Cougar Call To Arms
9/10/11 – 9/11/11
Ok, so I was asked to referee at this event one weekend, then the following weekend I was asked if I would be willing to work as head referee. This all took place within 3 weeks of the event. Being that it was a local event, I was semi-comfortable accepting the challenge. I made plans to drive out with friends (also reffing and competing in the event). These people were more familiar with the event and the organizers than I was, so I sort of leaned on them for support and allowed them to be my liaison with the organizers. When I agreed to be the head referee, I didn’t realize that the person that hired me was expecting me to not only organize and assign the referees, but also oversee the smooth and efficient running of the entire event. Apparently I was to keep the bout committee in check and run the whole event efficiently too. Since when is this the head refs responsibility? Oh yeah … it isn’t.
Anyway, I (the event) was understaffed for the whole weekend. I understand the desire of a “fund-raiser” and respect the organizer’s decision to wave fees for competitors that would also be reffing, but for the love of God, hire enough competent referees to compensate for bodies that go missing for half of the day while they compete in their events! I was demoted (fired) for the second day, and showed up with the rest of the working stiffs as a regular referee. It was a bit of a relief to not have to rob Peter to pay Paul all day with bodies (refs), but I also feel that I wasn’t given a fair shake (nor a fair warning). I was told by the person that was taking my place that my services as head referee would no longer be required. Can you say unprofessional (and very timid of the organizers). I have done this job before, and I’m fully prepared to handle challenges, but I can’t perform magic when I’m not provided with a hat or wand … and no stagehands.
I didn’t find out whom my cadre consisted of until I arrived at the event on Saturday morning. I didn’t even receive any communication regarding a schedule for the weekend. I never even received a confirmation email or voice-mail, or text, prior to the event (even though I had given the person that “kind of” hired me all of my contact info). The last contact I had preceding the event was when I ran into the guy that hired me a week prior, and he said, “Hey, what do you think about being head referee for the tournament?” That was all he said to me before I saw him in Houston Saturday morning. And Saturday morning he never discussed the tournament with me. He was apparently too busy worrying about fencing in his events that day.
The head of the bout committee approached me when I arrived saying, “Oh, by the way, you know you’re the head referee for this tournament, right?” Yes, it had never been confirmed… ever. As far as I was concerned, it was hearsay. I was surprised that we actually had a reservation when we checked in to the hotel Friday night.
Surprisingly, we didn’t have any major complaints (that I’m aware of) in terms of the referee aspect of the event. So in that respect, my job was successful. Sadly, the organizers had a vastly different job description for the head referee.