The WIAA wants to remind parents to enjoy their children’s sporting events, and not get angry at officials.
Spokesman Todd Clark says parents should sit back, relax and cheer for their kids, because it is just a game.
“Enjoy the time, enjoy what’s happening. It’s a growth experience for the student athletes, and we need to just embrace the educational benefits that comes from high school and school based sports.”
The WIAA has seen a decline in the number of referees that want to work sporting events, and many of them cite negativity from parents as one of the reasons they don’t want to keep officiating.
Clark says berating or getting heated at refs not only discourages them from working in the future, it also reflects badly on the children of those parents.
“I don’t think the intention of a parent is to embarrass their son or daughter at an event, but nonetheless, they get the sense of what has been described as humiliation.”
Referee turnover is directly affecting the ability to field officials for some sporting events.
“Without officials to officiate these games, we have no games. There’s games now being postponed at some points because we can’t find officials.”