FORT COLLINS, CO – United in their collective concern for the shortage of sports officials and the mission to improve how officials are treated, Triple Crown Sports and Officially Human have announced a partnership through the TCS event seasons of 2022 and 2023 to better highlight how players, parents and coaches can assist in fortifying this essential aspect of competitive sport.
Officially Human will be provided multiple platforms at TCS events to share the message about the crisis already affecting youth and college sports in terms of fielding enough officials to play the games. Triple Crown will soon be formalizing its own “no tolerance” policy regarding treatment of officials at TCS events, and Officially Human will assist in spreading the word about what is ideally a new era in appropriate behavior in the stands, on the sidelines and in the field of play.
Triple Crown will welcome Officially Human to its top events, including the Colorado 4th of July softball event in Colorado that will feature nearly 1,100 teams in 2022. Other events include the Omaha SlumpBuster baseball tournament (650 teams) and the 2023 TC Volleyball NIT, arguably the nation’s most competitive club tournament that will have about 550 teams in action at the Kansas City Convention Center.
Points of emphasis for the partnership include, but are not limited to, encouraging all involved to remember that officials are invested in what they do. Many officials have regular, full-time jobs, and they are sacrificing time away from their families. Empathy is critical -- how long would you continue to go to your job knowing that at any time you could be subject to verbal abuse or threatening behavior? Better treatment of sports officials is the best way to ensure these key members of our sports ecosystem work in an environment where they feel comfortable and safe.
Officially Human was founded by Brenda Hilton, a current employee in Division I college athletics who has spent most of her over 20 years working in low/mid/high major collegiate officiating, collaborating most closely with the assignors and the officials at the highest level of Division I men’s basketball.
”We are pleased to join Triple Crown Sports in addressing the officiating crisis affecting TCS, and frankly, all of youth sports,” said Brenda Hilton, Founder and CEO of Officially Human. “The entire TCS organization is first class, and their willingness to address these issues head on shows TCS continued leadership in youth sports. OH appreciates the ability to spread our message far and wide as part of the large and growing TCS event platform.”
“No one wants to imagine a situation where sports teams are sent home and seasons are cancelled because there are no officials to work the games, but it’s hardly impossible with the shrinking pool of willing officials around the country,” said Keri King, CEO of Triple Crown Sports. “We are steadfast in confronting the problem of how officials are treated, and Officially Human is the ideal messenger for this moment. It’s time to demand an end to the terrible behavior we sometimes see in competition – we cannot in good conscience sit back and assume the trends of disrespect and abuse are just going to stop on their own.”
About Officially Human
Based in Lombard, IL., Officially Human was founded to restore respect to, and positive treatment of, sport officials through increased education and communication to all stakeholders (administrators, coaches, athletes, and fans.) Founded in 2019, OH is the leader in addressing the growing crisis in officiating that touches every sport, official, and level of competition. OH offers tailored solutions to athletic host organizations of all sizes that improve the stakeholder experience at each of their sporting competitions. The comprehensive OH solutions package includes digital education, awareness building, event host communication strategies, and organizational support in addressing poor fan behavior.
About Triple Crown Sports
Based in Fort Collins, CO., Triple Crown Sports has been producing youth, high school and college events for 40 years. TCS runs both the preseason and postseason WNIT basketball events and produces the men’s and women’s DI Cancun Challenge tournaments in November. Triple Crown is also powering “WNIT” concept events in D-I softball (NISC) and volleyball (NIVC), with those two events debuting in 2017. Triple Crown’s PV College Challenge features 8-10 of the top DI college softball teams in the country each year in Puerto Vallarta, MX. TC fastpitch tournaments (including the 1,000-team Sparkler/Fireworks event) draw the nation’s finest club programs, and hundreds of college coaches attend TCS events for recruiting purposes. TCS produces one of the largest youth baseball events in the world with the 650-team Omaha SlumpBuster during the College World Series. The Triple Crown Volleyball NIT has become the top-recruited club volleyball event in the country each February when 550 teams compete in Kansas City, MO.
Name: Brooke Paxton
Job title: Volleyball Director
Hometown: Greeley, CO.
Family: I come from a family of 5. My parents Kim and John are high school sweethearts and have been married for 35 years. I have two older sisters, Haley (29) and Laiken (28).
College attended/graduated: Johnson and Wales University, Denver/2021.
Sports background: Played everything I could growing up but decided to pursue volleyball in college and played as an outside hitter/libero for four years.
Proudest moment: Winning a state championship with University High School volleyball in 2021 as their assistant coach.
Most humbling defeat: Has to be against Flynn and Cavo at the company party while playing spikeball. I have never felt more unathletic in my life!
Hobbies/interests: I love to read, watch sports and eat unhealthy amounts of ice cream.
Favorite trip: That would have to be to Dallas, TX. I was with my team and we ended up upsetting U Dallas while we were there and it was a lot of fun.
How you became associated with Triple Crown: I started out as a catcher on the Triple Crown 16U team in high school. After that my sister started working here, then my dad, and now me.
What intrigues you the most about Triple Crown?: I love the family environment and the uniqueness of what this company actually does. Being able to give back to youth sports after it taught me so many life lessons is really great.
After yet another wildly successful run this year, the TC Volleyball NIT is dialed in for its next appearance on the calendar!
The 2023 TC NIT will be held President’s Day Weekend, Feb. 18-20 at the Kansas City Convention Center – College Camp Friday and our popular Unsigned Senior/Junior Workout will take place on Feb. 17.
You can look for updates on the event website. Contact Sarah Dannettell (firstname.lastname@example.org) if your club hasn’t played in the NIT before and wishes to be considered, or if your club wants to bring an additional team to the event.