Harrisonburg Parks and Rec in need of referees for upcoming fall and winter sports

Published: Oct. 11, 2022 at 10:25 PM EDT
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - As fall ball season approaches, Harrisonburg Parks and Recreation is in need of referees to officiate league games.

The ages range from kindergarten through 6th graders and Harrisonburg hosts leagues for football, basketball, volleyball, and soccer.

“Everybody’s been running through an official shortage so again we’ve had staff that have stepped in. We’ve had to run with games with only one official and sometimes we’ve had to postpone games or postpone seasons because we don’t have the officials yet so it’s a constant struggle really,” Erik Dart, athletics manager for Harrisonburg Parks and Rec said.

As winter approaches the department is mainly looking for basketball refs, but Dart said they like to have a large pool of officials to choose from.

“Everybody’s schedule changes so we always like to have enough bodies so basketball you know two is good, football four is good and soccer three or four as well,” Dart said. “We don’t always get that so we have to work with what we have sometimes staff has had to step in as well.”

If there aren’t enough refs to take on the games, the season could be pushed back or canceled.

“We usually run them through some National Alliance of Youth Sports training and then some sports-specific training too and then kind of give them a rundown of any by-laws we have as well,” Dart said.

Harrisonburg Parks and Rec isn’t the only place facing shortages, but they hope to not have to cancel or push back seasons again.

“Obviously we prefer VHSL certified but they’re struggling with shortages as well,” Dart said.

The pay is $25 per game.

“It’s just finding those that are interested in doing it and will do a quality job,” Dart said.

For more information or to apply to be a referee you can email Erik Dart at Erik.Dart@harrisonburgva.gov.