The reality today is that not many people want to be game officials anymore. Many of our long-time officials are aging, and let’s face it…with increasing disrespect by spectators, “real job” commitments, and families at home, who would spend their cherished evenings being a ref?! Unfortunately, not enough people these days. In fact, only 2 out of 10 high school officials return for their 3rd year of officiating (source: National Federation of High Schools).
At TCC, we ask that you support our MHSAA game officials at all times. Nope, they aren’t perfect…they are human. They aren’t professional nor college-level officials…they are high school game officials…giving back to youth sports. They do it for the love of the game and to be around the kids. They are guests at our facilities and our events and should be treated as such.
It is fact that MHSAA officials registration is in a ninth (9th) straight year of decline in Michigan, and the MHSAA hasn’t found recruiting and retaining officials to be this challenging in “40 to 50 years” as indicated at a recent conference!
But, we can all make a difference by supporting and encouraging people to do the job. We are always looking for new officials, including high schoolers (see below)! The great people within any of our associations will help people get started. To begin the process, check out this link: MHSAA Officials, and/or contact the Athletic Office. Officiating isn’t for everyone, and that’s certainly fine. But, for those who are brave enough and willing to give up their personal & family time to put themselves out there for a few bucks and for the sake of kids, we need to remember to sit back, relax, cheer for the kids, and respect the men and women who wear the zebra stripes.
High school students…yes, high school students…are strongly encouraged to register as an MHSAA official. Check out this link for more information: MHSAA Legacy Student Official Program. It is a great way to get started in officiating and make a few extra bucks. Our area officials associations will help you! Contact the Athletic Office and ask the Athletic Director to help connect you with one of our willing area officials!
One TC area officials association, the Northern Sports Officials Association, has just begun publishing a newsletter that highlights our friends, neighbors, co-workers, parents, etc., who choose to officiate for the sake of our kids. We will post the NSOA newsletters here so that you can see how great these people are and how dedicated they are to doing the best job they can…again…for our kids so that they can play the games.
Other area associations that TCC partners with include the Grand Traverse Area Soccer Officials Association (GTASOA), the Northwest Michigan Hockey Officials Association (NWMHOA), and the Cadillac Area Officials Association (CAOA).
Please support our MHSAA officials. We need them now more than ever. And, if you or someone you know are willing to get involved, please do! We will help!