We use Arbiter Sports (www.arbitersports.com) to manage many of our varsity game assignments. If you are unfamiliar with Arbiter, it is a web-based system that several conferences and associations use to assign games. A conference or association must invite you to join their respective roster on Arbiter. Once your dues are paid, you will receive a WBOA Arbiter invitation. You will need to immediately establish and update your Arbiter account.
Once you receive an invitation, you are expected to maintain your availability by blocking dates you are unable to work. There are various options for blocking dates and certain days or times during the day. A more detailed overview of Arbiter can be provided by a fellow official, or you may follow up with me regarding specific questions. It is important to note that individual conferences and associations might not only use Arbiter differently; they also need to have visibility to your blocked dates on a per-conference/association basis. This means you must ensure your blocked dates are accurately updated for all conferences and associations you are a member of.
It is also important to be clear with the assignor about when and where you can work. If you live on the west side and getting to the north side by 5:00 isn’t an option, we need to know that. The area that we serve is fairly wide. “Too far” is not an acceptable answer.
Your Arbiter account should be linked to the email address you access most frequently. Also, please upload your photo to your account. Often times, mass emails require your response. First responders tend to have an advantage in obtaining assignments. Instructions on how to communicate are included in every email. More urgent situations might require a text or an immediate phone call (e.g., 2 p.m. Friday).
Some officials see officiating as a side job, and we understand that. But there’s a balance between quality and quantity with assignments, which is more often than not at the assignor’s discretion.
Youth-level assignments do comprise the majority of WBOA-assigned games. At first, you’ll probably be asked to work a lower-level opportunity either directly with or adjacent to a senior member of WBOA… an on-the-job evaluation if you will. Basically, we need to know if you can work. If an official comes to us as a completely unknown or unseen entity, we hope you can appreciate the need for our assignor to have an accurate appraisal of an appropriate officiating level. We also work closely with roughly two dozen high schools and all the major conferences for assignments. High school assignments, and in particular, high-level high school assignments, come with experience and a level of trust and confidence in an official’s abilities.
Experience tells us that, more often than not, those who are willing to help in difficult times will often benefit at a later date.
DRESS CODE EXPECTATIONS
Officials are expected to wear pants during regular season games. You are expected to arrive at games wearing business casual attire. Showing up on time means a minimum of an hour before a high school game.
Occasionally, an official may need to turn back an accepted assignment. It is required that the official makes a legitimate effort to find a replacement official. The replacement official should have similar experience and skills to the official being replaced. Simply finding a body is NOT acceptable.
Once an official finds a replacement, she or he should contact the assignor, who has the discretion to accept or decline the replacement. The replacement official does not have the game until the assigner makes a final determination. In cases where an official needs assistance finding a replacement, the assignor can be a valuable resource. However, the assignor should be contacted only after the official has made an effort to find the replacement. Failure to follow this procedure could result in other assignments being removed from your schedule.
"LIFE IN THE MIDDLE OF JANUARY"
The WBOA Assignor is a minimally compensated position, paid for by member dues and various training events held during the season. The assignor is not a full-time employee of the association; therefore, the assignor cannot be expected to solve all the problems of WBOA members.
In the heart of the season, numerous schools and officials have scheduling problems. The easiest way to provide
assistance is to honor your assignments and to accept other assignments with grace. Sometimes a varsity-level official will be asked to work a sub-varsity game to alleviate mid-season pressure. Officials who accept these assignments do not go unappreciated and are often rewarded with other assignments in future seasons.
The WBOA is the area’s -- perhaps the state’s -- premier basketball association. No other organization does what we do in the classroom or on the court to improve. The time commitment to WBOA is approximately 20 hours in a calendar year, which seems fair in order to have the opportunity to learn from and network with the best-trained basketball officials in Southeast Wisconsin. An official who joins the WBOA has made a commitment to excellence and is encouraged by his or her peers in the association to uphold this standard.
KEN SCHIMPF III
WBOA Varsity Assignor (2014-current)
Past President (2012-14)