In Texas, we love our Friday Night Lights. High School Football is king, but there’s a real issue developing.
And that issue is a ref shortage. The pool of referees is shrinking. The numbers show only two of 10 officials return for their third year of officiating. Michael Fitch with the Texas Association of Sports Officials says he sees the problem in Texas, too.
“It’s mostly with the younger officials. They’re just not prepared for the verbal abuse they get, mostly from fans but some coaches,” Fitch explained.
Abuse is not the only issue. The pay isn't as good as you'd think.
“It’s not a lot of money when you consider the loyalty, investment and commitment that our members make,” Fitch stated.
Fitch is talking about all the meetings officials go to for things like rules changes. There are other procedural meetings, too. Refs did get a raise recently. But the last one before that was approved in 2009, but it took five years to implement.