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Photo by Dean Humphrey

Central vs Oueblo south.

Officially, a problem

Shortage of sports officials an issue on Western Slope and beyond

Bernie Goss painted a grim picture of how the lack of high school officials in western Colorado could affect all prep sports for years to come.
“I’m being serious here,” said Goss, who assigns football referees to games across western Colorado. “If things don’t get any better in the next few years, there’s a very good chance we won’t have high school football on the Western Slope.”
Goss, who has assigned football referees for close to a decade, said he was short 10 officials this year from past years. The low numbers forced football games to be officiated by four-person crews instead of five, which is recommended by the National Federation of State High School Associations.
Western Colorado isn’t alone in its shortage of officials. On Oct. 18, the NFHS released an article citing a referee shortage across the nation. Low pay, bad sportsmanship by players and fans, and verbal abuse by coaches, players and fans were the most common reasons for the lack of officials.


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