PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — High school sports referees are in short supply in Oregon.
The Oregon School Activities Association said it urgently needs people to officiate high school sports games and matches this fall.
The number of officiants has declined over the last decade but the pandemic has exacerbated the situation. Many older officials are now choosing not to return due to the pandemic and the younger generations are not replacing those people or others who simply age out.
“At the end of the day, if you don’t have enough officials to cover the games at some point the games don’t get covered and they don’t get played,” said Peter Weber, executive director of the OSAA. “Then it’s the kids that are losing out in that situation.”
Weber said the OSAA can teach people the rules of a sport if they’re interested in officiating.
“It’s a great opportunity to be around a sport you have an affinity for or that you used to do, it’s a great way to stay active and at the same time they get paid,” he said.