Facing a growing shortage of interscholastic sports officials across Ohio, the Ohio High School Athletic Association has moved all classroom instruction for new officials to the convenient virtual platform RefPrep and is also asking member schools to offer the online officiating curriculum during the school day for students to begin the process of becoming a licensed official.
A number of schools across Ohio have already begun offering the RefPrep class.
As always, adults are encouraged to consider becoming a licensed sports official, but the OHSAA believes that getting high school students interested in officiating will help quickly replenish the number of officials in the near future.
Persons interested in becoming an official should first create a profile at: https://officials.myohsaa.org/Logon.
The online education platform is available at: https://www.refreps.com/refprep.
“We are doing something to attack this issue and our member schools have said they want to help,” said Doug Ute, OHSAA executive director. “If there are no officials, there are no games. RefPrep is a good online tool to learn the basics of officiating and it’s available anytime, so in addition to being available to use within schools, it’s also available for adults who otherwise couldn’t get to an in-person class.”
Schools are encouraged to provide credit options for students who take an officiating course, such as physical education or work force development. The OHSAA also plans to work more with Ohio colleges and universities to offer officiating classes, as many already have done so for years.
“This is work force development and instant employability,” said Ute. “A licensed official can begin working games and earning money almost right away, and there are many other benefits of being an official, such as staying involved in sports, staying physically active and being a part of a team.”
More information about OHSAA officiating is available at: https://www.ohsaa.org/Officiating.
Submitted by Tim Stried, director of media relations, Ohio High School Athletic Association.