ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — Schools across the country have had to cancel sporting events due to a lack of licensed referees.
According to the Florida High School Athletic Association, the number of referees in the state has dropped by ten percent in the last four years.
A 2018 survey by the National Association of Sports Officials showed that eight out of 10 referees quit within their first three years.
The main reasons for quitting included a general lack of support, and a lack of standardized training and expectations.
The referee shortage has led the Central Florida Officials Association to ask local school districts to schedule more football games on Thursday nights.
To help boost their numbers, Orange County Public Schools is partnering with the Greater Orlando Sports Commission to host a referee recruiting fair.
Participants will get access to referee training and information on how to actually earn money as an official in the sports industry.
It’s geared towards Orange County juniors and seniors who are interested in becoming sports officials.
The referee recruiting fair is being held Monday, May 9 at Boone High School starting at 6 p.m.
Up to 100 students who participate will also be given all of their officiating equipment for free.
For more information, or to register for the event, click here.
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