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6A Reg 1 & Referee Accountability

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First off, let me preface this with a couple things.  I understand, if Tate, Gulf Breeze, or Nease had won their districts, there isn't an issue.  So you don't need to state that in a response.  Also, I get that these teams may not make a run in the playoffs or win any state title, but if that's the case, it would pertain to about 400 other high schools in the state, so why do we even play?  So relax on the rhetoric of 'they won't win state so it doesn't matter.'  Making the playoffs is an honor.  

As of now, Pine Forest is ranked higher in the points system than these 3 teams, and they are 3-5, and 3rd in their district.  Tate is 2nd in the same district, Gulf Breeze is 2nd in their district, and Nease is 2nd in their's.  So how is Pine Forest ahead of these 3 teams?  Early in the season, the referees for the Pine Forest @ Gulf Breeze game completely blew the game at the end.  With a little over 2 minutes to go, Gulf Breeze had a 4th and 3 around midfield.  Pine Forest took a timeout.  Both teams huddled with their coaches around the numbers, and GB lined up for a punt.  Pine Forest lined up with 12 men on the field.  The back judge saw this, had his hand on the flag, but didn't throw it until the ball was snapped.  He waited to see if any Pine Forest player would run off the field.  The Pine Forest coach tried calling a timeout right before the snap but didn't do it in time when he realized there were 12 on the field.  The punt was a touchback.  The referees interrupted the penalty as the new PSK rule.  That rule is if a player runs on late.  They interrupted it wrong, and just penalized Pine Forest 10 yards after the touchback, instead of giving Gulf Breeze a 1st down.  So now Pine Forest has the ball.  On this drive, GB has Pine Forest with a 4th and 23.  Pine Forest throws up a 35 yard prayer, the Pine Forest kid dives, but doesn't make the catch.  GB kids are celebrating.  The side judge, still back near the line of scrimmage, declares it a catch.  The back judge made no call, so he went along with the side judges call.  Pine Forest is given a 1st down.  Pine Forest gets down to the endzone and wins on the last play of the game, 20 - 19.  The film clearly shows the play as a drop.  

After a couple of weeks of back and forth with the referee association and the head coach of GB, the association sent 2 separate emails, explaining that they missed both calls.  The emails went to the FHSAA and head coach.  Because of this error, Pine Forest is awarded 48 or 53 points because GB is 6-2.  GB is given very low points because of the loss and Pine Forest's record.  This game has elevated Pine Forest over GB and Tate (Tate beat Pine Forest by 8 last week).  

How can the state and referees justify this?  The referees almost wrote up 3 coaches from GB after the game because they gave the refs an ear full because of the blown calls.  If those coaches had been written up, they would've been suspended and made to pay a fine.  But why are the referees not held to the same standard?  The Miracle Strip Association hasn't suspended any referees for the missed calls, and they haven't been fined.  Wouldn't surprise me if they even get to work a state championship game this year.  The head of the Miracle Strip Association was one of the referees working that game.  Shouldn't the state, at the minimum, hold referees to a standard and there be penalties?  If this was a coach who did something wrong, like submit paperwork late, etc, they are fined, correct?  

The points system was created to get the best teams from a region into the playoffs.  As of now, GB or Tate could be out after this week.  Tate is ahead of Pine Forest in their district and beat Pine Forest.  GB was hosed in the Pine Forest game.  Sadly, under the old system, both teams would be in as the district runner ups.  Instead, you have Tate at 5-3, Gulf Breeze at 6-2, and Nease at 5-4 all behind a 3-5 team, that should be 2-6.  

I know many of us have horror stories of referees, but this is bad.  How do you explain to the kids of Tate, Gulf Breeze, or Nease that they aren't in the playoffs because referees screwed up a game?  One of these schools will miss the playoffs.  

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So how or when can schools and coaches hold referees and the fhsaa accountable like they do to schools and coaches? This point system is a joke with Pine Forest ranked where they are. Gulf Breeze should be around the 6th seed, with Tate and Nease as the 7th and 8th seeds. When can coaches and schools hold the state and referees accountable? 

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You make some good points.  I've been saying all year that the officials in the area have been worse than normal.  And normal ain't good.


Regarding the playoff situation posting the current point numbers are a bit misleading.  Ive crunched the numbers and Gulf Breeze and Tate will most likely get in.  In fact a Gulf Breeze win vs Gadsden will put them as the number 6 seed.  After that Tate would be next provided Niceville beats Navarre..  If Niceville loses to Navarre and Pine Forest beats Milton then Pine Forest woud be #7 and Tate #8.  Neases' outside chance relys on one of their opponents (White) beating Lee which is not likely.  Now upsets throw monkey wrenches into the whole deal but that covers what's most likely to happen.

GB - just needs to win and they get #6 seed.

Tate - should easily win vs Smiths Station.  Then they need Lee to beat White which is likely.

Pine Forest - needs to beat Milton which might not be easy since Milton has been playing well of late.  Pine Forest will also benefit if Niceville beats Navarre.

Nease - will lose their final game vs Bartram Trail.  They desperately need White to beat Lee and one of the above teams losing would also put them in.


It would take too long for me to explain how the numbers work regarding these teams but the points the FHSAA put out is a bit misleading.  For instance they consider Navarre a Cat 1 team right now but if they lose to Niceville they'll drop to a Cat 2 team.  That affects the point total for all the teams that have played Navarre.  That's just one example.

Hope this helps

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I think we all have to realize that HS referees are not professionals. For most of them it's a hobby or at the most an avocation. I don't think they get paid very much if anything at all. Let's face it, they devote every Friday night and spend 3 to 4 hours running up and down a football field calling plays to the best of their ability and as they see them. And that is probably after driving an hour or two to and from the games. We should all be glad that there are such dedicated men who take the time to do this. Heck, if you want referees that are professional then get the high schools to pay for professional referees. All the high schools have to do is charge an extra amount at the gate to cover whatever the professionals make for each game. It's the same thing for coaches. Most are not professionals and I don't believe many coaches even get paid. Many coaches are teachers who coach on the side. Also, even with professional coaches they are human and make calls that are marginal or even just plain bad. Just look at the uncivilized behavior at NFL games especially towards the referees. The dean of OTC put out a directive to all fans of the football team requesting that referees not be booed or subject to ridicule explaining that we were not a school that did that sort of thing. I respect him for that.

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