Arizona pulls soccer referees out of handshake lines
According to The Arizona Republic, the Arizona Interscholastic Association made the decision over the holidays to loosen its mandate that referees take part in the handshake line at the end of boys and girls soccer games. Executive Board Director David Hines cited safety reasons, adding that there have been too many instances of physical and verbal altercations.From the article:
“We don’t want to put them in any harm’s way,” Hines said.
The AIA is tracking the amount of yellow and red cards this season to get a handle on ejections. Hines said part of the change was to be consistent with the rest of the AIA sports. Soccer was the only sport in which referees stayed on the field after games to be part of the post-game handshake line.
Several states over the last couple years have found it increasingly difficult to find new referees for sports like football and basketball. They say turnover is at an all-time high, and verbal abuse from fans makes it an unattractive job for newcomers. Some states have been forced to reschedule games because of their referee shortages.
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