Fall is fast approaching, and we’re getting closer to the start of the season for many sports. Unfortunately, some areas might be a little sparse in game officials this season. It’s a trend that has caught attention for a while, but is hitting schools and youth sports organizations particularly hard this year.

When there are literally hundreds of games at every level that need to be officiated during the week, it can be difficult for referees to find the time, especially if they’re balancing their refereeing with a “day job.” Again, this problem is being experienced across the nation. Texas, Tennessee, Colorado and Arkansas are among the various states that are reporting a game officials shortage.

What it Takes to Officiate

Game officials might not get noticed unless the game hinges on their calls, but they put a lot of work into what they do. Referees have to know the rules of the game, work on a team, and do a lot of running during the duration of a game. It’s exhausting work, and they do it amid risk of injury and heckling from crowds. What’s more is that some referees are getting older and simply can’t keep up with the game any longer.

As a result, recruitment efforts are stepping up in many areas. Numerous associations have been on top of referee recruitment and are using social media engagement in the hopes of attracting more officials to train. Training to become a game official requires a great deal of dedication. Prospective officials are required to attend regional clinics and continuing education in the rules and mechanics of the sport and the art of officiating in order to stay current. There are also tests involved in order to demonstrate that the potential game official both knows and understands the rules of the game they hope to judge.

ArbiterWorks Can Help With Training

For those leagues that want to make sure that their officials stay sharp and keep things simple, there is ArbiterWorks. Our online platform allows officials to register with your organization. From there, they can access training information and other educational tools and even take eligibility tests. The system is totally customizable based on your organization’s needs and allows you to monitor the progress of your game officials, so that you can be sure that you’re working with the best and brightest and your officials can feel confident that you’re taking care of them.

ArbiterWorks is kept up to date with all of the rules and can provide both federal and state guidelines. For more information, contact us today by calling 800.576.2799 or emailing sales@arbitersports.com.