Young athletes will be taking to the field for spring sports very soon, and new statistics suggests referees have been facing some harsh backlash.
Bill Kolodziey of the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association is in charge of assigning referees for high school soccer games.
Kolodziey said right now, it's harder than ever to keep refs on the field.
"We've had instances where officials in parking lots were confronted by parents," he said.
The National Federation of State High School Associations reports an average of only two of every 10 officials return for their third year of officiating.
According to the association, the culture of abuse aimed at officials across all sports, the aging of current referees, the explosion of travel and club teams, and games that compete for high school official's time are to blame for the downfall.
"Some of the problems if its a hotly contested game by highly rated schools at the end of the game we might get some fans that didn't like some of the calls during the game. They might try to get down to the field and walk along side the officials and say a few things," Kolodziey added.
Kolodziey said the MIAA works well with schools about keeping parents and fans under control.
"The officials are not gone after games by parents as much as they used to be many years ago. We still have occasional problems but they're not many problems," he explained.
Kolodziey said some refs start in youth sports and that's where they could see some problems with new officials dealing with younger players.
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