There's a nationwide shortage of referees for amateur sports, and it’s affecting soccer in Lane County. An introductory course on Saturday, May 8, 2021 is aimed to recruit new refs.
According to Jonathan Siegle, Lane County Soccer Referees Association Commissioner, the referee shortage is a nationwide issue that is also affecting Lane County.
“Soccer is a very demanding sport that requires a lot of physical effort. And we’ll go out there and run five, six miles,” said Siegle.
A main factor of the shortage is retiring officials.
“The average age of all sports officials is in their 50s.” said Siegle. “We had a bunch of older referees that were kind of on the fence in 2019 and the pandemic pushed them off.”
Siegle also says a lack of new recruits is because new referees need to pay for training and uniforms to start the job. They also have to deal with spectators.
“They don’t want the abuse. They’re unwilling to put up with misbehaving adults,” Siegle said.
More information about the training can be found here.