Your Kid’s Not Going Pro

A Youth Sports Blog

You suck (at finding a job), ref!

with 2 comments

This is how bad the economy has gotten. It’s driven otherwise sane people who usually try to avoid getting yelled at by strangers to become youth league referees. From the Canadian Press:

Administrators around the country are reporting an increase in the number of people interested in officiating, especially in areas hit hard by the recession. The job typically won’t make ends meet but it can help: A particularly active referee can earn more than US$10,000 in a year.

Barry Mano, president of the National Association of Sports Officials, has long noticed an inverse relationship between the economy and sports officiating. When more people have free time and are looking for work, it’s easier to find officials.

High school sports organizations in the Rust Belt are reporting a significant uptick. Michigan had just over 13,000 officials last school year, up 1,000 from five years previous. The situation is similar in Ohio and Pennsylvania.

Hank Zaborniak of the Ohio High School Athletic Association says it’s easy to tell which parts of the state are struggling economically. Those are the places with plenty of officials.

“When the steel mills closed down in Youngstown and the manufacturing drops off, we’ll see a spike,” Zaborniak said. “We’ll see more folks from that area of the state enter officiating, and often times it’s because of the additional income, just to help offset what they might have lost.”

2054636125_c12f6d6ab0“You’re fucking blind! And unemployed!”

If I lost my job, I would have to think long and hard about whether getting screamed at by parents and wanna-be Belichicks would be something I would want to do. I’m not sure I love my family that much.


Written by rkcookjr

August 24, 2009 at 11:41 pm

Posted in Sports, U.S.

Tagged with , , ,

2 Responses

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  1. I’d like to help in following up on some reffing statistics here in SoCal. We play baseball and soccer year-round, as well as the club basketball leagues. Football, at least competitively, is still a Fall sport – with long summer schedules at the high school level. My grandson plays club soccer – he’s nine – and none of the parents, or players, have been red-carded yet. It’s coming though, and it won’t be pleasant. Things get serious in club sports very early, but not pugnaciously so until age eleven or twelve. That 25 bucks a game starts to look meager – even in a bad economy – when thug parents want a piece of your hide. Tom Medlicott


    August 25, 2009 at 2:18 am

  2. […] handle on how many officials are really quitting, because this recession has created in some areas a boom in the number of people who’ll take that extra $50-75 a night while they try to find, p…. But, no doubt, youth official abuse is one of those problems that’s always been with us (I […]

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