concerning retention and renewal of officials.  Most officials voiced dissatisfaction with earnings 50% and excessive testing requirements 25% as reasons for not continuing their membership.  They responded the “word of mouth” was the best and most effective method to increase membership.  Mr. Robinson shared information from a survey from 2015-16 which covered many sports and 1,400 officials.  The principal reason (23%)  cited for non-renewal was career demands. (Change in job assignment or transfer)  officials were also concerned about lack of advancement or assignments. (21%)  Time commitment concern was mentioned by 19% and 16% were critical of pay they earned as officials.

Discussion by the Board also mentioned the lack of teachers as part of the new officials.  Historically CFOA has attracted large numbers of educators due to cooperation from school districts for games scheduled early.  A Board member cited the effect of PERA and the unwillingness of individuals who may be earning PERA benefits can negatively effect their income.  Programs in Fountain Fort Carson and Durango were mentioned as areas that have created a means for younger officials to become involved.  Members of the Board expressed their concern for the low pay in comparison to officials throughout the US.  Another mentioned the fact that Colorado ranks 47th nationally in school funding as a frustration for lack of pay increases.  Tom Robinson explained to the Board that even a slight increase across the board in a large school district could mean a $400,000 raise in their district budgets.


CFOA Playoff Recap: 

Board members Demetriou, Saucke and Russell review the post season assignments distributed to different areas throughout the state.  It was explained that the mixed crews utilize in some games is not a new concept that crews rarely work with the same exact group of officials during the regular season.  They also explained the difficulty of placing officials to balance the needs of different areas and perhaps using an official who stands out in his area but can be overlooked for playoff assignments.  The explained the difficulty that is somewhat unique to the Back Judge position which may be frequently shifted to accommodate crews.  The also explained that there exists an imbalance of 3A, 4A and 5A assignments because some areas do not have the largest classifications or may have fewer games on that level.  It was relayed to the group that they were aware of frustration officials may have if they do not get assignments with the larger schools and that that imbalance although seemingly unfair is a fact.


Election Results:

President Russell discussed with the Board the unusual circumstances of the recent election for President.  He cited criteria of the bylaws: which state officials who are active members MUST have tested to be eligible to vote, however inactive officials are allowed to vote for the office of president.  After applying the regulations to a very close election the recount altered the outcome. The new president-elect to assume office in 2019 is Craig Cox.  Discussion within the Board questioned the test being a national testing instrument rather that one created on the state level.  Also members were concerned that the voting process may have been flawed to allow a recount.  After discussion the Board voted unanimously to accept the results of the election.   Members of the Board encouraged the members of the Executive Board to review the CFOA constitution and remove items that are out dated or need to be changed.


Testing Requirements:

President Russell revealed to the Board his plan for testing for the upcoming season.  The handout (included) supplies a format and rationale to be utilized in 2017/  Included were dates of testing and the breakdown of (NFHS test for varsity and new officials) (Mechanics test for varsity officials) (Colorado Playoff test) and (Playoff video review).  These items are not a bylaw and therefore were not subject to approval.  Testing plans will be finalized at the Pre-season meeting in June.


Proposed Constitutional Amendments:

The Board was presented with three different proposals, two concerned rules changes by NFHS, and experimental rules by Colorado.  A lengthy discussion by Board members shared concern and opposing opinions of rule changes in 2016.  Tom Robinson explained to the Board the methods used for national changes and the likely implementation of the timing rule and blind side block.  He cited the need for states to experiment with rule changes, which reflect changes within the game.  States do the option to alter rules however since many teams play out of state or host out of state teams it creates confusion.  Board members voiced concern about the timing change which created a need to purchase a timing mechanism which could be useless unless the rule is passed nationally in the future.  After discussion the Board passed a proposal stated:

“Each substantive mechanic change shall require a 30 day notice and requires a 2/3 majority of the vote by the Board to be implemented.”

This proposal does not include rule changes made on the NFHS level.

Mr. Demetriou relayed to the Board concerning the revision in mechanics for 2017.  He indicated that rules clinics and locations will determined during the spring and finalized at the Pre-season meeting in June.

Mr. Dan Cronin formed a committee to explore methods of increasing fees for CFOA officials.


Honorary Banquet:

The Board praised the efforts of Steve Hall for the yearly annual banquet to follow the meeting.



Secretary Treasurer Gausman presented to outgoing President Kirk Russell a helmet/trophy for his efforts to guide the CFOA Board for the past two years.

Mr. Gausman provided details concerning the National Football Foundation Banquet to be held in Denver on April 10, 2017.  He encouraged individuals to explore the NFF website and to join.

The Pre-season meeting of CFOA was set for Saturday June 24, 2017 at 9:00AM at the CHSAA office in Aurora.  The meeting was adjourned by vote at 11:59 AM.


Respectfully Submitted:

December 14, 2016


Clair Gausman Secretary Treasurer