June 24, 2019 • Athletic AdministrationCoaching

2019 Coaches Report: Bringing new blood into officiating

We know recruiting and retaining referees is a challenge in most states, but what can we do about it? We asked coaches to share their thoughts on how states can attract new blood into officiating. Here are some of their responses.

“Increase pay and reach out to graduating collegiate athletes. I think referee associations should make this a priority.”

“Mentoring with elder officials. One-on-one and video mentoring, and putting in the time to hone your craft. To me, they are no different than coaches.”

“Improve officials’ education of both the game and working with coaches and players. Also, provide education training to athletes and coaches on working with and communicating with officials.”

“Recruit other sport coaches from the high school level to officiate sports out of their season, and pay them for their time.”

“Strong recruiting at local community colleges. Begin to allow high school and middle school students to officiate youth and middle school events in a ‘junior official’ capacity. Unions would have to allow it, but it would begin training officials at a young age, and hopefully they would stay with it.”

“Promoting from the associations. Work with local athletic directors to hold clinics for interested high school and college students.”

“Encourage coaches to speak with parents prior to each season about the partnership that must exist between coach, parents and officials for kids to have the opportunity to play. Encourage athletic directors to set and clearly articulate to parents the expectations and the consequences.”

“Parents, coaches or athletes who verbally abuse officials should be punished more harshly. Ejected from the game for first offense, ejected for the sport season for second offense, and banned for life on third offense.”

“Education in physical education classes at the high school. Maybe a unit or class on being a sports referee. It can allow for students to get part-time jobs in the evening and use the weekends refereeing youth sporting events.”

See more from the 2019 Coaches Report ››

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