by Trinity Gruenberg

trinity@inhnews.com

    They are the center of every game, calling fouls and and making sure the rules are being followed. Those that wear the back and white striped shirts are keep the game moving to the cheers and jeers of fans and coaches. Finding people to referee, however, has become a challenge.

    Finding officials for varsity level sports has not been much of a problem, but finding help for junior high level games is becoming increasingly difficult. 

    “The hardest to find are for junior high and ninth grade games.

It’s getting a bit harder. If you get them early, its not much of a problem, I got volleyball and football officials for next fall over a month ago,” said Verndale School Activities Director  Mike Mahlen.

    “The biggest and hardest to find are for our junior and “C” squad games. Trying to find someone to take time out of their busy day, and take the  test from the MSHSL before they can officiate at that level, and get yelled at by fans! It is much tougher to find anyone to do it for the pay,”  said Browerville School Activities Director Wayne Petermeier. 

    “The early bird gets the worm.  If there is ever any delay in hiring officials, it becomes more difficult.  I try to lock up officials as soon as possible for each season,” said Bertha-Hewitt Activities Director Steve Riewer.

    “Finding officials for lower level events can be VERY difficult sometimes.  Our most recently hired teachers have been a huge blessing in this regard, though.  Jared Hoemberg, Austin Selvey,  and our Reading Corps volunteer, Ben Alberts, officiated all of our home junior high and junior varsity football games along with Wally Wiese.  If it weren’t for these three new guys, I don’t know what we would have done,” added Riewer.

 Factors for the decline of officials include pay and age...

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