Texas High School Sports Facing Official Shortage, Is Verbal Abuse to Blame?
There is a critical shortage of high school sports officials in Texas and a big reason for the shortages comes from the sidelines and in the stands.
It's hard to keep men and women to stick it out. According to the National Federation of High Schools, 80% of officials quit after two years. Their number one reason given is verbal abuse from fans and coaches.
"For years we've always said they've bought their ticket, they can say whatever they want. That's not true anymore because people have carried it a little too far," said Darrin Cox, who is in the middle of his 36th year officiating local football games.
"For coaches and parents to belittle us on the field, it takes away from it and after a while you get tired of doing it."
Cox even looked back on an incident where fans were so rowdy that they resorted to throwing projectiles at him and his crew.
Cox recalled an incident after one high school game where fans threw bottles at him and his officiating crew as they left the field.
"It was over nothing, except they lost."
With limited officials available, some games were moved from Friday night to Thursday or early Friday afternoon during week five of the Texas high school football season.
For me personally, I have called hundreds of high school football games on the radio over the years and I can tell you being an official at one of these games is a thankless job. I would not want their job and I would find better ways to spend my Friday nights.
So, what is your opinion on the shortage of high school officials in Texas? Are fans and coaches too abusive to officials? Would you want an official's job? Let us know on Facebook or on our station app.
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