In response to questions from the membership raised at the general membership meeting on August 1, 2004, Bob Kreuter corresponded with FHSAA to clarify the insurance coverage for doing middle school games. Here is the letter sent to FHSAA:
Dr. John Stewart
Associate Commissioner for Athletic Operations
Florida High School Activities Association
1801 NW 80th Blvd.
Gainesville, Florida 32606
Cc. Ms. Cecelia Jackson – Director of Athletics
Ms. Tamara Wilsey – Associate Director of Athletics
HSSOCF Board and Assignor
Ms. Trish Hyland
SUBJECT: Clarification Regarding Middle School Soccer Games
Dear Dr. Stewart:
We have just held our first High School Soccer General Membership Meeting of the season and the Board was requested by the membership to obtain written clarification regarding refereeing Middle School Soccer Games.
1) In the past we have done Middle School games prior to the start of the High School Season. The majority of games we do are in Orange County under the guidance of Trish Hyland. Although these Middle Schools follow the Florida FHSAA High School Rules, we have NOT worn our FHSAA patches for these games since we were under the assumption these schools are not official members or affiliate members of FHSAA. Is this the correct procedure?
2) We have never had a “Red” Card with a Middle School game and we expect our referees to use common sense and work with the coaches at this level before any situation gets to the level that would require a red card. However, the membership asked why wouldn’t we send a Red Card report to FHSAA for a Middle School game? Our response was that, although the Middle Schools follow the High School Rules, these schools are not official members or affiliate members of FHSAA and hence do not fall under the authority of FHSAA. A couple times in the past few years where we have had a few very minor incidents, we have worked these through with Trish Hyland ; Coordinator Athletic Services from the Orange County Public Schools. She has contacted the individual schools to work out the situation with the individual coaches or principals. If we ever did have a “Red Card” at the Middle School level it would be handled through Trish Hyland, or her counterpart if it were another county other than Orange County we were doing games for. Is this the correct procedure for handling “Red Cards” and other incidents as far as FHSAA is concerned?
3) The question was then raised that since we are not wearing our FHSAA patches and the schools are not under the direct authority of FHSAA, are we (the individual referees doing the games) covered by any liability insurance as we are with are through our NFHS membership for high school games? If not, are we covered by any other insurance? Please advise in this matter.
Thank you very much for your concern in this matter. We look forward to another good season of soccer.
Bob Kreuter; President HSSOCF
High School Soccer Officials of Central Florida
The following is the reply that was received:
The answer to your three questions are:
1. You should only wear the FHSAA patches in games played by member schools.
2. Any disciplinary action taken in games played in Orange County by Orange County schools that are not member schools of the FHSAA should be handled by Trish Hyland. The county athletic director in other counties should handle such action for schools in their counties as well. In other words this office should only deal with member schools.
3. Your insurance is good anytime you act in the capacity of an official, so your insurance would cover you in the middle school games. You always have your personal insurance.
John A. Stewart Associate Commissioner