EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT) – Football officials may throw a flag for too many men on the field. For them it’s not an issue because of staffing shortages that are nation-wide.
“We need all the help we can get. But we just keep plugging away,” said the Southern Association’s Football Chair, David Snyder.
While across the country, games have been cancelled, in southern Indiana, things have gone smoothly on Friday nights. But another official, Eric Dockery says the impact is felt on other days of the week.
“There’s some times that you have to do the JV and younger leagues with just three referees,” said Dockery.
Even though shortages have presented challenges, those in stripes keep coming back.
“It’s fun to be back out on the field,” said Dockery.
They also stay because of the bonds they form with their officiating crews. For another veteran official, Dave Senning, that’s what it’s all about.
“It’s been 10-15 years together. We’re like brothers,” said Senning.
For David Snyder’s crew, he takes family in the job a little bit more seriously. Two of his sons are on his team. Any debate is just another family affair.
“They get into once in a little while. But it’s good to just watch them out there,” said Snyder.
Getting your kids involved is one way to get more bodies into officiating. Otherwise, it’s been a struggle as the average age of a football official is 59 years old. Dockery says part of it is the unwillingness to deal with being given a hard time by players, coaches, and fans.
“You have to focus and block things out,” said Dockery. “Some people just don’t want step up and do things like that,” said Dockery.
If you are interested in becoming an official, all you have to do is pass a test.