Local officiating organization recruiting for referees amid shortage

KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. – As fall sports is set to get underway soon, Oregon continues to deal with a referee shortage.

According to the Oregon School Activities Association, between the 2010 and 2019 seasons, there was a 21% loss in referees.

In 2020, the pandemic caused a decrease of almost a thousand officials from the year before.

Now, schools and other organizations are looking for ways to recruit referees.

Including the ‘Klamath Falls Football Officials Association,’ who said they’ve added five new officials for this season.

“We’re slowly coming back from where we were,” KFFOA commissioner Myles Maxey said. “We’re still below COVID numbers, but we’re slowly building back up. And really excited for some of these high school seniors who’ve graduated to offer the opportunity for them to stay engaged in the game they love.”

Maxey said in-game verbal abuse from parents are a big reason less people want to officiate.

However, without enough referees in a game, schools have been forced to move games to different days.

Maxey asks those in Klamath and Lake counties who want to get involved to visit KFFOA.com for more information.

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NBC5 News reporter Zachary Larsen grew up in Surprise, Arizona. He graduated from Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism. At ASU, Zack interned at Arizona Sports 98.7FM and Softball America. During his Junior year, Zack joined the ASU Sports Bureau. He covered the Fiesta Bowl, the Phoenix Open and major basketball tournaments. Zack enjoys working out, creative writing, music, and rooting for his ASU Sun Devils.
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