LUFKIN, Texas (KLTV) - Around the country athletes at all levels are opting out of sports due to COVID-19 concerns. Now football officials are starting to opt out of working games.
Texas officials for high school football belong to the Texas Association of Sports Officials. Ut is one of the biggest associations of it’s type. Recently Dave Campbell’s Texas Football reported that the organization has almost 1,000 fewer active member this year.
In Deep East Texas officials come from the Stephen F. Austin Chapter. The Chapter had 10 members opt out. The 10 were not spread out but from two crews, making up nearly 25 % of their total active members.
“Our chapter is not very big and we started out with 10 crews,” chapter president Anthony Curtis said. “We lost two entire crews. Two good crews. We explained it to the guys and said we were not upset and understood their reasoning.”
The chapter has spread out sub-varsity and junior high games through out the week and sometimes on no normal nights along with having several retired officials fill in when needed. Bigger chapters have also loaned crews.
“We have full crews right now,” Curtis said. “TASO has told us that if we do lose people we will have to do it with what we have but right now we are okay.”
The chapter is still accepting new members to officiate games. For more info go to https://www.sfachapterfootball.com/.