Pac-12 hosts officiating diversity clinics in volleyball and football
SAN FRANCISCO - In April and in collaboration with peer conferences, the Pac-12 hosted two separate officiating diversity clinics on its campuses in the sports of volleyball and football.
Joan Powell, the conference's coordinator of women's volleyball officiating since 2016 and officials coordinator for the newly-formed Women’s Volleyball Western Consortium (W5), spearheaded the first-ever Volleyball Officials' Diversity Camp at Arizona State on April 1-2.
Nominations for camp participants came from a number of groups, including board chairs from the Professional Association of Volleyball Officials and USA Volleyball referee chairs, organizations which also provided some financial assistance to the campers they identified for registration and travel. Participants were those not already working for a W5 conference, which is comprised of the Big West, Big Sky, Mountain West, Pac-12 and WCC.
"I had never seen anything like this for volleyball and it has been a dream of mine to try to bring diversity to the court for officials," Powell said. "Student-athletes have such diverse backgrounds, but when they play, they rarely see anybody that looks like them. We’re doing a real disservice there and I want to change the culture. We need more diverse folks on our officiating rosters."
Yesterday at our spring tournament, we hosted the first EVER Diversity Camp for volleyball officials! 🙌 pic.twitter.com/xfEsmamHL0
— Sun Devil Volleyball (@SunDevilVB) April 3, 2022
The camp's first day featured a classroom education session, including a review of the differences between collegiate and USA rules and techniques, NCAA Challenge Review System (CRS) best practices and headset usage, in addition to on-court training and development for line judges, and an open dialogue about diversity.
On Saturday, the camp coincided with Arizona State's four-team spring tournament, which provided each camper officiating repetitions with headsets connected to their partner, while a diversity camp staff member silently listened in on their communication. Hands-on feedback via post-match debriefs was provided, as was feedback via iPads, complete with voice-overs from staff. Each participant also received access to video of their matches.
The camp wrapped up with remarks and a Q&A session with Arizona State head coach Sanja Tomašević and another frank conversation about diversity - struggles that campers have met on their way to a career in officiating and elsewhere, with advice offered from the camp's staff of veteran officials. Katy Meyer, the executive director of the Professional Association of Volleyball Officials, addressed the competing teams to reinforce the camp's purpose and encourage them to remain involved in the game and become officials once their playing days are over.
Pac-12 Football Officiating Diversity & Inclusion Clinic
Held April 28-30, the Pac-12, in collaboration with the Big Sky, WAC and SWAC and supported by the NFL and NCAA College Football Officiating (CFO) program, hosted a football officiating diversity and inclusion clinic for current football officials with diverse backgrounds, including minorities and women, who are seeking to grow in the officiating space. Attendees ranged from current football officials across FCS, Division II, Division III and Junior College levels. The clinic included training sessions at Pac-12 headquarters as well as on-field and instant replay exercises during Cal's spring game on Saturday, April 30 from FTX Field at California Memorial Stadium.
About the Pac-12
The Pac-12 Conference is dedicated to developing the next generation of leaders by championing excellence in academics, athletics, and the well-being of our student-athletes. Built on a firm foundation of academic excellence and superior athletic performance, the Pac-12 continues to renew its undisputed claim as the “Conference of Champions,” leading the nation with 543 NCAA team titles overall, over 200 more than the next closest conference. The Pac-12 also wholly owns and operates Pac-12 Networks, the Conference's sports media company that produces and distributes 850 live sporting events each season, making it one of the top live-sports producers in the country. Pac-12 Networks also offers extensive digital content via Pac-12.com, the Pac-12 Now app, Pac-12 official athletics websites and Pac-12 Insider. The Pac-12 Conference is comprised of 12 leading U.S. universities, the University of Arizona, Arizona State University, the University of California, Berkeley, the University of California Los Angeles, the University of Colorado Boulder, the University of Oregon, Oregon State University, Stanford University, the University of Southern California, the University of Utah, the University of Washington and Washington State University. More information on the Pac-12 is available at Pac-12.com.