Need a Way to Indicate Playoff Game Requires Neutral Refs or No Refs
Idea shared by James Morrison - March 10, 2015 at 7:47 PM
Under Consideration
This is a common occurrence in playoff game scheduling. In the WOAA, games in which both teams could be eliminated are required to use neutral refs.  We use the SRA (who uses your system) and there is no way in the system to indicate that to them on a game-by-game basis.
Another scenario is that the OMHA can schedule refs for certain series and this need to be communicated to local ref schedulers so that two sets of refs don't show up to the same game.

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James Morrison Replied
March 16, 2015 at 10:50 AM
That is an OK workaround if you use the scheduling module locally.  However our association (like many others around here) use an external ref association.  This gets everyone in the area access to refs outside of their association throughout the year which is good for everyone.  So when I add a game to our schedule it gets through to their site to notify them that a game is added (it's not automatic yet, but it's semi-automatic--better than it used to be).
The crux of it is that the person who is scheduling the refs has no visibility (other than email notes I send them as the scheduler) into this type of information.  If the scheduler could indicate the requirements for refs when the game was scheduled that would be great and reduce a lot of points of failure.
And let's expand this to the number of refs too.  Our system has defaults for a 2-person or 3-person system (some associations may need 4-person system).  But any individual game may need to deviate from that, this especially can happen in the playoffs as that is one of the negotiated terms when setting up a series.
Shaun Peet Replied
May 11, 2015 at 9:10 PM
Employee Post
Just to share our plans on this...
The "old way" of an association assigning their own officials is being replaced by the "new way" where a centralized officials group looks after several associations.  So having the game officials module attached to an association site is becoming less relevant (although we're a long way from having it obsolete).
To handle the new way of doing things, our plan is to create our own (or integrate into an existing) assignment program which is independent of an association, however, has the ability to synchronize schedules from MBSportsWeb.
This new program will also have the notion of multi-level assignment so that if under "normal" circumstances a local association assignor handles games that there could be a hand-off process in this system for "special" games where the league or governing body does the assignment.
Ideally the association would be able to identify their home games as being "normal" or "special" and let the assignment program figure out what to do from there.
The idea of "neutral" referees in hockey just in the existing game officials module is more complicated than it seems too - since it could be that referees are neutral but linesmen don't have to be; or more realistically perhaps the referees are assigned neutrally but the timekeepers are still supplied by the association.  So basically it's not a simple "neutral" versus "normal" setting - it's a bunch of settings which are position-specific.
We have no current ETA for the new program as we are still in the very early planning stages.  One thing we are considering is whether or not the new program would be better served as both region- and sport-specific (ie Ontario Hockey Referees).  The other thing which is important is that if the schedule data is coming from the association site(s) and being synchronized, that the quality of data in those associations needs to be really high.  TheOneDB helps with that, but it's not universally used (yet).
The pricing model for the new program will be on a per-game basis - the exact amount per game is to be determined and will be based on how many games are in that system.

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