THE STRIKE ZONE
Sometimes Sports, Sometimes Sportsmanship
A media piece earlier this year submitted by Today/The Today Show finally provided some statistical data we suspected all along: we're losing a significant amount of youth sports officials at a rapid rate.
According to the National Federation of High Schools (NFHS, the governing board overseeing high school athletics), 80% of high school sports officials quit before their third year. The most common reasons are always the verbal and physical abuse from coaches and parents. In fact, many states are facing the crisis of having to postpone athletic events due to a lack of officials.
Fanning these flames are the threats of social media, where one call can go viral very quickly thanks to the recording capabilities on phones and other devices. Verbal abuse doesn't just occur on the field anymore: it's online.
The obvious solution is for people (players, coaches, parents, fans) to behave better. High school sports are an extension of the classroom. If you wouldn't act a certain way inside a school, don't act that way while at the field.
But another solution? If you think you could do better as an official, there is a class waiting for you! There are cadet courses always looking for more officials. Why don't you sign up and show everyone your skills?
Baseball player, umpire, coach, fan; professional musician; founder, President & CEO of The OSIP Foundation, Inc.