Tiger119
Topic Author
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Sport Officiating/The Big Four US Sports

Tue Jun 30, 2009 8:07 am

I have always wondered about this and I am pretty sure I know the answer, but I am going to ask anyway. The "Big Four" major sports in the U.S. are baseball, basketball, football and hockey (MLB, NBA, NFL and NHL). Some people would argue that motor racing ranks right up there and they may be correct although my question is about the officiating crews and I even know that it's the same officials at every track every weekend. MLB has four umpires at every game (unless one gets injured and then they ump with just the one behind the catcher and two on the bases). The exception to that one is during the playoffs when they add an ump down each line. NBA has three refs per game. NHL has a ref and two linesmen. NFL has who knows how many per game. Now all that for the question. Due these crews work together all the time or do they mix them up during the season? And another question. Are NBA, NHL and MLB officials full time employees of their leagues? I don't think NFL officials are full time.
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OffshoreAir
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RE: Sport Officiating/The Big Four US Sports

Tue Jun 30, 2009 9:42 am



Quoting Tiger119 (Thread starter):
Due these crews work together all the time or do they mix them up during the season?

If I remember correctly, in college the crews do stick together. It is usually something like SEC ref's go and ref a Big10 game, PAC10 ref's go and ref an ACC game, and so on, but usually, (again, if I remember correctly) they stick together for a season?

Quoting Tiger119 (Thread starter):
And another question. Are NBA, NHL and MLB officials full time employees of their leagues? I don't think NFL officials are full time.

I am not sure of the answer here, but I would think with their pay, putting in a full sports season of reffing one of these sports pays enough for them to have a very comfortable living and not have to work during the off-season. From what I hear, NFL ref's get paid significantly more, but then again, they only ref 16 games as opposed to the season of the MLB or NHL. I would hazard a guess that a veteran MLB coach pushes $200K per season.
OffshoreAir
 
us330
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RE: Sport Officiating/The Big Four US Sports

Tue Jun 30, 2009 10:36 am

NHL now has two refs and two linesmen per game.
During the regular season, they mix it up, just to ensure that everybody is on their game and nobody develops any bad or lax habits.
In the playoffs, the roster of refs and linesmen shorten dramatically. By the time you get to the Stanley Cup Finals, four refs and four linesmen are selected to work the finals, and the group scheduled to work varies game to game.
 
flymia
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RE: Sport Officiating/The Big Four US Sports

Tue Jun 30, 2009 1:09 pm

I know for sure that NBA refs mix it up throughout the season. I dont know much about NHL refs and I never really noticed much about NFL refs. But NBA and MLB refs do get paid a decent amount and thats really there full time job. MLB work really hard though and their season is LONG. But I have heard the older guys do make more than $200,000 I would imagine it be the same for NBA too. Its not an easy job and they travel and are away from home a lot but it seems like a very cool job and the pay and benefits are great. But in pro sports I dont see how they would ever let the same refs referee every game together just would not make sense.
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Elite
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RE: Sport Officiating/The Big Four US Sports

Tue Jun 30, 2009 1:13 pm

The NBA referees are rotated around (in random order, I believe) during the regular season, but there is some sort of seniority order during the playoffs.

And refs are paid pretty decently, yet a lot of NBA refs are bastards... who can't tell a flop when everyone else can, who ejects people for laughing, who have bad attitude, and worst of all rigging games! As a huge NBA fan this is one of the worst aspects of this great game.
 
OffshoreAir
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RE: Sport Officiating/The Big Four US Sports

Tue Jun 30, 2009 1:58 pm



Quoting Elite (Reply 4):
And refs are paid pretty decently, yet a lot of NBA refs are bastards... who can't tell a flop when everyone else can, who ejects people for laughing, who have bad attitude, and worst of all rigging games!

When has this happened recently?

Rigging games? Come on, we aren't in grade school anymore.
OffshoreAir
 
GQfluffy
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RE: Sport Officiating/The Big Four US Sports

Tue Jun 30, 2009 2:45 pm



Quoting OffshoreAir (Reply 5):
Rigging games? Come on, we aren't in grade school anymore.

Exactly. It happens...all the time. Time to wake up.
This isn't where I parked my car...
 
OffshoreAir
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RE: Sport Officiating/The Big Four US Sports

Tue Jun 30, 2009 2:54 pm



Quoting GQfluffy (Reply 6):
Exactly. It happens...all the time. Time to wake up.

When?
OffshoreAir
 
 
OffshoreAir
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RE: Sport Officiating/The Big Four US Sports

Tue Jun 30, 2009 5:42 pm



Quoting Elite (Reply 8):
Tim Donaghy:

Ok, Tim Donaghy was a pretty messed up sitatuion, as well as the Tim Duncan thing, but two instances hardly make a trend.

Quoting Elite (Reply 8):

NBA Major Flops:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uoc8E...9xk8g

That whole video is terrible acting on the players part - it reminds me of some specific European soccer teams/players.
OffshoreAir
 
flymia
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RE: Sport Officiating/The Big Four US Sports

Tue Jun 30, 2009 7:38 pm



Quoting Elite (Reply 4):
And refs are paid pretty decently, yet a lot of NBA refs are bastards... who can't tell a flop when everyone else can, who ejects people for laughing, who have bad attitude, and worst of all rigging games! As a huge NBA fan this is one of the worst aspects of this great game.

Well I don't know about rigging games but NBA is not longer the sport it used to be. I am a NBA fan it is my favorite sport to watch, play etc.. But the NBA seems like its for little 5 year old girls now. Way too many fouls. Basketball should be a semi-contact sport. Gone are the good days of Alonzo Mourning and Patrick Ewing, Scottie Pippin and Karl Malone those where basketball players. Dont get me wrong Dwayne Wade, Lebron, Kobe etc.. are GREAT but just too many fouls! Let them play, let the big men be a little physical.

Quoting OffshoreAir (Reply 9):
Ok, Tim Donaghy was a pretty messed up sitatuion, as well as the Tim Duncan thing, but two instances hardly make a trend.

Flopping is a huge problem in this league! I HATE it, all the fake fouls and so many of the international players flop even more than others. Guess they are just used to seeing in while watching soccer (football) when they were growing up
"It was just four of us on the flight deck, trying to do our job" (Captain Al Haynes)
 
corocks
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RE: Sport Officiating/The Big Four US Sports

Tue Jun 30, 2009 7:57 pm

This is not at all official given the source, but here is a list from 2005:

NBA: 90k-400k
MLB: 87k-357k
NFL: 34k-147k

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1608/is_5_21/ai_n13779034/

Pretty surprised at how low the NFL salary is.
 
RGElectra80
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RE: Sport Officiating/The Big Four US Sports

Tue Jun 30, 2009 8:13 pm



Quoting Corocks (Reply 11):
Pretty surprised at how low the NFL salary is.

That's actually quite a nice lump of cash for the amount of work. Even if you factor in the fact they probably have meetings or have to review tapes and rulebooks, that can't possibly add up to more than a couple of months of work a year, tops. Unless you're Ed Hochuli, then you are working on your biceps all year long. Big grin
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yooyoo
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RE: Sport Officiating/The Big Four US Sports

Tue Jun 30, 2009 8:16 pm



Quoting Corocks (Reply 11):
Pretty surprised at how low the NFL salary is.

I'm not, considering the quality.  Wink

Seriously.....16 games a season may have something to do with it?

As for the NHL refs, i heard once they make between $100,000 - $250,000 and linesmen between $75,000 -$150,000...depnding on their experience.
I am so smart, i am so smart... S-M-R-T... i mean S-M-A-R-T
 
flymia
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RE: Sport Officiating/The Big Four US Sports

Tue Jun 30, 2009 8:57 pm



Quoting Corocks (Reply 11):
Pretty surprised at how low the NFL salary is.

Sounds great to me to only work lets say July-Febuary if they have meetings a month before and after the season. And than one day a week of 'real' work.
As for NBA, NHL, MLB they earn their money as long as they are good.
"It was just four of us on the flight deck, trying to do our job" (Captain Al Haynes)
 
jfk69
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RE: Sport Officiating/The Big Four US Sports

Tue Jun 30, 2009 10:09 pm

I will touch in a few answers which have been answered already.

The NFL refs are part time. They all work or have businesses and treat this more as a paid hobby.

The NHL has 2 refs and 2 linesman a game which are rotated throughout the season, until playoff time when you basically become a crew and work a series.

I spoke to a friend of mine who works for the NHL and he said they refs make anywhere from $115k -$250k with bonuses for playoff work. Linesman make a little bit less but not signifigant.
 
deltairlines
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RE: Sport Officiating/The Big Four US Sports

Wed Jul 01, 2009 12:26 am

MLB, NFL and NCAA Football crews stick together for the season.

NCAA Basketball refs change around all the time - they're considered contract workers and bounce around between several leagues and do as many games as they want/can.
 
srbmod
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RE: Sport Officiating/The Big Four US Sports

Wed Jul 01, 2009 12:58 am



Quoting Jfk69 (Reply 15):

The NHL has 2 refs and 2 linesman a game which are rotated throughout the season, until playoff time when you basically become a crew and work a series.

And the playoff refs are determined by how good of a job they did over the course of the season. This explains why Mick McGeough only ever officiated 63 post-season games and only one Stanley Cup Finals. Thank goodness he retired after the '07-08 season.
 
flymia
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RE: Sport Officiating/The Big Four US Sports

Wed Jul 01, 2009 1:03 am



Quoting DeltAirlines (Reply 16):
NCAA Basketball refs change around all the time - they're considered contract workers and bounce around between several leagues and do as many games as they want/can.

I noticed that and for the biggest leagues I hate this they just dont seem as professional as other referees and IMO are no where near as good.
"It was just four of us on the flight deck, trying to do our job" (Captain Al Haynes)
 
rfields5421
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RE: Sport Officiating/The Big Four US Sports

Wed Jul 01, 2009 1:14 am



Quoting FlyMIA (Reply 18):
I noticed that and for the biggest leagues I hate this they just dont seem as professional as other referees and IMO are no where near as good

Being a top level ref is a lot like trying to be a top level player. Most ref's start out with near volunteer level local games and progress when their skill or experience or talent show. It also takes a lot of drive and focus on that career to make the 'big leagues'.

A lot of folks never get out of A or AA level, or lower.

But like coaches, there are many folks who prefer working at the college level to the pro level.


Quoting Tiger119 (Thread starter):
motor racing ranks right up there and they may be correct although my question is about the officiating crews and I even know that it's the same officials at every track every weekend.

Most of the folks you see in major auto racing circuits are part-timers. Some can work only a few races, some work a lot. Yes, all the major groups have a small core of professional staff who make the really important decisions.

The big difference between the 'big four' sports and auto racing, in the US or in other nations, is that auto racing is officiated by the owners of the sanctioning body. Not by 'independent' officials.

No matter what happens, the NBA commissioner cannot change a call in the middle of a game, but the President of NASCAR can change a call in the middle of a race.
 
yooyoo
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RE: Sport Officiating/The Big Four US Sports

Wed Jul 01, 2009 1:22 am



Quoting Srbmod (Reply 17):
Thank goodness he retired after the '07-08 season.

Really!!?....oh wow, we should have a party!!
I am so smart, i am so smart... S-M-R-T... i mean S-M-A-R-T
 
Elite
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RE: Sport Officiating/The Big Four US Sports

Wed Jul 01, 2009 2:56 am



Quoting OffshoreAir (Reply 9):
Ok, Tim Donaghy was a pretty messed up sitatuion, as well as the Tim Duncan thing, but two instances hardly make a trend.

Tim Donaghy also insisted other referees were in on it, especially during the controversial 2002 Western Conference Finals between the Sacramento Kings and the Los Angeles Lakers. However, it was never proven. And there have been a lot of instances like that, I just didn't dig them out yet.

Quoting FlyMIA (Reply 10):
NBA is not longer the sport it used to be.

The NBA has become so soft, and players like Tony Parker and Bruce Bowen and Robert Horry (all San Antonio Spurs players...) are known for their flopping and cheap shots. Sure, players now are bigger, buffer, and stronger than ever, but they couldn't take half of what Michael Jordan took from the Bad Boys. No way. LeBron would probably cry. Kobe would retire.
 
AirframeAS
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RE: Sport Officiating/The Big Four US Sports

Wed Jul 01, 2009 8:14 am



Quoting Tiger119 (Thread starter):
MLB has four umpires at every game (unless one gets injured and then they ump with just the one behind the catcher and two on the bases). The exception to that one is during the playoffs when they add an ump down each line.

Don't forget the ASG gets the same amount of umpires as the playoffs from both sides of the league, and based on seniority, I believe.

Quoting Tiger119 (Thread starter):
Due these crews work together all the time or do they mix them up during the season?

I know the MLB crews do.

Quoting Elite (Reply 8):
....ejecting Tim Duncan for laughing....

The exact same thing happened to Raja Bell in 2008 between the Suns and Nuggets in Denver on April 1, 2008.....but it was by a different ref.

Quoting DeltAirlines (Reply 16):
NCAA Football crews stick together for the season.

I didn't know that. How do they do this for the non-conference games? Are the refs from the home team's conference or are they mixed up?
A Safe Flight Begins With Quality Maintenance On The Ground.
 
rfields5421
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RE: Sport Officiating/The Big Four US Sports

Wed Jul 01, 2009 11:34 am



Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 22):
How do they do this for the non-conference games? Are the refs from the home team's conference or are they mixed up?

It depends upon the game and teams involved. The officiating crew used is part of the contract negotiations between the two teams when non-conference games are scheduled.

Unlike pro games where teams have to play a schedule set by one group, NCAA non-conference games only occur when the two teams agree to play and negotiate a contract for the game which often includes revenue splits and always includes officiating.

Sometimes it is a home team conference, if the two teams are expected to be in a position for a major title / bowl - they will often select a crew from a third conference.
 
garnetpalmetto
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RE: Sport Officiating/The Big Four US Sports

Wed Jul 01, 2009 1:13 pm



Quoting YooYoo (Reply 20):
Really!!?....oh wow, we should have a party!!

We should, but this season also saw the end of the line for Kerry Frasier and Bill McCreary. Lots of refs with a ton of experience have retired in the last few years and their replacements, fresh up from the AHL, face a steep learning curve. I think I heard that this is some of the worst churn in the NHL in quite some time.
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srbmod
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RE: Sport Officiating/The Big Four US Sports

Wed Jul 01, 2009 6:12 pm

Quoting YooYoo (Reply 20):

Really!!?....oh wow, we should have a party!!


I do remember yelling myself hoarse at a Thrashers game several years back because of McGeough...... Of course one of my favorite things to yell out is "$20 bounty on the ref...."

[Edited 2009-07-01 11:41:52]
 
AirframeAS
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RE: Sport Officiating/The Big Four US Sports

Wed Jul 01, 2009 6:23 pm



Quoting RFields5421 (Reply 23):

That make sense, I didn't know that. I do know the rules are a little bit different between the conferences, if a crew from a third conference comes in to officiate...that's gotta be hard...
A Safe Flight Begins With Quality Maintenance On The Ground.
 
Tiger119
Topic Author
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RE: Sport Officiating/The Big Four US Sports

Thu Jul 02, 2009 7:12 am



Quoting RFields5421 (Reply 19):
No matter what happens, the NBA commissioner cannot change a call in the middle of a game, but the President of NASCAR can change a call in the middle of a race

- Does he or she have that much power to control the outcome of a race? What about F1? Does Bernie (sp) have that control? I would ask about Tony George but I hear he's out at IMS.

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 22):

Don't forget the ASG gets the same amount of umpires

- OK, excuse me for for not know knowing, but what is >ASG?
Flying is the second greatest thrill known to mankind, landing is the first!
 
AirframeAS
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RE: Sport Officiating/The Big Four US Sports

Thu Jul 02, 2009 9:07 am



Quoting Tiger119 (Reply 27):
- OK, excuse me for for not know knowing, but what is >ASG?

All Star Game.
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rfields5421
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RE: Sport Officiating/The Big Four US Sports

Thu Jul 02, 2009 12:00 pm



Quoting Tiger119 (Reply 27):
- Does he or she have that much power to control the outcome of a race? What about F1? Does Bernie (sp) have that control? I would ask about Tony George but I hear he's out at IMS.

NASCAR, Yes, but Mike Helton and Brian France are also very aware of the need to be fair to all teams.

Two incidents I can think of recently. During a race earlier this year it was determined that a call by a pit road official was wrong. In complying with the standard penalty, a driver/team/car went a lap down to the leaders. On a later caution, the driver was waved around the pace car and put back on the lead lap.

This is the equivalent of saying a NBA player's last foul was not a good call and letting him come back off the bench later in the game.

More than any sport, NASCAR and other top level auto racing bodies will make extensive use of video replays, computer telemetry data and such to try and make sure they make the right decision.

On Memorial Day at Charlotte, Mike Helton realized the Cup race would be on the track during the National Moment of Silence in honor of our veterans and armed forces. He made the decision which was not communicated to teams before the race to stop the race, bring the cars to a halt on the front straight and cut the engines.

I'll let F-1 fans describe that body - but both the F-1 organization and the local organizers/ stewards have great authority during a race.

The IRL ownership also has similar vast, unchallenged authority during a race.

Most of these people are smart enough to know they should never interfere with what happens on the track, but even the most basic auto racing penalty - a black flag for rough driving - is always a judgment, as is the level of penalty assessed.
 
smcmac32msn
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RE: Sport Officiating/The Big Four US Sports

Thu Jul 02, 2009 3:58 pm



Quoting Tiger119 (Thread starter):
Due these crews work together all the time or do they mix them up during the season? And another question. Are NBA, NHL and MLB officials full time employees of their leagues? I don't think NFL officials are full time.

MLB gets a 7 week on, 1 week off schedule as of this year. We've seen a bunch of minor league umps up for a series or two with different crews so far this year.

Quoting Elite (Reply 8):
NBA Major Flops:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FcQ-Fdh4mSI&feature=related

This is the type of stuff that annoys me about the NBA. The other thing is where a team gets hacked on one end with no call, then a touch foul on the opposite end.... what exactly constitutes a foul in the NBA??? I can somewhat understand the rules of NCAA basketball although it happens sometimes there too.

Quoting Corocks (Reply 11):
Pretty surprised at how low the NFL salary is.

I'm more shocked at the MLB pay. As I said they are on a 7/1 schedule so each up works ~144-150 games per season, yet they make less than the NHL where they might do 70-75 games/year each.

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 22):
based on seniority, I believe.

We don't see the same umps every year at the ASG. It based on the previous season's grading on QuesTech and other calls in the field.
Hey Obama, keep the change! I want my dollar back.
 
Tiger119
Topic Author
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RE: Sport Officiating/The Big Four US Sports

Sat Jul 04, 2009 6:51 am



Quoting RFields5421 (Reply 19):
A lot of folks never get out of A or AA level, or lower.

- Indianapolis has a Triple A baseball team (I think they are affiliated with The Milwaukee Brewers) and their games during the regular season usually have just three umpires, one behind home, one for first and second and the third between second and third base.

Quoting RFields5421 (Reply 19):
Most of the folks you see in major auto racing circuits are part-timers.

- I know the IRL has a traveling safety team that handles the EMS and extrication services for the drivers, teams and pitroad workers and the track/venue hires locals for the crowds. I don't know about how NASCAR handles it. I do know that Formula One has a traveling team and the locals are not allowed to even touch a crew member or driver if involved in an incident. Ask Ralf Shumacher about his crash at Indy a few years ago.

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 22):
Don't forget the ASG gets the same amount of umpires as the playoffs from both sides of the league, and based on seniority, I believe.

- At one time in the MLB had two separate offices for the umps (one for the AL and one for the NL), but I think they changed that a few years ago and now the umps are lumped in one group.

David
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