WHSAA In Need of Referees
It was King Leonidas in Disney’s Bedknobs and Broomsticks who said: “For some reason, we have great difficulty finding referees ’round here.”
King Leonidas apparently has not been to Wyoming recently, if at all.
Wyoming High School Activities Association Commissioner Ron Laird, says refs are coming up short in numbers, for various high school sporting contests in the Cowboy State…in particular…football.
“Football is a concern for us right now. We need to really get some young people back into the sport, and some parts of the state have done a nice job of trying to recruit young kids and work them in. Others, we’ve got a lot that are starting to get up there in age and are starting to retire and so, in football, most of the time they work as crews and some areas have enough to have a couple of crews out of their community, or maybe even 3 crews and so then that gives them a little more flexibility, but we’ve seen a lot the last couple of years in football, especially is helping each other out, so you might have a couple of guys from Worland and a couple from Thermopolis and 1 from Powell or 1 from Lovell, or that type of thing, putting together a crew to make it work. The challenge is we’re getting more schools that are on those 4-day school weeks, that want to play in the afternoon on that Friday and not everyone’s job is easy to get off to get those early afternoon games and yet, it does helps us for those crews that can do that, because then a lot of them will actually do an afternoon game and then come back that night and go somewhere where there’s a night game and they’ll work 2 games in a day. Basketball is a little bit different. I think basketball and wrestling both, I’ve seen several officials that have been chased off, because of lack of respect that some of our fans are showing officials…it’s not an easy job to do and those that are in the officiating business, are doing it for the kids and the love of that particular sport that they obviously participated in when they came up through the ranks, so that’s why we continue to really try to work with our sportsmanship, Join the RIDE program, and we need to get fans and coaches both to figure that out, that they’re not helping us, by chasing people off.”
Referees usually don’t work games in the city/town or even the county that they live in.
Anyone interested in becoming a referee can contact WHSAA headquarters at 307-577-0614.