Over 100 officials still needed as high school football season kicks off in Southern Nevada, SNOA says
LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - The first Friday night of the high school football season featured full crews of officials on the field, according to the president of the Southern Nevada Officials Association Vince Kristosik.
“We’ve got five officials on every game tonight,” Kristosik said. “So we’re feeling good going into the season.”
However, just three weeks ago Kristosik said there were just 116 registered football officials. Prior to the pandemic, there was about 300 total.
The SNOA partnered with the College of Southern Nevada this summer to help with recruiting and provide space for training new officials.
Kristosik said entering the week there are about 180 football officials.
“Have a great game. A great season guys,” referee Mike Seifer said to the captains of Centennial and Silverado after the coin toss Friday night.
Seifer suited up in the stripes to start his 44th season on the job.
“Just passionate about doing this and being part of it,” Seifer said. “Being there for the kids and being involved. I just love it.”
Seifer has also seen the number of officials rapidly decline.
Lately, it’s largely because high gas prices and low pay doesn’t make it a worthy paycheck for many, according to Kristosik. He said because of the shortage those with less experience have to officiate higher-level games. At the same time, there’s been a big increase in conflict between players, coaches, parents and referees.
“As we get older, we’ll be stepping away and we want people to come on board to replace us,” Seifer said.
The sports the official’s association is looking to fill this fall include football, soccer and volleyball. You can sign up on the SNOA website.
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