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Basketball referees needed once youth sports resume in Washington

College basketball referees, officials stuck in limbo as they await call on 2020-21 season

It's late afternoon on an early August Tuesday and Evon Burroughs is on patrol. The police scanner crackles to life in the background. The 40-year-old is in the Special Operations Unit for the Boston PD, where he's been an officer for 16 years. Burroughs works in tactical, meaning when there's a dangerous incident, his squad goes first.

Policing is Burroughs' life -- on the streets of Boston and the sidelines of college basketball. He's been a men's D-I official for 11 years, working the whistle in the Big East, the ACC, the A-10, Patriot League and Ivy League. 

But Burroughs and more than 1,000 other officials at the D-I level -- not to mention thousands more across all of college sports -- sit in anxious limbo. As college football awaits its true scheduling fate to be decided in the coming weeks, college basketball is not far behind. A decision about 2020-21 is expected in September. 

When we talk about the resumption of college athletics and all the uncomfortable, unavoidable entanglements therein, referees are mostly not acknowledged. But they're of course critical; the games are not legitimate without them. And though Burroughs has a lifelong occupation to fall back on, that's not the case for plenty of refs. Take Roger Ayers, who is universally regarded as the very best of the very best. His only job is being a college basketball official. The same is true of Randy McCall and Chris Rastatter, two veteran officials who live in Colorado and Arizona, respectively, and have been cautiously optimistic about working again in 2020.

Rastatter got into officiating in his late 20s when he called a men's rec league game on a lark after no one showed up. He made nine bucks. A little more than three years later he was in Pac-10. He's now 58 and his entire salary comes from officiating. Officials are not on multi-year contracts. They renew based on performance and review every summer. 

"I'm not concerned yet," Rastatter said. "Do I want to dip into my savings? No, but I've got enough to get me through the next season. And that's an interesting part of that, is that you almost have to live that way because we'll go for six or eight months with no income."

Rastatter found a workaround of sorts, too. He incorporated himself some years back. Because of this, he was able to successfully apply for and receive the federal government's PPE loan in the spring. 

"It's paying off now, I mean we ended up losing -- we got one game in the conference tournaments and then zero NCAA Tournament, so that's a pretty good north texas basketball referee association he said. 

The going rate for working a power-conference game is right around $3,000. At the small-conference level, it floats around $1,300. The November tournaments pay out around $2,000 per game. What remains unknown is not just game inventory, but pay structure going forward. Burroughs worked the Patriot League final, the last game tied to an automatic bid for the defunct 2020 NCAA Tournament. At that time, officials' protocols were already in place for hand sanitizers and social distancing as best as possible with each other, coaches and players.  

As a public servant, Burroughs isn't opposed to starting on time in November.

"We just have to be able to just do what's right and sensible," he said. "If we could sensibly have a season and starting on time, I'd be all for it. If we err on the side of caution, then I would totally understand that also."

He also had his first child three months ago, and that will be taken into account as well. Most officials I spoke with -- almost all of them between 52 and 61 years old -- said they're eager and willing to return. 

"If they call me to go to work tomorrow, I'm ready," Donnie Eppley said. He's 57 and has been a D-I official for 23 years. His statement doesn't come lightly: Eppley worked the NEC final in March, then received a text the next week from a colleague who worked that title game and subsequently tested positive for the coronavirus. 

Eppley also runs the International Association of Approved Basketball Officials, a network of approximately 15,000 high school referees worldwide. If there's one college official who's been entrenched in the logistics of getting refs back onto the court and the legalities that surround all of it, it's him.  

"It does it look like we're not going to start until like after Jan. 1 on that side, and on the high school side it's tricky," Eppley said. 

The growing feeling among D-I coaches is that the season won't start until January, but that's not the stance of the NCAA or any of the conferences yet -- not even in an informal sense within their ranks. Hope still reigns supreme. However, hope is not a plan and hints of a delay are already emerging. At this point in a normal year, officials are sent their annual contracts for renewal from each league. Those haven't been sent yet. And informal calls haven't yet been made to top-tier guys -- all the names you'll see in this story are A-level officials -- about their availability to work the big November tournaments.  

"A lot of scheduling is scheduled around TV schedules," McCall said. "So if the networks aren't going to start putting together their schedule, I would imagine it's difficult for a coordinator to put together his schedule as well."

Contingencies are already being considered. One of the most widespread rumors in the officiating ranks right now is that all travel will be regional, meaning almost no getting on airplanes. 

"At this point, am I afraid to go get on an airplane? I'm a bit hesitant right now, yeah," McCall said. "But I don't know how I'll feel about that when we get to November or December or January." 

Officials could be asked to only work games in the leagues they're assigned to by driving a reasonable distance to those schools. That can benefit someone like Ayers, who lives in Virginia and has access to many campuses. But what about McCall, someone good enough to have called five Final Fours but who is also perched in the mile-high air of Colorado and is only "close" to a handful of programs? He normally puts in 80-85 games in a season. 

"I officiate, and that's what I do, that's where I spend my time," McCall said. "I think we're just stuck in a wait-and-see, which is kind of an uncomfortable position." 

And if there is a season that consists only of intra-conference play, that means game inventory will slash by more than 40%, an outcome that would have a big impact on a profession that requires its officials to pay for all of their travel, meals, rental cars -- every single expense. If game rates go down, and it easily could, then it complicates matters further. 

"We talk a lot among our fraternity, there's no question there's a lot of concern, there's a lot of folks out there with some fear," Doug Shows, a five-time Final Four official, told me. "You know how dangerous this virus can be to someone, but at the same time I believe most guys I've spoken to, we're very optimistic. I think we're all ready to return to work. I do believe that there's light at the end of the tunnel. And if everything is done properly and safely, then we can all get back on the basketball court."

Will seniority win out, and will hundreds of B-level officials see their opportunities go from working 50 games down to maybe 10 or 12? Might some of the established guys who do have a second career give up some games to make opportunities for others who rely on those checks, and if that happened, how would the veteran coaches respond to that? One of the hush-hush things about college basketball is just how privately vocal coaches can be about who does and does not work their games. 

"I'm obviously keeping an eye on it, and waiting to see what happens with football because football drives the bus," Rastatter said. "And if it goes down by 50%, thank you. I'll tell you right now, 50% is better than zero. So, you know. We'll do whatever. We're basketball referees. They want us to wear a mask, I guarantee you, we will wear a mask."

Ayers echoed the sentiment, expressing watchful optimism. 

"I'll do whatever they want me to do," Ayers said. "And if that means a limited schedule, and I get in a car and drive to them, I'm fine with that as well. A big thing is I think we officials -- but also players, coaches -- work extremely hard. We all need a season. We're all in this together. And I think we all want to play and we'll north texas basketball referee association whatever we possibly can to do it and do it safely."

There's also ongoing debates about what may change with protocols for referees. Masks with whistle capability are being made; NBA officials are wearing one with a whistle pouch that has been developed by Fox 40. Eppley shared a memo with CBS Sports that shows the National Federation of High Schools has cleared allowance for push-button whistles (so: no blowing) to be used for the upcoming season. It remains to be seen if such an option would be used in college. 

"Students' safety is the biggest factor for the schools, I would assume, and for us as officials, we always talk about putting the player safety first," Burroughs said.  

Said Shows: "I know that we have a lot of confidence in our commissioners and athletic directors, and they'll provide a safe environment for the games to return in November." (Interestingly enough: McCall and Shows worked a classic Elite Eight game together: Illinois' comeback in 2005 over Arizona.) 

But while most officials would agree with Shows' general sentiment, there is disagreement about how achievable starting a season even is. 

"I don't even know if we should be talking about playing football," McCall said. "I have a son that's a high school athlete, and I know [Colorado] is addressing all those issues and they need to talk about north texas basketball referee association things. But at the same time what we really need to focus on is finding a way to to handle the medical issue. And until we do that I think all of the other conversations are really difficult to have, because if we can't manage the pandemic then we can't play football. We can't play basketball. We can't do any of those things." 

Tony Greene agrees. A 61-year-old project manager for the State of Georgia's economic development department, Greene's worked in government just as long as he's worked the sidelines: more than 30 years. A seven-time Final Four vet, Greene's been sitting at home since March. He was working the SEC Tournament when all came to a halt. And Greene's the one official I spoke north texas basketball referee association -- he's also the oldest -- who would not commit to officiating if the situation in the country doesn't change whenever the start of the season comes. 

"I'd have to be impressed," he said. "I'd have to look at where we are in November. If things are basically the same, to me, that's not putting us in a more-positive situation. You talk about the bubble of the NBA, and I have friends in the bubble, we don't have anything like that. Where we'll be going  people will be coming and going free as a bird. … For us to be out there with no mask, those are some of the things I would have to think about." 

Greene also supervises all officials for the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, a D-II institution. He expects officials at the D-I and D-II level to opt out or significantly reduce their workload if we baptist health hospital fort smith arkansas to a season. His position on this issue is informed by his leadership role within officiating. 

"Individually, people are going to have to make decisions based upon if they start on time or if they delay things and what the medical science is saying out there there and if they want to put themselves in a position to officiate," Greene said.  

Expect officials to have to sign waivers. These are men and women who already pay for their own liability and disability insurance, too. Rastatter is the president of the western region of the Men's Basketball Officials Association. Normally officials attend and/or work camps that feed into the camaraderie of the profession and also give cherished opportunities to younger people in the profession a chance to learn, grow, network -- with the hopes of one day being a big-conference official or even getting to the NBA. It's what Ayers and so many others did in the early 1990s. That's been lost this year. 

"The top guys I talk to, and obviously we're talking a lot -- texts, phone calls, emails -- a lot of concern," Ayers said. "I don't north texas basketball referee association any of us thought we'd be here [in] August and starting to have some real concerns about college football and if they're going to be able to pull it off."

A common sentiment among the officials I spoke with: the element of the unknown is unsettling to people who take on this profession. It's about organization, rules, structure. It's why a lot of men and women are starting to get fidgety and have understandable worry.

"I think we're all aware of what could happen but realistically, I'm more concerned with how our society deals with COVID," McCall said. "Because if we don't deal with COVID, then chances of us playing are not very good."

So as we move deeper into August and creep ever closer to facing the realities of a college basketball season, keep the officials in mind. They're beloved hated targets for fans, but they're real people. And getting them assigned to games with protocols (and dealing with the economics) is as big of an undertaking as any other aspect of college athletics. 

The fact we still have almost no answers on that end is not an optimistic sign, but college basketball still does have time. The proverbial shot clock is starting to tick, though, and officials across the country have their eyes locked in on the countdown.



UHSAA Officials Payscale for 2021-22

Baseball$69.00 $59.00 $75.00
Basketball$74.00 (2 officials)$59.00 $80.00
Basketball$69.00 (3 officials)$59.00 $80.00
Football$74.00 $59.00 $80.00
Football - Foul Recorder$20.00 - no travelNA$20.00
Soccer Referee$69.00  (3-person)$49.00 $75.00
Soccer Linesman$64.00  (3-person)$49.00 $75.00
Soccer - Both Officials$97.00 (2-person)$69.00NA
Lacrosse$69.00  (3-person)$49.00 $75.00
Lacrosse - Both Officials*$80.00 (2-person)$60.00NA
Softball$59.00 $54.00 $65.00
Volleyball$59.00  $49.00 $65.00

•  Volleyball Tournament per match:  $48.00 for varsity and $43.00 for sub-varsity (per best of 3);  $53.00 for varsity and $48.00 for sub-varsity (per best of 5)
•  Softball Tournament per game (with a maximum time limit of 90 minutes):  $48.00 per game
•  Tournament Shortened/Running Clock Lacrosse Games are $55

Officials may not be paid more or less than the fee amount stated above.  Schools may, however, offer a meal or meal stipend not more than $10 per person if needed to support officials in difficult travel areas.

Mileage Reimbursement:
Driver:  $.46 per mile for all miles over 50 that the official has driven.
Rider:  $.11 per mile for all miles traveled over 50. 
Assigners will make every effort to assign officials to games in an effort to reduce mileage fees to schools. 


*WRESTLING North texas basketball referee association PAY SCALE (14 WEIGHTS)

VARSITY: Dual meet value:  $69.00 initial, $65.00 subsequent            

JUNIOR VARSITY: Dual meet value:  $55.00 initial, $50.00 subsequent

For IBT varsity tournaments, $150 per day (first six hours), 6-8 hours $200, 9 or more hours $250. For subvarsity tournaments, pay will be $120 per day (up to six hours), 6-8 hours paid at $160, 9 or more hours at $200.

Dual meet wrestling tournaments are paid for each dual officiating in accordance with the above rates.
us money card balance Region wrestling tournaments pay the same rate paid for regular season tournaments.
State wrestling tournament pays a base rate of $200.00 per day.
Mileage is added for each official as well.

A.  Daily minimums or dual meet values will dictate the cost of ALL tournaments except the State Tournament.
B.  Add $.46 (driver) per mile and $.11 cents (rider) per mile over 50 miles to all dual meets and tournaments.
C.  Byes in tourneys may be deducted out of the pay but exhibition matches beyond 14 individual matches per dual will be paid $4.50 per individual match.




Referee: $50.00           

Stroke/Turn Official: $35.00


*DRILL TEAMRegular SeasonPrelim StateFinals State
Competition Director$400-600 NA NA
Tabulator$89.00$15 per hour $20 per hour
Routine Judge$89.00$15 per hour $20 per hour
Floor Judge$89.00 $15 per hour $20 per hour
Technical Judge$89.00$15 per hour$20 per hour
Difficulty Judge$89.00$15 per hour $20 per hour

Officials’ Pay Increases
The pay for officials will increase $7 after year one, $5 after year two and $3 after year three. The next negotiated increase will begin in Spring of 2023.


  1. Payment should be received within 10 days of the contest date.  Officials are required to sign-up and have an active ArbiterPay account.  This will accommodate those schools currently using ArbiterPay as the vehicle for payment of officials. Officials should, if possible, be paid at the contest site prior to the start of the contest. However, if a school does not have the check ready, or it is made out incorrectly due to late changes, the school administrator should mail the payment as soon as possible. 
  2. Officials shall receive one fee per contest.  In the case where an official works a game shorthanded, it is recommended that he/she should be paid half a game fee in addition to a full game fee (For soccer – see note below).  Schools should contact the UHSAA office when this occurs.  In rare cases where a game is assigned by the arbiter to be worked shorthanded, schools are encouraged to pay the extra half game fee.
  3. Officials and schools shall not be permitted to negotiate fees or mileage less than those printed in this manual and in the UHSAA Constitution and By-laws.
  4. ArbiterPay will be used by the UHSAA for all state tournament games.  Payment for working a state tournament game will take place at the conclusion of each of the individual state tournaments.
  5. Should a contest be stopped because of conditions beyond the control of the officials (weather, power outage, etc.) before the contest is started and after the officials arrive at the site or before the contest is one half completed, the officials will be paid 1/2 a game fee plus the mileage.  Should the contest be more than one-half completed, the officials will receive the standard amount paid for a completed game plus mileage.
  6. In the event less than half the game was played, every effort will be made by the arbiters to assign the same officials to the game, however, if that cannot occur, the new officials should be paid a full game fee plus mileage to complete the game.  If the same officials come to finish the game they should be paid 1/2 game fee plus mileage.  If more than half the game has been played and different officials come to the game, they should be paid 1/2 game fee plus mileage. If the same officials come to finish the game they should only be paid mileage as they received a full game fee when the game was suspended (refer to Article VIII for the Suspended game procedure).



Southwest Water Polo

This past year, TISCA Water Polo voted to use the Texas Association of Sports Officials (TASO) to officiate their high school games. TASO is the preeminent association used by the University Interscholastic League (UIL) for officiating all high school sanctioned team sporting events: football, baseball, basketball, softball, soccer, volleyball, and now, water polo. Below are the “Steps to Referee” the high school water polo season this spring along with primary contacts in each local referee chapter. Additionally, the TASO Water Polo Division Announcement which includes FAQ’s and “TASO Who We Are – What We Do”. Please forward this email/info to anyone you feel would like to referee this spring. More comprehensive TASO specific info will be sent to every registered TASO Water Polo referee. For TASO Water Polo questions, please email [email protected]

TASO – Steps to Referee – Spring 2021

  • Apply to becomes a TASO Water Polo Referee (see directions below)
  • Complete Payment for TASO Water Polo Referee (see directions below)
  • Complete the TASO Water Polo On-Line Training (accessible can i pay my verizon bill with a credit card your membership portal)
  • Pass the TASO Water Polo Rules Test (accessible through your membership portal)
  • Clean Criminal History Report (process part of application process)

How do I become a TASO Water Polo Referee?

  • To complete your TASO Water Polo application, go to Just below the scrolling pictures
  • In the “NEW APPLICANTS” area, select “APPLY”
  • If you have ever been a TASO member in another sport, you will select “RENEW” in the “MEMBERSHIP AREA”. You will have the opportunity to select Water Polo as a new sport after you verify your TASO ID number
  • The last step of the application process is paying your dues. Only credit/debit/gift card
  • The TASO Water Polo dues for this year are $40.
  • Liability and Secondary Accident Insurance ( services/insurance/)
  • A NFHS Water Polo Rule Book
  • Access to the TASO Water Polo Training videos
  • A personalized TASO Water Polo Membership ID card (credit card type)
  • A full list of TASO benefits in on the attachment

Who are the TASO Local Chapter Primary Contacts?

Tagged Prep BoysPrep GirlsRefereesTASOИсточник:
north texas basketball referee association The purpose of SABOA is to provide a group of skilled basketball officials to assist the advancement of its members in every practical and ethical way to the highest levels of officiating the game of basketball. 

The San Antonio Basketball Officials Association (SABOA) officiates High School and Middle School basketball games across the San Antonio, Hill Country and South Texas areas. We service a wide range of school districts covering all of San Antonio, northeast to San Marcos, north to Fredericksburg, Southwest to Eagle Pass, west to Bandera and east out to Gonzales and Shiner.

Registration for the 2019-2020 season for ALL harbor community bank login is now open online at ArbiterSports. Officials must register with both the SABOA and the Texas High School Basketball Officials Association (THSBOA). The link to SABOA online registration and payment is located on the left.

If you have any questions about joining the SABOA, please contact our chapter Secretary, Gene Strehle via email at [email protected] or by calling 210-831-4873.


No refs, no games: Can people play nice?


At the start of every season, hockey parents in the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia wrangle with a lengthy array of forms, shopping lists, and meetings. This year, a letter from President Linda Jondo of the Potomac Valley Amateur Hockey Association, the governing body bank of america student account amateur hockey in the DMV, has folks talking.

“As you may be aware,” the letter begins, “a large number of officials have either not returned this season or left since the season started.”

According to Benjamin Ahlstrom of the Southeastern Hockey Officials Association, which supplies many of the Potomac Valley Amateur Hockey Association’s officials, the number of people available to referee hockey games has fallen from about 450 in 2018-19 to just 276 today. These refs are expected to call about 15,000 games this year.

Why We Wrote This

Increasingly hostile parents and coaches are being blamed for a shortage of referees at all levels of youth sports. What does this say about civility in general – and can new programs make people behave better?

The immediate cause for this shortage has been the pandemic, Mr. Ahlstrom says, which “accelerated the generational attrition of our highly trained officials. Older ones sat out the pandemic season, and just decided not to go back.”

But there’s another issue at play that goes much deeper – loss of civility. Sports experts agree: Parents, coaches, and fans are increasingly aggressive toward officials. 

“[W]e’ve racked up more than a dozen reports of players, parents and coaches thrown out of rinks for their unprofessional conduct towards officials in the first two weeks of this season,” states Ms. Jondo in her letter. 

From peewee club sports to high school face-offs, a shortage of officials leaves organizers with uncomfortable choices: compromise on safety, move games, or cancel them altogether. But new efforts to address the problem are underway. 


Most every state is reporting a shortage of officials in just about every sport. 

A 2017 survey, conducted by the National Association of Sports Officials, of more than 17,000 officials what is technology investment banking the country in all sports found that 57% believed sportsmanship was declining. And the worst offenders, according to these officials, are parents and coaches. In fact, more than 46% of respondents said that they had “feared for [their] safety due to administrator, player, coach, or spectator behavior.”

New officials seem to be particularly affected. Though numbers vary, it’s estimated that about 50% quit after just one year on the job. The National Federation of State High School Associations says 80% quit after three years. 

Frank Maisano, a high school and college official who has been refereeing multiple sports for nearly 40 years, puts it succinctly: “People have always challenged [officials],” he says, “but it’s worse [now] because people feel less shame over it.”

Peter Stearns at George Mason University, who has spent his career studying the role that shame plays in American society, agrees with Mr. Maisano. Fan behavior is “worse, almost certainly,” says Dr. Stearns, noting that as a society we don’t approve of shaming people as much as we once did. “We’ve got a hyperindividualism … in the U.S. that argues, ‘If I’m offended, then rules don’t apply.’ Manners, mild forms of shame, simply don’t count against this personal sense of indignation.”

Further, says Dr. Stearns, social media discover online high yield savings us to be “as nasty as you feel.” Combine that with “individual entitlement,” he continues, “and you’ve got a poisonous mixture.”

Kevin Swift, head football coach at Gold Beach High School in Oregon, is sure that the treatment of officials has taken a turn for the worse, and that part of the reason is the lack of shame people feel for acting out. He’s seen the decline over more than 35 years as a teacher and athletic director, as well as coach. He also believes the sense of community service – which motivates many referees – is “a dying concept.” 

“It’s tougher to make a living in the world today,” he explains, so people have trouble balancing being a referee with working a job that keeps them away from home 11 or 12 hours a day.

Roberta Butler is familiar with all of this as an assignor – the person responsible for scheduling referees – for field hockey games in and around Philadelphia. She, too, notices a breakdown in referee treatment and availability. “Officials are on the field because … they like being out there,” she notes. “They’re not doing it to penalize a coach. . Just the coach coming up, shaking your hand, and greeting you takes a lot of the tension out of it. That civility has left our games.”

Rhett Butler/Courtesy of Stacy Warner

Stacy Warner of East Carolina University has been studying officials and their roles in society for more than a decade. She notes that the shortfall of referees has been going on for a decade, in the both the U.S. and abroad, and believes the shortage is complex.

Beyond fan behavior

Stacy Warner of East Carolina University has been studying officials most of her career and isn’t at all surprised by the shortage. “There’s been a global referee shortage for a decade now,” she says.

Ms. Warner doesn’t discount the role that fan and coach abuse plays but notes that it’s far from the only factor driving bank of america financial center bakersfield ca from the game. Her research shows that “people don’t understand there’s a shortage.” When they do become aware, she continues, “they don’t feel they have the knowledge or support they need” to help change it. “It’s … really difficult,” she says, “for people to break in and start that process. . [Inadequate] training, mentoring, clearer policies on how games are assigned, and being able to talk to the right group of people” are all well-known issues in the officiating world.

The difficulty in recruiting is reflected in data from the National Association of Sports Officials survey: In 1975, the median starting age for new officials was 24 years old, topping out at 36. In 2017, the median starting age north texas basketball referee association 38.

Seeking solutions

Creative efforts are underway to address the lack of civility partially responsible for the shortage of officials.

As someone who has worked with Division I (college-level) basketball for 21 years, including supporting officials off the court, Brenda Hilton is deeply aware of the challenges webster bank bridgeport ct hours face from fans. In 2019 she began connecting with people at the National Association of Sports Officials and learned more about what’s happening at the high school level.

Her response was to launch Officially Human, an organization committed to teaching fans, coaches, and parents about officials in an effort to lower the temperature among them. Its keystone program is Elevate Respect.

Spenser Simmons, a referee with the North Texas Basketball Officials Association, speaks to players during a high school freshman girls basketball game in Allen, Texas, on Nov. 12, 2015. A lack of civility has been blamed for the escalating attrition among referees.

Pairing simple scenarios with data about the shortage and treatment of officials, Elevate Respect shines a gentle light on people’s behavior in an effort to get them to change. Aimed at parents, coaches, and other stakeholders, the emergency program teaches empathy.

“[It] takes you through the youth sport ecosystem: why people become officials, how they do it, what happens if they’re gone,” says Ms. Hilton.

The 20-minute course was introduced in May. “Anecdotally,” she adds, “folks who have taken this course [are saying]: ‘I’m appalled at the way I’ve behaved.’”

Kevin Collins, a former NHL official and member of the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame, is focused on supporting officials at all levels by encouraging more mentorship. He created the Summer Officiating Development Camp in 1983 as well as training manuals for USA Hockey refs.

Shocked by the growing level of threats facing officials in all sports, Mr. Collins is encouraging older referees to pair with mentees off the ice as well as on. “Parents confronting officials in the parking lot is a problem,” he says. “Something as simple as walking with young officials to their cars” can help. 

Back in the DMV, Ms. Jondo is insisting that her officials fill out incident reports; parents can be removed for up to five games for verbal abuse. In the five years that the Potomac Valley Amateur Hockey Association has done this, there have been no repeat offenders.

Looking ahead

People like Ms. Warner and Ms. Butler are looking for new ways to recruit: attracting athletes who are aging out of competitive high school sports; encouraging officials to referee more than one sport; and reaching north texas basketball referee association to more women, who make up less than 10% of officials, according to a survey led by Ms. Hilton.

Mr. Swift, the Gold Beach football coach, turned to the two Coast Guard stations in his community to attract potential referees, with some success. He also believes first responders such as EMTs, police officers, and firefighters are potential resources.

For the foreseeable future, however, the official shortage is here to stay. And more players are going to feel the effects.

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Ms. Jondo says, “We’re to the point that we’re looking to cancel up to 50 games a week.” 

Still, those in the game remain optimistic. “People are giving,” says Ms. Butler. 

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