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Arts & Culture

No Referees Means No Games OHSAA Warns Parents, Fans

a photo of a referee at a basketball game
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The OHSAA says many referees quit after two years, primarily because they tire of being abused by parents and fans.

In an article published this week the Ohio High School Athletic Association issued a stern warning to parents and fans, saying their bad behavior is pushing referees off the field. If they don’t have game officials, OHSAA warns, there will be no more games.

A national report finds 80% of game officials quit after their first two years mainly because of unruly parents and fans.

Beau Rugg, senior director of officiating at the OHSAA, says community and hard work need to be remembered and respected.

“We’re all in this together. It’s easy to say, you know, ‘oh the players are always trying hard, and the coaches are working hard,’ they work tirelessly. And, you have to understand, so do officials.” 

Currently, there are approximately 17,000 sporting officials in the state of Ohio.

Several sports are in serious need of more officials, including wrestling, lacrosse and soccer.