Homestead High School's student newspaper

The Epitaph

Homestead High School's student newspaper

The Epitaph

Homestead High School's student newspaper

The Epitaph

Now hiring: referees

Referee shortages negatively impact school sports

With the closing of the fall sports season, athletes have built numerous memories across these three months. One of the most memorable moments of an athlete’s career is their games, however, a referee shortage has made scheduling games relatively difficult, athletic director Chris Grossman said.

Football players run various plays to prepare for what they will face from other schools. (Photo by Nathan Gu)

All sports are experiencing shortages as a result of a combination of the current pool of referees retiring and the COVID-19 pandemic pushing away potential candidates, Grossman said. This shortage has created a multitude of issues for sports, but it has affected football the most, he added. 

Due to the shortage of referees, some football games had to be played on days Saturday and Thursday instead of the typical Friday night games to accommodate the other schools in the league, Grossman said. 

With the changes in the scheduling of the games, coach Shawn Hook said the football team has to prepare for games later in the season earlier than before, which makes emphasizing and working on their weaker areas for their game before both games difficult.

Echoing Hook’s concerns, running back, senior Leon Kovaci said the team is struggling to win games due to their lack of time to prepare for multiple games at once, both as a team but also while focusing on the player’s individual weaknesses. 

With a smooth season with no issues with scheduling, the boys water polo team qualified for CCS and placed first in the league, which helped them receive the first seed. More importantly, they had the advantage of playing on their home ground, which puts the job of organizing a tournament bracket for Grossman. 

To prepare the bracket, Grossman sends out the bracket to the different athletic directors and coaches while coordinating with the referee associations to make sure that referees will be present for all the games, Grossman said. 

Due to the necessity of referees officiating games, Grossman said he hopes to prevent the shortage of referees from further affecting future sports seasons with an opportunity for everyone including students looking to referee games. 

“I know that the referee associations are actively recruiting,” Grossman said. “We have signage that they want us to put up in our locker rooms and our game facilities [to attract] parents and students to prevent [the referee shortage] from becoming a bigger issue in the future.”

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Nathan Gu, Sports Editor
Nathan is a senior and sports editor for The Epitaph. In his second year, he hopes to tell stories highlighting the HHS community. Nathan enjoys playing basketball and learning biology. In his spare time, he likes listening to music, reading articles or hanging out with friends.

Comments (0)

The Epitaph reserves the right to moderate comments on articles. Spam or obscene comments may be deleted without prior notice.
All The Epitaph Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *