Idaho has a shortage of qualified referees and it’s getting worse.

Levels of participation in amateur sports leagues among adults is down.   It’s not the case among teenagers.

You can’t play the games with any real success if there isn’t anyone left to enforce the rules.

Interest in high school sports remains strong but increasingly it’s difficult to find officiating crews.  It’s a time consuming effort and requires a sturdy exterior.

A "thick skin" is how one radio guest describes the requirements for the work.  We were joined by the District 4 basketball and soccer commissioners on Magic Valley This Morning on Newsradio 1310 KLIX.

Many qualified referees have simply walked away despite a love of the games.  It’s because they no longer want the abuse heaped upon them by a sometimes vocal fan base.  You can’t play the games with any real success if there isn’t anyone left to enforce the rules.

District 4 is actively recruiting to fill vacancies.  You can get details by clicking here.

This comes with a caveat.  Fans are being told they must also do their part and remember the officiating crews are doing a very important job.  Many parents aren’t setting good examples for their kids by constantly berating the referees.