It's that time of year again: High school football is back in season. But the classic Friday night lights may have to be held on a different day. That’s because there’s a referee shortage. The National Federation of State High Schools says over the last three to four years, about 50,000 referees across all sports have hung up their whistles. "The No. 1 reason why folks say they're getting out of officiating or won't go into officiating is because of bad behavior by adult coaches and spectators," said Brent Rice of the Michigan High School Athletic Association.
Class discussion: Have you ever seen angry parents or coaches abuse referees at school or youth league games? Should referees in amateur sports have more power to eject unruly players, coaches or fans from a game? If abusers don’t leave, should a referee be able to simply cancel the game and leave? Can sports survive without officials to enforce the rules? Why do sports competitions sometimes bring out the worst – arguing, name-calling and even fighting – among fans, players and coaches? Does “good sportsmanship” still have a chance?
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