High School football season in the Ozarks impacted by referee shortage

Published: Aug. 22, 2022 at 4:56 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - High school Football season begins Friday, which will make three years with a referee shortage.

The hype about high school football has grown across the county. And with that more pressure and more competition. Sometimes some of that pressure ends up aimed at those trying to keep the game fair, referees. Those reactions can impact how many want to take on the job.

“Parents yelling at you, kids treatment of officials on the field, all of that probably has a little bit of an impact,” Joshua Scott, the District Director of Athletics of Springfield Public Schools, says.

The problem got so bad that Missouri House Bill 78 was considered. It made it an offense to harass a school or recreational athletic official. It didn’t pass.

“No matter what happens on a Friday night, we know that one-half of the kid participating are going to lose, and that’s hard not only for the young men and young women competing, but that’s hard for the parents,” Scott says.

Parents and administrators hope preseason conversations mean a year of good sportsmanship and respect toward officials.

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