Fight over pay for Louisiana officials jeopardizes fall sports

Louisiana high school sports officials are demanding more pay for their work, a fight that could jeopardize the fall sports season if a compromise is not reached.

Louisiana high school sports officials are seeking raises in seven different sports.
Louisiana high school officials are seeking raises in seven different sports.

The Louisiana High School Officiating Association (LHSOA) is asking for a $5 per game increase in four sports and a $10 per game increase in three others, according to WVUE in New Orleans. The organization’s contract is with the state athletic association, which last year voted down similar pay increases in two sports.

Some of the state’s football coaches are concerned the stalemate could carry into the late summer, jeopardizing all fall sports.

From WVUE:

Officials say it’s not so much about the pay raises as it is broken promises. 

Last year, officials compromised a $5 per game per official for volleyball and basketball games, but when the measure went for a vote in front of the association, it was struck down. 

Also without any notice, the association took away half pay for baseball games officials when the games were rained out, putting an even larger divide between the two sides. 

If an agreement is not made by the beginning of the school year, all high school sports are in jeopardy. 

“We remain confident that we can [get this resolved], but if we can’t get it resolved, then it’s very possible that we won’t have jamborees at the end of August and then the season that begins the following week won’t happen,” said Paul LaRosa with the officiating association.  

High school principals are responsible for voting on pay for officials, and the article notes that many of them are unwilling to consider raises. If the LHSOA’s requested increase is granted, it would mean an additional $1,700 in expenses to schools that offer all seven sports where officials seek raises, according to WVUE.

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