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TSSAA Reverses Course of Referee Pay Cut

January 19, 2021 / Athletic AdministrationBasketball
After initially announcing that high school basketball referees will receive a $25 pay cut for each night they officiate the game, the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association (TSSAA) has reversed course.

Roughly 10 days after making the decision, TSSAA executive director Bernard Childress told The Tennessean that the organization has changed its original decision after receiving feedback from high school administrators.

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Photo: Will Folsom / Creative Commons

Childress said previously the staff had reduced pay after receiving requests from coaches. Those requests were to go to two-person crews, according to The Tennessean. However, TSSAA staff had heard from referee assigners and supervisors that a reduction in pay would be received better than trimming to two-person crews.

The reduction in pay would have broken down as follows: three-person crews that work a varsity doubleheader will receive $80 per official. A single varsity basketball game will pay $50 to each of the three officials. Previously, referees were paid $105 for three-person crews for a varsity doubleheader and $75 for a single game, the Tennessean reported.

The original decision was made by the TSSAA as a result of Governor Bill Lee’s executive order that restricted the number of fans permitted to attend high school games, according to The Tennessean. That order is set to expire after Jan. 19. No word has been given if that will be extended.

Currently, bands, pep bands, cheerleaders, and dance teams are not allowed to attend games while the restrictions are in place. Here are who is permitted: Players’ parents or guardians and immediate household members; first responders; coaching and team personnel; school, game, and faculty administrators; athletic officials; media and athletic scouting personnel attending the event in their professional capacity.

To read the full report from The Tennessean on rolling back their pay cut decision for high school referees, click here