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South Ga. referee shortage impacting game schedules, officiating

Video from WALB
Published: Apr. 22, 2022 at 12:11 PM EDT
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ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - The Georgia High School Association and National Federation of High Schools are coming together to address a matter that’s impacting when games are scheduled and how they’re officiated.

This referee shortage has been going on for the past decade.

And it’s caught referees throughout the nation off guard because they didn’t expect something like this to go this long.

“Some of it is money, some of it is other options they have. When I started, we didn’t have those options so they are choosing to do other things other than getting into officiating and abuse from parents and coaches also plays a role in this,” said Charles Stamper, assigner secretary for the All-Star Football Officiating Association.

Charles Stamper, left, and Martin Morgan, right, have come up with incentives to solve the...
Charles Stamper, left, and Martin Morgan, right, have come up with incentives to solve the shortage issue.(WALB)

Stamper and Martin Mogan have over 60 years combined when it comes to officiating and they are concerned that this shortage will take some of the hype away from Friday nights under the lights.

“Statewide, we had this issue when games had to be moved to Thursdays or to Saturdays because we haven’t had enough crews available on Fridays to handle varsity games,” said Morgan, who is the chairman of recruitment committee for the All-Star Football Officiating Association.

Stamper and Morgan said the Georgia High School Association has come up with incentives to grab people’s attention.

“If you’re a first-year official, you do not have to pay a registration fee, you do not have to pay a camp fee, and we all know there’s a cost involved in getting started. So they do that to save money, so you could get uniforms and do whatever you need to do” said Stamper.

This will also come with a pay boost when you ref varsity games, junior varsity and even middle school games.

Stamper and Morgan have come up with a training program for high school seniors that do not plan to play at the next level.

If you would like to become a ref, you can call Stamper at (229) 288-6860.

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