NEW MADISON – The OHSAA took advantage of the recent 13 team Lady Patriots Basketball Shootout to hold its 17th annual basketball camp for basketball officials.
“We do this camp every summer,” said OHSAA high school official (football, basketball & baseball) Kevin Forrer, an assigner for high school basketball referees. “It’s a camp for relatively newer officials that are anywhere from just finishing up their first year to some veterans that are coming out. Everybody has different goals for what levels they want to get to.”
A total of 25 men and women took in the weekend camp at Tri-Village High School’s two gymnasiums.
“It’s a good large class for the campers,” said Forrer. “We use people like Mason Siler (Tipp City), Mark Horton (Troy) and other varsity officials. They come out as our clinicians so that we have somebody on the court the entire time watching them, observing them and giving them pointers to help them get better.”
“I am hear helping teach, train, help them understand the game” said Horton, a veteran OHSAA basketball official. “Help them see more plays, try to get them advanced as quickly as we possibly can to get new officials up and running.”
“We have some really talented young officials coming up,” Horton continued. “We have two or three in this camp that I think are going to be really good in the next couple of years so we should have some good talent coming up with us.”
“It is a really good thing,” said camp host and Tri-Village coach Brad Gray of the official’s camp. “We need more officials involved, not just from basketball, but every sport. We are starting to see an official shortage, so for Kevin Forrer to allow us to have this as a camp during our shootout, it has been a really good thing.”
“The officials are really working hard and getting good advice from some of the veteran officials that are here helping,” added Gray. “All in all it’s been a good thing.”
Fathers and son officiating crews as well as some grandfathers can be found around the state officiating high school basketball games making it a family affair as is the case with Kevin and son, Peyton Forrer.
Peyton, a Troy Christian graduate and University of Tennessee pre-med student is paying his way through college as a high school official, licensed as a varsity basketball official in both Ohio and Tennessee.
“I am in the unique situation with my son who is going to be a junior in college and just watching him progress,” said Kevin Forrer. “The sky is the limit for him. It’s his full-time job, it’s what is paying his bills to get him through college. It gives him some spending money and he doesn’t have to be locked down every weekend to a full-time job.”
“The younger these officials can get involved – it is the ideal job for kids coming out of high school or in high school,” added Forrer. “They can start at 14 and a freshman. It’s better than flipping burgers and they do it when they want to do it, they’re not tied down.”
Darke County has its own father and son varsity basketball officiating crews including Union City’s Paul and Zach Armstrong. Zach is a recent graduate of Wittenberg University and helped pay his way through college by officiating high school basketball.
Greenville is represented by Dave and Chad Henry, both OHSAA high school baseball officials. Dave also serves as an OHSAA umpire trainer as well as an umpired assigner. Chad is the head coach of Greenville American Legion Post 140 baseball team.
“You’re probably going to see a couple of them maybe later this year once the season gets moving,” Horton said of the officials in training at the Tri-Village Shootout. “Within the next two years you are going to see three of four of them really make a good impact in the league.”
Kevin Forrer is pleased to assist anyone interest in OHSAA officiating no matter the sport. Call Kevin at 937-475-9130 or email Forrerassigning@gmail.com for assistance or information.
“I’ll get them with the right people,” said Forrer. “There are classes for all high school sports.”
Visit ohsaa.org to learn more about becoming an Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA) official.