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ArlingtonCommentary: Shortages a growing concern

Commentary: Shortages a growing concern

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One of the big concerns regarding local amateur sports these days is a shortage of game officials for all events, and not enough coaches for some of the teams, as well.

Basketball, baseball, football, lacrosse, soccer and the like all have shortages for game officials. Sometimes it’s a big problem finding enough officials to cover all games, especially any makeups. Those organizations often advertise in different manners trying to find new officials.

Some game schedules have to be adjusted, whether on the high-school or youth levels, depending on the availability of officials. Even for regularly-scheduled contests, such shortages are taken into consideration.

Postponed events become a big issue more than anything, because they interfere with schedules that already have been accounted for.

As for coaches?

On the high-school level, finding enough girls field hockey and girls lacrosse coaches has become a problem in recent years. Same for indoor and outdoor track and field – and more specifically, specialty events like pole vaulting and other jumps – and sometimes girls softball.

Basically, not as many people want to coach and referee anymore. There are too many headaches to take on those positions these days, and the pay, especially for coaches, isn’t nearly attractive enough.

In the 6D North Region of Northern Virginia for all high-school sports, recruitment measures and brainstorming sessions are ongoing in an attempt to attract and encourage more young coaches for all sports, and work with them to remain involved for more than just one or two seasons.

For now, the games and events continue despite the shortages. But will that remain the case if the shortages last and become more dire?

All of that is a big worry.

We’ll see what happens.

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