Rethinking the Chapter Awards Dinner

by Joe Danbusky, NISOA local assessor and NISOA local clinician. Joe is also the Chapter's Secretary and Treasurer.

For those of you who regularly attend the annual Awards dinner held at the end of each collegiate season, you may have noticed over the past few years that:

  • Many of our fellow officials fail to make the dinner,
  • Officials who receive chapter recognition are not present to acknowledge the honor bestowed upon them by their peers,
  • Honored guests are conspicuously absent.

Are we at a turning point in our efforts? Should we make a big deal of awards?

As a member of the Board and the chapter Treasurer, I have the distinct responsibility of seeing and paying the invoices that are generated by having the Awards dinner and recognizing achievements through presentation of commemorative plaques.

We usually honor sportsmanship in three categories:

  • Four year men’s programs,
  • Four year women’s programs,
  • Junior college — combined men’s and women’s programs (Region XV).

We recognize our fellow officials in several categories:

  • New official of the year,
  • Assistant referee of the year,
  • Official of the year,
  • Chapter service award.

Has the time come for all this “tradition” to be done away with?

Consider this:

  • Attendance at the annual dinner has been declining. Last year, we didn’t make the guaranteed number that we committed to with the caterer. That translates into meals that were prepared, not consumed and paid for!
  • In addition, some of our invited guests, having acknowledged that they were to be honored at this event, chose to not appear (even though they had previously accepted our invitation).
  • Things didn’t look any better on the chapter recognition side either: honorees over the past two years were conspicuously absent to accept the accolades of their fellow officials.

So what’s going on?

I realize we live in the era of $3+ gasoline and a roller coaster economy, but I STILL enjoy the camaraderie of my fellow officials, a few “war stories”, a good meal and some beverage…

What shall we do in the future?

Let your thoughts be known….

This entry was posted on Monday, January 28th, 2008 at 9:35 am and is filed under Executive Board with keyword(s) . You can follow any comments to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

2 Comments so far

  1. Michael Moskowitz says:

    Dear Joe,
    Your thoughts and concerns related to the poor turnout at the Annual Awards Dinner are right to the point. I, for one, am rarely in the NY area at the time of the dinner but have some thoughts to share with you and the Executive Board.

    The location of the dinner in eastern Nassau County on a week night just during or after rush hour provides a conundrum for many members who reside or work in Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Bronx, Staten Island or other distant communities. Perhaps the chapter should consider a more convenient central location so members do not have to travel up to two hours one way.

    A tedious raffle was conducted during the last dinner I attended which was time consuming, added nothing to the chapter’s festivities and, in my opinion, was unprofessional for this organization. This should be eliminated if it still takes place.

    Too many awards are bestowed on the members which, after a period of time, takes away from the significance of an award. I suggest that you discontinue all referee awards except the chapter service award. Recognition should still be bestowed upon those officials who were assigned to playoff games as this serves as motivation for the other members to achieve professional growth.

    The problem with non-attendance for coaches is one that the Executive Board will have to address. If the athletic director is invited with the coach this may increase your turnout but this could be an embarrassment if not many referees attend their own function. As an alternative, an Executive Board member can make arrangements with the honored coach and AD so that the award can be presented at the school in the office of the AD. This will cut down on expenses and avoid costly no-shows.

    Good luck in your decision making.

    Michael Moskowitz

  2. Joe DeCristoforo says:

    Fellow Officials,

    After listening to and reading comments concerning “what is wrong with the annual soccer dinner”, I would like to go over the positives of our affair.

    The location, while not perfect, is readily accessible(40 minutes or less) to over two- thirds of our membership. If we were able to find a place in eastern Queens or western Nassau, the percentage would go up to over eighty five. Unfortunately we have not been able to find a place that can offer us anywhere near the deal that the Sterling offers in terms of value for the money. If the group decided that they were willing to kick in an extra $15 to $20 apiece, we might be able to find another place.

    I really enjoy the award ceremonies for all the recipients and take pride in being a part of the excellence although I have never received a performance award. As a member of our group and essentially part of a larger team, I do not need any incentive or personal triumph to attend a function that rewards excellence within our group and provides an opportunity for camaraderie with our fellow officials and coaches. It may sound corny, but to give up one night in the year to be with friends who you have gone to battle with does not seem too great a sacrifice.

    Unless we can find a comparable location that is willing to bend over backward and keep the price reasonable as the Sterling does, I feel we should stay there. Concerning the lack of motivation or incentive to attend the function, this is purely a personal decision but I will buy anyone who attends the dinner a free drink for the first hour of the affair.

    Yours in soccer,
    Joe DeCristoforo