Officials shortage changes high school fall sports schedule

It may be hard to believe but fall sports are right around the corner. This season’s schedule is going to be a bit different thanks to a shortage of officials.
Published: Jun. 15, 2022 at 5:18 AM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - It may be hard to believe but fall sports are right around the corner. This season’s schedule is going to be a bit different thanks to a shortage of officials.

Springfield Public Schools athletic director Joshua Scott says that the official shortage is a problem nationwide. This shortage has led to some scheduling changes that make it difficult for players to get in games and practices.

“Our association does a fantastic job of reaching out and supporting as many games as they possibly can,” said Scott. “But, they had to look at us and say, we’re going to draw a couple of school’s names out of the hat, and those games are going to have to either be played on Thursday night or Saturday because we just don’t have the crews to cover those games.”

One of the ways schools are dealing with this issue is scheduling games up to 5 nights a week. Some schools may see a football game happening on a Thursday or Saturday night, but this creates additional scheduling conflicts.

“When you move a game to a Thursday, not only does it change and move normal weekly practices for our high school football team, but a lot of our middle school teams in southwest Missouri play on Thursday nights,” said Scott. “So it could be taking an opportunity away from those kids to be on a nice turf field and at home in front of their parents and friends.”

According to the Missouri State High School Activities Association games can’t take place without officials. Scott says he thinks that one of the reasons there is an official shortage is because of a lack of respect from the fans.

“The bottom line is a lot of places and a lot of events, people don’t treat officials very well,” said Scott. “Because of that, we don’t have an influx of people coming in and either staying with officiating or replacing officials that are retiring.”

Scott says he encourages everyone to keep a positive attitude when attending a game.

“One of the things we say is cheer for your team,” says Scott. “when you look at an athletic competition, all of the kids are under 18 years old, and in my mind it doesn’t make a lot of sense to cheer against a 16 or 17-year-old kid. We try to preach, be as loud and obnoxious as you can but focus that on positive energy. If we’re concentrating on officials we are not at the event focusing on the right thing.”

The official shortage applies to all sports, not just football. If you’re interested in becoming an official CLICK HERE.

To report a correction or typo, please email digitalnews@ky3.com

Copyright 2022 KY3. All rights reserved.