‘These kids deserve to play’: Shortage of local football referees could put a squeeze on local games

the IEFOA is looking for people to apply to be a football referee
copyright IEFOA

SPOKANE, Wash. — The Inland Empire Football Officials Association is looking for help as the 2021 football season is set to kick off.  A shortage in referee’s is putting the IEFOA in position to make adjustments that would affect the quality of officiating, and possible schedule changes.

The IEFOA supplies the officials for games at all levels of football in the Inland Empire and they are looking to hire more people to assure the football season is played, and played safely.

“We’re just trying to put the best product on the field for the kids who deserve to play, right now we just don’t have the bodies to give them the quality of officiating they are used to,” says longtime official Tyler Zyph.

Zyph explains that the level at which games will be officiated is still high, but the numbers are down which could result in GSL level games going from a five-person crew, to a four-person crew.  Lower level games could be reduced from four-person crews to three-person crews.  The games would be impacted, and as a result, the safety of the players might not be as high.

Because almost everyone plays on Friday nights the biggest scheduling issue for the IEFOA is getting enough officials to every game in the area.

The next step in the road would be asking teams to change their games to Thursday or Saturday games which is a logistical problem for schools, parents, and players.

The IEFOA is asking for people willing to work to apply to be an official.  They are paid positions with flexible schedules and they have a very good training program.

If you are interested in joining the IEFOA and being involved in local football, you can apply at IEFOA.com