JUL 01

Update On Game/Match Fee Increase

I want to provide our TASO members an update concerning our quest for an overdue increase in game/match fees.

First, some background; I was prepared to present a fee increase proposal at the UIL Legislative Council last October, 2014, to be effective for the 2015‑16 school year. Just before the October meeting, I, along with the Texas High School Basketball Officials (THSBOA) president, was asked by UIL Staff to wait until the June 2015 Legislative Council meeting to present the proposal, with their assurance that any approved increase could be effective for the 2015‑16 seasons.  The reason for the UIL Staff request was that based on the UIL Sunset Review, the UIL would be required to make many changes to the C&CR, including Section 1204 and they wanted to make all the changes at one time.  I was told the schools would be notified to expect a fee increase for officials to be effective for the 2015‑16 school year. Knowing that any proposal made in October 2014 would not be approved without UIL staff support, both the THSBOA president and I agreed to wait.

Earlier this year, I met with the UIL staff to present and review with them the game/match fee increase to be presented to the UIL Legislative Council June 2015 meeting.  In summary, I proposed a $10 across the Board game/match increase.  The UIL staff later notified me that they would not support a $10 increase, but would support a $5 across the board increase.

To determine how to proceed, I called a meeting of the TASO President’s Council (comprised of the president or his/her designee of the TASO Divisions).  The President’s Council reviewed and discussed several options and directed me to pursue the $5 increase supported by the UIL staff.  The thought process was that if we continued to push for a $10 increase, we most likely would get nothing.  I discussed this decision with the THSBOA and he was in agreement.  He and I have worked together on issues that benefit members of both organizations such as a fee increase.

At the June 16, 2015 UIL Legislative Council Meeting, as directed by the TASO President’s Council, I presented a game/fee request that mirrored the fee schedule the UIL staff supported.  My proposal was passed to the Standing Committee on Athletics.  Apparently, the schools were not notified to expect a fee proposal increase, as the early discussion of the Athletic Committee centered around how typically action on increases in officials game fees occurred at the October meetings.  Additionally, there were several comments that the schools had already completed their budgets for 2015‑16.  In the end, our request was denied.  To be fair, the Athletic Committee agreed that an increase is needed and well deserved, but the timing was just not right.

Going forward, the UIL has created a “working group” consisting of officials and administrators to develop a fee proposal to be presented to the UIL Legislative Council meeting in October 2015.  Every TASO Division is represented on the working committee and will address not only a fee increase, but also mileage reimbursement and other official related issues.

The working committee will present their proposal to the UIL Sports Officials Committee (SOC), which is comprised of 5 administrators and 4 officials (2 of which are TASO members). The SOC will then make a recommendation to the Athletic Committee and the full UIL Legislative Council.

I’m disappointed that the $5 increase was not approved, but I’m hopefull that a bigger increase will be presented and approved for 2016‑2017.

I will keep you updated. If you have any questions, please send them to me at mfitch@taso.org.