Patriotic Perspective: Athletic officials needed

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The winter athletic season is upon us. Dance and girls hockey are already underway and the other winter activities will start in the next couple of weeks.

With the start of winter games just around the corner, it is once again time to visit the topic of game officials. In short, we need more officials!

The varsity and junior varsity officials have already been hired for the winter season; however, there is great need for officials to do the middle level and ninth-grade contests. This fall there were 37 lower-level contests. This winter there will be over 55 games or meets that need officials, and in the spring there will about 33 games.

The three seasons totaled make 128 games. This means we need quite a few people to cover all of these events.

If you want to be involved in athletic activities but coaching is not for you, I can't think of a better way to stay connected to your sport and ensure our young athletes get to compete in a well-officiated contest.

Officiating is no different than participating in sports; the more experience you gain, the better you get. Officiating may look intimidating and perhaps you feel that you lack the knowledge to do the job. Experience is the best teacher.

When possible, I try to schedule an inexperienced official with a veteran so the newer official can learn from the more experienced official. Good officials don't just happen. They take years to develop their craft and my guess is, somewhere along the line, they started by working a few seventh- and eighth-grade games.

If you have ever thought about becoming an official, please contact me and I would be happy to help get you started. We are always looking for officials at the seventh-, eighth- and ninth-grade levels in all sports.

It's a great way to stay involved with sports. You are providing a valuable service and you are helping contribute to the education of our youth.

Let's be honest - without officials, there simply would not be a game.

See you at the games!