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KHSAA Announces RefReps Partnership to Address Officials Shortage


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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: NOV. 7, 2023

As part of a collective effort to address the shortage of licensed officials in Kentucky, the Kentucky High School Athletic Association has partnered with an officiating education company called RefReps, as announced on Tuesday.

RefReps provides a comprehensive sports officiating education curriculum for more than a dozen sports to provide a viable opportunity for schools to offer sports officiating education to students during their curricular day as an elective course.

"The KHSAA is excited to partner with RefReps as a strategy to help promote our mission to address the shortage of licensed officials across Kentucky," said KHSAA Commissioner Julian Tackett. "As they have proven in other states and demonstrated throughout this adoption process, they will be invaluable. I am happy with the work that Associate Commissioner Butch Cope has done to help us work toward a shared goal of providing education content to help recruit new officials and therefore increase retention."

At present, over 300 high schools and universities across 36 states are actively teaching Intro to Sports Officiating classes using RefReps’ highly engaging learning experience. This curriculum, along with an instructor from the staff, will alleviate the barriers to offering this course to high school students and provide immediate benefits to KHSAA member schools and sports communities.

RefReps offers informational webinars to outline the success that’s been achieved with partner schools thus far, as well as how a course offering as a stand-alone sports officiating class may fit into a pre-existing course already planned.

For complete details, visit: https://khsaa.org/11-07-23-khsaa-announces-refreps-partnership-to-address-officials-shortage/

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Interesting. I took a college course at Morehead State in 1968 entitled Sports Officiating as an elective. I also encouraged my students to think about officiating their favorite sport through campus recreation if they were attending college or put them in touch with local associations to officiate KHSAA events. Several have had nice careers in football, basketball, baseball, and volleyball. I would imagine many HS ADs would not mind having officials come in to talk to kids about possibilities. During summer practices coaches would have some of us come in and speak to their teams about rules and rule changes and I always gave them a sales pitch about becoming an official.

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Great idea (should’ve been done awhile ago?), it can only help the shortage situation. I know this is a football forum but the official shortage is real at all levels of every sport from rural to big city. The Northern Kentucky Officials Association (football) teamed up with the local middle school and youth leagues 2 years ago I believe, to address the issue. It’s been a success. The new guys (high schoolers, some who actively play, and young college guys) work the games at the lower levels and the coaches have agreed to not berate them for “messing” up. It’s a win win, officials being retained and trained almost like an apprenticeship program.

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16 hours ago, Breds82 said:

Great idea (should’ve been done awhile ago?), it can only help the shortage situation. I know this is a football forum but the official shortage is real at all levels of every sport from rural to big city. The Northern Kentucky Officials Association (football) teamed up with the local middle school and youth leagues 2 years ago I believe, to address the issue. It’s been a success. The new guys (high schoolers, some who actively play, and young college guys) work the games at the lower levels and the coaches have agreed to not berate them for “messing” up. It’s a win win, officials being retained and trained almost like an apprenticeship program.

It has been a huge success so far.  I read that they had 30 people the first year.  20 of those came back in year 2 along with 20 new people.  

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As I Mentioned before with NKOA teaming up with the local lower levels leagues and coaches to help recruit and retain new officials in NKY, has then been tried in any other regions in the state? It would've been nice to know how to even start officiating after my senior season came to an end. Would I have signed up as an 18 year old? No clue, but it still would have gotten a handful of young men. It would be nice for the coaches across the state to meet with their feeder schools and coaches to promote this idea. It'll be a win win for all. 

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