It's not a new problem but it's getting worse. Individuals who love sports and are dedicated enough to commit the time necessary to act as officials for high school sporting events are getting harder and harder to find.

The Quad-City Times says that in 2001 the National Association of Sports Officials created a guide entitled "How To Get and Keep Officials". It's gotten harder to keep them as well. Mike Botts, who assigns officials for seven sports in the Mississippi Athletic Conference and the Western Big Six, tells the Quad-City Times "I wouldn’t call it a crisis, but it’s getting close to a crisis." Why are officials quitting? One reason is the abuse that officials take from parents, fans, coaches and even the athletes themselves.

That's sad and it makes me angry. Sports can teach us so many things. It teaches us that hard work can make you good at something. It teaches us that sometimes even with all the hard work you fail. It teaches us how to work together towards a goal. It should also teach us that mistakes happen, we're all human, and everyone has a bad day. Yeah it stinks if an official costs you a game. It sinks even more if an official decides it's not worth his time because of the abuse he or she takes.

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