DURANGO, COLO. (AP) – Amateur sports groups in Colorado are struggling to deal with a shortage of referees.
The Durango Herald reports that a number of games have been rescheduled because there were too few officials, and even more cancellations could follow.
Several people involved in amateur sports told the Herald that a large part of the problem is the behavior of coaches and fans.
Area 17 basketball officials representative Craig Coutlee says that in 27 years he’s seen several young officials come and go. Coutlee says the top reason they cite for leaving is the abuse they take from spectators.
Colorado High School Activities Association Associate Commissioner Tom Robinson registers about 5,000 officials per year, but says numbers have continued to decrease. He says recruiting new officials is the highest priority, but it won’t be easy.