OHSAA Blames Super Rude Parents for Dwindling Numbers of High School Sports Refs


  • Photo via Wikimedia Commons
The Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA) recently unleashed a strongly-worded letter addressed to parents of high school athletes, essentially blaming them for dwindling numbers of high school sports officials.

In the essay titled “Dear Mom and Dad: Cool It,” OHSAA, with the support of the National Federation of State High School Associations, explained that parents loudly criticizing game officials or coaches is one of the main reasons high school refs are quitting — at least according to recent National Association of Sports Officials study.

Yes, it seems that plenty of parents are forgetting one key thing while attending their kids' high school games ... these athletes aren't professionals, they're not even college age. These are young people going through the most awkward years of their lives. Yes, some will go on to play elsewhere, but most are participating for the fun of it all.

Worst of all, as the letter pointed out, these irate parents, no matter how "correct" they are about a certain "bad" call a ref made, are embarrassing their kids.

"Make no mistake about it. Your passion is admired, and your support of the hometown team is needed. But so is your self-control," the letter said. "Yelling, screaming and berating the officials humiliates your child, annoys those sitting around you and embarrasses your child’s school."

As more established refs retire in Ohio and across the country, OHSAA said that there are fewer and fewer younger men and women willing to take their place.

Those sideline commentators who think they see the call the "right way" are more than welcome to get certified as an Ohio high school referee right here.

Bottom line: There are no games without officials (as seen at various games around the state that have had to be canceled for the lack there of). When you attend a high school game remember to act like the adult you are, saving your choicest of insults for the next Browns vs. Steelers game. 

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at news@clevescene.com.

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.