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WIAA struggling to keep refs due to problem parents

Posted at 10:24 PM, Jan 11, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-11 23:26:00-05

More and more referee are quitting calling games in Wisconsin high school sports. The reason behind it according to the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association is bad parent behavior. Now the WIAA is making a plea for parents to "cool it."

Friday night games bring out some enthusiastic parents, but that behavior has turned ugly in the past. Problem parents have become so bad WIAA says 75-percent of their refs who quit said its over parental behavior.

Referees Tom Bichanich and Dan Corrie both have been reffing in high school for more than a decade and they say they have seen and heard a lot from parents.

"You have to have thick skin for one. You gotta let it go in one ear and out the other. But there are people who get out of control from time to time," said Bichanich.

Brookfield East High School basketball parent Andrew Latourneau admits he used to be that guy.

"I'm a pretty ecstatic parent. I do get sometimes on the refs," said Latourneau.

Latourneau said he has dialed it back over the years. But understands why the WIAA is asking parents to cool it.

"I would not want to be a ref because I think it's one of the most difficult jobs, not even high school but even the lower grades," said Latourneau.

The WIAA says the way parents can help, besides toning it down is to sign up to ref. You do that by becoming a licensed official at