Referee Shortage Affecting High School Athletics
ST. CLOUD -- As we continue the peak of the high school athletic season, the Minnesota State High School League is having a hard time finding enough refs needed to officiate the games.
With sports like basketball and hockey not only taking up time during the week, but youth sports on weekends are also dipping their hands in an already small pool of referees.
Erich Martens is the Executive Director for the Minnesota State High School League. He says one reason for the shortage in sports like basketball, is the change in how many officials are needed to work a game.
We've recently gone to from a lot of two person officiating crews, to three person crews. When you do that you're talking about the same number of officials being able to cover 30 percent less in terms of the number of games that are out there.
Martens says there have been schools this year that had to reschedule games due to lack of official availability.
He says in talks with his staff and school administration leaders, they are confident this shortage won't continue for very long.
We're at a difficult time this week, but in talking to both association leaders as well as Athletic Directors, they're believing the issue isn't as bad and they are not anticipating that it's going to be a major issue through the end of the season.
Martens says they're continually looking for more people wanting to be a high school referee in a number of sports. He adds it's important to remember unless you have been in an officials shoes, to practice good sportsmanship, as league officials are doing this for the kids.
If you would like to become a high school official you're asked to contact the league office at 763-560-2262.