FOLSOM — The Northern California Officials Association (NCOA) is looking to add more referees for the upcoming high school football season. Due to a shortage of referees in the area, Folsom High School hosted a training where people could get an idea of the process and see what it takes to wear the stripes.
Have you ever wanted to be a ref? Well, FOX40 was at Folsom High School to show you how.
Referees are some of the most underappreciated people on the field because most people sitting in the stands think they can do their job better them.
Being a referee is not easy.
“When you’re in the actual mix, in the heat of the moment you got to realize we have five bodies watching 22 bodies,” Sunny Lofton, NCOA recruiting director said.
Lofton says they are about 60 referees short for the upcoming football season.
“Our numbers have diminished over the years, we have older refs that are kind of ‘retiring out’ if you will and it’s time to bring some youth into the system,” Lofton said.
Through the 10-week training, you learn in the classroom and on the field. Trainees also learn how to handle coaches and players who may not agree with a call.
Let’s be honest, they’re used to hearing all the misconceptions about their job.
“We cheat, or we might be from the school we are actually officiating the game for,” Lofton explained about what people may be thinking.
But the biggest misconception about officiating is that “only men do this,” Lofton said.
Michelle Single is going into her second year enforcing penalties. She’s one of 3 female refs in the NCOA.
“The first few months were really crazy and moving really fast, but it was probably the funnest six months I ever had,” Single said.
Single says she has heard the jeers from the fans before.
“The training program that they have, they prepared me so well with the rules and regulations and what’s going to happen, by the time I got on the field and they started saying things I realized they knew nothing of what I knew,” Single stated.
Being a ref may be a tough career but if you have what it takes — this may be the job for you.
If you’ve ever wanted to be a referee and If you would like to learn more about how you can sign up to become one, please click here.