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.