There is always a need for new officials, as referees retire or decide not to officiate any longer. The IHSAA encourages high school students and other young college students to consider officiating. Curtis would encourage anyone with an interest in helping with athletics rather than competing to consider it, “There is certainly a need [for officials] and it is also a good way to stay involved in the sport,” Curtis said. The cost to register for one sport is $20 and more information can be found at the IHSAA website. “We need to keep building that pipeline of good young officials because a lot of times what will happen is our officials will either retire because they’re old … or as they’re young officials they get families [and no longer have time to officiate],” Huegel added.
Though Goodman decided that officiating was not a good career choice for her, she is still supportive of youth sports and high school students refereeing. “I still encourage it … it just wasn’t really fun for me,” she said.
Mathias is an advocate of adolescents and college students officiating, despite the occasional controversy the referee may be presented with, saying “More often than not you’ll have a positive experience and … it’s a great way to stay involved in the sport you love and meet a bunch of great people and stay active as well.”
Graphics by Leah Dusterhoft.