TYLER, Texas (KETK) – East Texas is seeing a decline in referees for all levels of sports.
As seen throughout all of Texas, sports are in dire need of more officials. Football needs to see an increase more than others because the game calls for 5-7 officials for each game.
One reason many officials are not joining or returning to the game is because of commitment to the schedule.
“Football game schedule is, Thursday afternoon, Friday night football, Thursday afternoon sub varsity and Monday night meetings and training that we go through. So there’s a commitment there,” said President of the Tyler chapter of the Texas Association of Officials. ( TASO)
Another reason that turns people away from the job is negative feedback coaches, players and fans say on and off the field. East Texas has done a great job and have made significant improvement.
“Locally especially we have some really good coaches who they are very passionate about what they do but they just want to know the rule,” said high school football official Kurt Kitchings.
Many referees are 50 years and older and recruitment says they are looking towards the younger crowd to stay in the industry.
“Locally, especially, we have some really good coaches who they are very passionate about what they do but they just want to know the rules,” said Mathis.
The Sports Association in Tyler has recruited 35 people so far and that is the biggest recruitment to date.
Here is the link to become a member of TASO and start the process: www.taso.org