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WIAA refs under microscope as number of registered officials drop

The total number of registered officials are down 39% since 2010.
ref shortage
Posted at 10:29 PM, Mar 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-16 09:52:07-04

Referees and their calls are under the microscope more this time of the year.  But with officials numbers dropping, someone needs to whistle that things are afoul.  

"You know why you were out at second base?" Denny Von Rueden says.  "Because the umpire called you out at second base."

Von Rueden is a long time referee and realizes there's a problem.

"This is my 41st year of refereeing," Von Rueden says.  "I've never seen the shortage that we're going through now.  The same refs that you saw me, when I was 25 and 30 is still in it and going. Well, where are our replacements because we can only last so long."

Refs like Andy Gallion and the WIAA say the total number of registered officials are down 39% since 2010.

"The younger officials that do get into it," Gallion says.  "There are statistics showing the number of people that leave after a very short period of time because they quickly realize that it's not worth it."

The microscope and conditions have gotten worse.

"Sometimes, you know the places that we go where officials just aren't even considered," Gallion says.  "Whether it's the way that the locker rooms that we have, or you know the accommodations and things like that, a lot of times you know we're just an afterthought.  Everything has to be right.  If something's not fair or if somebody's child is is fouled or we don't call it or something, it just becomes this really big thing."

Hey, questioning calls is your God-given American right, but let's also keep in mind officials are doing it to help young people in the long run. 

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