High School Sports Continues to Lose Officials Across State

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The Ohio High School Athletic Association is searching for younger people to officiate at high school athletic events as the dwindling roster of officials grows older.

The organization says the number of officials has dropped about 40 percent since the 2010-2011 school years. The Columbus Dispatch reports the OHSAA has been focusing its recruiting efforts on high school students to find its next generation of officials.

OHSAA officiating registrar Ben Ferree says various factors have contributed to the decline, including low pay, harassment from fans and coaches and strenuous schedules.

Retired official Chris Williams says Ohio’s shortage reflects a larger nationwide problem.