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In its infinite wisdom, the NJSIAA has decided to move all aspects of high school sports officiating to Zebraweb. I searched the forums and found nothing of any consequence here. Today was the launch for officials, with roll outs to assigners, ADs, and school districts in the next few days

What experiences might anyone have with this system? From my initial interactions its seems clunky and outdated, like they have done no upgrades since the days of Netscape. Here is a screen grab of their site. Note the save button at the top of the screen. There is none any where else on the page. Its things like this that cause concern.

image.thumb.png.cb77d3e6f9165aaaca98ec1298f027db.png

 

Does this interface with Arbiter? Is there a process to link schedules into my calendar? What am I not being told?

I fear this move is going to become an administrative nightmare for me, for assigners, and everyone accept the NJSIAA,  whom I believe (with absolutely no proof) is accepting sizable financial considerations for migrating to the "new" system. 

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I used to use an earlier version of this.  Far better than Arbiter, imo.  and, since it's a competitor (along with a few others), I doubt if it interfaces with Arbiter, or why it would want to.

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Haven't entered your Fax number yet (Day or Evening!), @Kevin_K? I'm ashamed.

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Here's my major concern...High school on zebra, college on Arbiter.  Cross referencing, keeping track of last minute  changed assignments, not accidentally double booking...Not to mention, I'm guessing, another account holding my fees? 

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Since it is apparently all about the money, how does arbiter make their money (break it down by areas and the amounts for each) vs the Zebra breakdown and amounts for each.

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8 hours ago, Richvee said:

Here's my major concern...High school on zebra, college on Arbiter.  Cross referencing, keeping track of last minute  changed assignments, not accidentally double booking...Not to mention, I'm guessing, another account holding my fees? 

For many of us, that's not much different from having two separate groups on Arbiter and you want to keep some dates open for college who might assign later than HS.  You still need to keep the groups separate.

 

I have 25+ groups on Arbiter (with two different accounts -- shh--don't tell Arbiter), 4 on Reftown., and 2 on Blue Zebra.  I used to have 2 on something else (Horizon Web Ref?).

 

Yes, it's a pain -- Arbiter (and the like) help a little for officials, but are designed to make assigner's lives easier -- not as many phone calls, no mailing or fax costs,  easy to find an official.  Yet, too many assigners complain about the fee and pass it on to the officials.  That's the BS part on this.

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Looks like there's a demand for a third-party app that can track all your sites into one! Put in a block and it updates all the sites at once. Because what we all need is one more site, right?

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Mississippi HS sent out notice yesterday that they would be switching to a program called Dragonfly.  Anyone had any experience on that platform?  Today officials are to receive a link to go in & register as an official. The excerpt below is from the email.

"The National Federation of High Schools (NFHS) has partnered with DragonFly to create the Center for Official Services (COS); a digital officiating platform for registration, assessments, assignments and payments. MHSAA is also a part of this partnership.  We look forward to this new technology for the betterment of our total program for officials."

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Officials are an afterthought for Arbiter, imo. I'd like to see PA switch to something that gives us more control over our listings, blocks, etc.

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3 hours ago, yawetag said:

Looks like there's a demand for a third-party app that can track all your sites into one! Put in a block and it updates all the sites at once. Because what we all need is one more site, right?

Hopefully Zebra web can at least download my schedule to my I Phone calendar like arbiter, so at least my whole schedule is in one place. 

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20 minutes ago, Richvee said:

Hopefully Zebra web can at least download my schedule to my I Phone calendar like arbiter, so at least my whole schedule is in one place. 

The problem with doing that (at least automatically, and at least for me) is that new assignments get added, but cancellations and changes don't.

 

So, I compromise.  At the start of each month, I manually d/l the assignments from all my platforms to my e-calendar.  And, I keep a paper summary of each season (so, Mar - May for HS baseball) on one sheet of paper with just the assigner's initials in each box if I have an assignment.  New assignment -- new not.  Cancelled game -- cross it out.  Let's me see at a glance if I'm open (or if I'm closed for HS but free to accept a college game, for example).

 

Works for me -- I recognize that everyone has a different preference / practice on this.

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57 minutes ago, Old Skool said:

Mississippi HS sent out notice yesterday that they would be switching to a program called Dragonfly.  Anyone had any experience on that platform?  Today officials are to receive a link to go in & register as an official. The excerpt below is from the email.

"The National Federation of High Schools (NFHS) has partnered with DragonFly to create the Center for Official Services (COS); a digital officiating platform for registration, assessments, assignments and payments. MHSAA is also a part of this partnership.  We look forward to this new technology for the betterment of our total program for officials."

I have never heard of Dragonfly for an official's platform.  In the state of Georgia or maybe just the county I am in we use something called Dragonfly Max for athletes to input their physical, parent permission forms, etc.  Not sure if that would be the same thing or not.  It works well for physicals and forms, but have no clue if it would be good for assignments and scheduling. 

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1 hour ago, LRZ said:

Officials are an afterthought for Arbiter, imo. I'd like to see PA switch to something that gives us more control over our listings, blocks, etc.

Which is ironic, as it started as a platform for assigning officials. At some point in the past half-dozen years or so, they expanded to work with every aspect of a league, and I feel the officials were left behind as the development grew. The Officials side of the website hasn't changed its look much at all since 2008ish; you can see the "new" style in some parts, but not in the schedule area.

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Boy, were officials left behind! In my experience here in SE PA, its limitations for officials are myriad. Want to opt out of a group and drop it from your Arbiter listings? You need the assigner to do it. Blocks for travel limits, partners, schools? Only if the assigner allows you access to those options. Want to edit or add to a report? Can't do it. Decline a game, and you get an automatic block. Although I'm not sure about this, maybe the only block for which you don't need the assigner's ok is for dates, but the assigner can override these blocks, unless you know to make them firm.

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@LRZ, you aren't wrong on all of that, though the assigners I've worked with have generally left it all open. I should amend my statement and say the site was originally for assigners to make their jobs easier, not necessarily the officials who get assigned.

I remember the days when you could see your partner before you approved a game. Then, that was taken away, but there was still a way to access it through your calendar. That backdoor was then plugged, which was disappointing.

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27 minutes ago, yawetag said:

@LRZ, you aren't wrong on all of that, though the assigners I've worked with have generally left it all open. I should amend my statement and say the site was originally for assigners to make their jobs easier, not necessarily the officials who get assigned.

I remember the days when you could see your partner before you approved a game. Then, that was taken away, but there was still a way to access it through your calendar. That backdoor was then plugged, which was disappointing.

It seems your assignor blocked that permission. It's available in Arbiter and my group allows it.  And @LRZ the assignor can change automatic blocks also.

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Jimurray, my point was simply that assigners have all the control and officials have little, beyond date-blocking. At least, that is my experience here, in three sports, with four assigners. YMMV.

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On 4/23/2020 at 12:15 PM, noumpere said:

The problem with doing that (at least automatically, and at least for me) is that new assignments get added, but cancellations and changes don't.

 

So, I compromise.  At the start of each month, I manually d/l the assignments from all my platforms to my e-calendar.  And, I keep a paper summary of each season (so, Mar - May for HS baseball) on one sheet of paper with just the assigner's initials in each box if I have an assignment.  New assignment -- new not.  Cancelled game -- cross it out.  Let's me see at a glance if I'm open (or if I'm closed for HS but free to accept a college game, for example).

 

Works for me -- I recognize that everyone has a different preference / practice on this.

I have to disagree here. I linked Arbiter to my calendar (Apple) and it picked up my schedule. As my games fell off of Arbiter they also fell off my calendar. I am only hoping that Zebra Web does the same thing.

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15 hours ago, LMSANS said:

I have to disagree here. I linked Arbiter to my calendar (Apple) and it picked up my schedule. As my games fell off of Arbiter they also fell off my calendar. I am only hoping that Zebra Web does the same thing.

Thanks for that.  Maybe they've fixed it -- I'll have to try it out.

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2 hours ago, noumpere said:

Thanks for that.  Maybe they've fixed it -- I'll have to try it out.

I've linked my arbiter I think three times. Twice it has removed games when they go, once it has not. Don't rely on it until you're sure of what it's doing.

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4 hours ago, Biscuit said:

I've linked my arbiter I think three times. Twice it has removed games when they go, once it has not. Don't rely on it until you're sure of what it's doing.

A lot of it has to do with your calendar settings also. Unfortunately, I can't tell you what I did as it took me several attempts over a couple of years to finally get it right this year. I'm not good on documentation.

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On 4/27/2020 at 3:53 PM, LMSANS said:

I have to disagree here. I linked Arbiter to my calendar (Apple) and it picked up my schedule. As my games fell off of Arbiter they also fell off my calendar. I am only hoping that Zebra Web does the same thing.

Zebraweb seems to allow you to download a CSV file that you can then upload to your Google calendar, but that is significantly different than the push system Arbiter has that allows for real time updates. Does anyone know if CSV files overwrite if I have an updated schedule that varies from the original CSV?

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3 hours ago, Kevin_K said:

Zebraweb seems to allow you to download a CSV file that you can then upload to your Google calendar, but that is significantly different than the push system Arbiter has that allows for real time updates. Does anyone know if CSV files overwrite if I have an updated schedule that varies from the original CSV?

I'm not quite sure I understand the question, but CSV files are basically just text files, with each thing separated by a comma (Comma Seperated Values), so they act the same.

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