MHSAA having trouble finding referees for high school sports

MHSAA spokesman says referee numbers are down 25%
Published: Sep. 14, 2020 at 9:58 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

FLINT, Mich. (WJRT) -The high school football season starts in three days, but how will it be officiated?

The MHSAA says they have been losing referees due to COVID-19 concerns.

“We are down are about a quarter from what we would usually have at this time. Now that’s actually better than a week ago; a week ago we were down about a third," said MHSAA spokesman Geoff Kimmerly.

Fewer officials on the field mean Friday nights will be looking and officiated a bit different

Kimmerly explains, “Some schools will play on Saturdays, because of the shortage. Some games for football will have 4 person crews instead of five.”

Phil Long, a referee assigner for high school football in the Flint and Saginaw area, says this could be the reality for the Saginaw Valley and Metro Leagues.

"I’ve had 60 officials decide to set the year out,” said Long. "I lost three officials today. Three more officials today. We’re not going to be working with 7 men [crews] like we did before.”

During this period of uncertainty, fewer officials could cause an even bigger ripple effect.

“It’s conceivable on a Wednesday, I could call a school and I lost that crew. You’re going to have to play on Saturday,” said Long. "I think if we don’t lose anybody we can make it and call a safe game. But if we continue to lose people, it can get a little complicated.”

Copyright 2020 WJRT. All rights reserved.