With school sports getting underway soon, some schools are having a hard time finding referees and are asking for help to end the shortage.

Over the years we have all watched the videos, and read the stories, some might have even witnessed it in person. Parents getting out of control at their child's sporting events! It is not something you ever want to witness in person and some area referees are hoping that we can all do a few simple things to make sure that we will continue to have referees to ref games.


Referee Shortage

According to WRGB, some school districts have said that they are having a hard time finding referees to ref games for the upcoming sports seasons. The shortage is not due to the pandemic or pay, it has to do with some referees not wanting to deal with athletes' parents. If you've ever attended a game you've probably heard many times a parent yelling at the referee because they didn't make a call or missed something on the field of play.

My kids play sports in the Wappingers Central School District and I've seen it too many times. A few times it's gotten so bad that the parent whose screaming has been escorted off the premises.


Parents Yelling Obscenities

Football referee Paul Blasi told WRGB "We’ve had situations where my crew has come off a field and there’s been people swearing, obscenities, and I’m like “are you kidding me?’" Situations like these are behind the referee shortage because refs are simply afraid of what a parent might do.

Another ref said, "A parent told us how bad we were, and a lot of other languages. They let us know that he was very unhappy with us, and more or less followed us right through the crowd screaming at us all the way."

Steps Being Taken to Ensure Referee Saftey

Referees are asking schools and fans to follow simple rules, be respectful, and no foul language to name a few. They are also asking schools to have monitors on hand for crowd control and to possibly provide a mandatory escort to walk refs to their cars after games.

If you plan on going and supporting any of our Hudson Valley athletes on the field this school year we can all do our part. Let's treat the field of play the same way we tell our kids to treat the classroom, with patience and respect. Good luck to all of our teams this year!

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