OK, let's get into the first topic of how clubs can, and probably should, save parents money.
A few years back the Gateway region allowed tournament directors to charge $175 for a local, one-day tournament if first referees were provided. There are two schools of thought among coaches I have talked to about this:
1. Some love the idea of a certified referee as the first official at all their matches as they feel it gives them better officiating and, truth be told, for some of them it keeps them from having to be first officials during tournaments.
2. Some don't think it is worth $75. There are lots of reasons that coaches don't like the extra $75. Here are mine:
a. Our teams are just there to compete. The presence of first referees doesn't change that.
b. It may not benefit our teams much. If you are a #3 or #4 seed in your pool there is about a 50/50 chance that you will only have to officiate one time during the day.
c. It costs us an additional $7.50 or more a player to play in this event which, given a. and b., is simply a waste of money as overall, that is almost another tournament entry fee.
d. As if c. isn't enough, it also appears, if you do the math, that not all of the $75 a team pays in goes to pay for officials. If you don't believe me, let's do the math.
Assuming an 8-team tournament, two pools of 4 teams and gold and silver playoffs there are:
12 pool play matches + 6 playoff matches. That's a total of 18 matches. Let's assume the first referee is getting $25 a match (which is what the region pays). That means that $450 of the entry fee money goes to pay for the first referee. But 8 teams pay an extra $75 for referees (a total of $600). Where does that extra $150 go? Probably in the pockets of the tournament director.
Some club directors don't have a choice of playing in these tournaments as their clubs support certain tournaments. However, most club directors most DO have a choice. This would be a great way to save parents some money: don't play in any $175 tournaments.
I will end as I normally do with a question: For most teams in this region, is it worth it to play in 2-4 of these $175 tournaments and pay an additional $150-300 ($15-$30 per player) a year for local tournaments just to have certified first referees? With the cost of club volleyball skyrocketing, this seems like a great place for clubs to save parents some money without really sacrificing anything.