By Bruce Karnick
There have been numerous articles written discussing the need for sports officials at all levels of sports aside from the majors. There have been scathing stories written about the atrocities committed by fans at youth games. This list could go on and on, but why beat a proverbial dead horse? It was clear that this point would eventually be reached and that time has come.
Here is the situation, plain and simple. WE NEED OFFICIALS. The Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL) and official’s organizations around the state have hit the point of desperation. Seasoned officials are retiring, and new or younger officials are not able to replace them quick enough.
There are a lot of things that officials need to put up with from fans, coaches and players. Poor attitudes, insults, arguments. That needs to stop now, no years ago, it needed to stop years ago. But that is not the point of the article. There is a plethora of great things that go along with being an official.
Officials have the ability to positively influence the lives of student athletes, being a sports official gives back to the community, it keeps you in the game you love and there are more fans, athletes and coaches that appreciate and respect you than the negative ones out there.
The shortage of officials is nothing to scoff at, so much so, the MSHSL has asked all announcers at all events add a piece to their script to help point anyone interested in the right direction. The announcement includes references to games that are being moved or cancelled because of lack of officials.
The MSHSL is hosting a virtual officiating recruitment forum on Wednesday, October 6 from 7-8 p.m. The session is an opportunity for those interested in officiating to hear from veteran officials and learn how to take the necessary steps to become an official.
To learn more and to sign up for the forum, visit www. mshsl.org and click on the “Become and Official” tab.