High School Sports Season in Jeopardy due to a lack of officials
High School athletics is something many of us participated in “back in the day.” Some of us were on the team and many more of use stood on the sidelines cheering on our alma mater or our favorite player. Often our weekend plans were made based on whether our team played at home or on the road. If we were playing the “cross town rival” we added more to the schedule to get the most out of our players. Don’t forget about homecoming. Football, Volleyball, parade and a dance always preceded the after-game party (called a keggar for those old enough to remember).
Today’s high school sports are just as important and often includes the entire community. Some people take tickets while other help with the score board or sideline duties. There is an announcer and many times community members sit in the band to replace the kids suited up to play the sport. When we grew up there were always people filling those roles and I never heard of the possibility we couldn’t play the game because of a shortage. Times are changing.
Currently high school sporting contests are in danger of being cancelled or moved to other nights of the week due to a shortage of officials. The North Central MT Football Officials Pool has 34 current members that cover from Browning to Fort Benton to Geyser to Cascade and all of the towns in between. In order to fill a typically Friday night with 8-10 games, it takes 35 to 45 officials. How can you help? Sign up to become an official. It is fun, it is rewarding and you get paid. The NCMFOP has weekly meetings that help train as well mentor new officials. Go to MHSA.ORG and click on the MOA tab to start the process and someone will be in touch with you. You still have time to signup!