NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Football season has arrived in Tennessee, but one shortage is impacting game schedules for teams across the state.
The Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association (TSSAA) says a lack of referees is causing high schools to move at least one football game to Thursday night this year.
TSSAA Executive Director Mark Reeves says the organization is actively looking for more people to blow the whistle in hopes to curb the shortage.
Reeves says he believes the community needs to go back to more personal interactions in order to get folks back interested in officiating school games.
“I think we’ve got to have more personal contact,” said Reeves, “When I go back, and I ask folks who have been in officiating for 30 or 40 years, ‘What got you started?’ I would say, 95% of the time those individuals are going to say it’s because so and so asked me to, so and so came to me and asked me, ‘Hey, you want to come to this meeting? You want to come out and work this game with me?’
“It’s that personal contact and that personal interaction that has to come within the officiating community. I think that we also go to highlight and encourage folks that simply ask others.”
Referee shortages have hit other sports too, including soccer, where schedules have been rearranged until mid-season. The organization also expects the shortage to impact scheduling for winter and spring sports this year as well.
Reeves says anyone interested in becoming a school sports referee should contact the TSSAA.