Shortage of Northland Referees Causing Schedule Changes for Football Season
In order to complete the upcoming football season, games may have to be played earlier in the day and it won't be just on Fridays.
DULUTH, Minn. – According to the Twin Ports Football Association, the number of officials in the Northland has dropped each year for the past decade. And this year, with questions surrounding COVID-19, the number of refs that will be available for the upcoming football season will drop even more.
The TPFA says they’ve already had a few crews opt out of this season due to the pandemic. That means in order to complete the upcoming football season, games may have to be played earlier in the day and it won’t be just on Fridays.
“I think in the future too it’s not going to happen. It’s going to be something in the future where the shortage of officials is going to cause schools to play on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, even in a non-COVID-19 situation. I just think the direction with officials and not having enough. And this is not just our area, but a statewide problem,” said board member Dan Johnson.
And communication will be key for a season where changes to the schedule will be anticipated on a weekly basis.
“I think it’s huge. I think it’s a huge thing this year. The relationships that we have with athletic directors and coaches, I think we’re all going to be working together to make sure that this goes off without any hitches,” Johnson said.
If you would like sign up to become a referee for this upcoming season, contact the Twin Ports Football Association by October 6th.