Bad sportsmanship leading to high school referee shortage in New Mexico | KOB 4

Bad sportsmanship leading to high school referee shortage in New Mexico

Meg Hilling
October 10, 2018 07:26 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - A shortage of high school football referees in New Mexico is leading to changes in scheduling.


According to the New Mexico Activities Association, there are about 20 percent fewer referees as compared to last year.

"It's been an ongoing issue here in New Mexico and really across the country for a number of years," Dusty Young, Associate Director of the New Mexico Athletic Association said.

As a result, some schools are having to move their football games to Thursday nights and referees are having to travel farther for games on occasion.

"Just the ease of getting off work and traveling to football games in time, it's not as easy as it once was," Young said.

Sportsmanship is a factor in losing qualified referees, according to the New Mexico Activities Association.

"We deal with a lot of sportsmanship issues now in high school football that we didn't really have three or four years ago. Parents are definitely passionate about their kids and they want to support their kids. But we've seen an increase in some of the un-sportsman like behavior from the stands," Young said.

However, a former high school football referee says it's people's mentality that has caused the shortage.

"People's attitudes in general have to change and want to come out and do these things more like a community service type of thing, but also get paid," Ken Murphy said. "They ought to give it a try because it is a lot of fun. You know, you become part of the game."


Meg Hilling

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