Official shortage becoming an increasing challenge in high school sports
The shortage of high school sports officiating crews is becoming an increasing challenge in Iowa.
After a summer season that featured occasional postponements and cancellations due to a lack of available officials, the trend has found its way into football. Grundy Center Activities Director Matt Lindeman says the shortage has caused some football games, including two of Grundy Center’s games this season, to be moved to Thursdays.
"It continues to get harder and harder," Lindeman says. "Every school has got to be more diligent whether you have people in place that are doing that for you. It's a constant process, it seems like. What you're seeing this next school year, we have two Thursday night varsity football games. It's something that only happened in the past if you were sharing a stadium. That was the only way you'd see a Thursday night game."
The Spartans will play Thursday football games at Waterloo Columbus in Week 5 and at Hudson in Week 8.
Lindeman says further challenges can be expected.
"It's something that you'll unfortunately see probably more and more. We see it with baseball. Baseball is one of those that is very hard to get officials. We've been fortunate, for the most part, to be able to fill all that, but we've had to do that a couple times over the last couple years. It'll be interesting how things play out and what changes end up being made, because I don't see that changing anytime soon."
Learn how to become an Iowa high school sports official here.