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Shenandoah Basketball Officials Association needs referees

Published: Jun. 21, 2022 at 2:44 PM EDT
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STAUNTON, Va. (WHSV) - Shortages continue to be problematic throughout the country.

From supplies to people, it’s impacting everyone and everything, including sports.

“We’re very aware that there’s a need not just here locally but nationwide with a shortage of officials,” John Garber, co-assigner for the Shenandoah Basketball Officials Association, said. “What we’re trying to do is just reach out and see how many people we can approach or attract to this allocation.”

The Shenandoah Basketball Officials Association covers games from Bridgewater to Clarke County and even Rappahannock.

“There’s three teams on the floor each night, there’s two schools playing each other and then there’s the officiating crew and we want to be the best crew on the floor every night that we go on the floor,” Jamie Eberly, head assigner for the Shenandoah Basketball Officials Association, said.

SBOA is currently in need of more refs.

“We know that the games can’t be played without referees … it’s very much what I like to call symbiotic effect here is we need them to play the games, they need us to referee the games, and one without the other it just doesn’t happen,” Garber said.

Garber said besides doing it for the love of the game, being a referee provides a supplemental income and offers a challenge to those who take it on.

“We provide free training in the fall,” Eberly said. “John and I travel a lot during the summertime to attend camps of very high-level officials and we bring that back to our area.”

Jamie Eberly said SBOA offers flexible schedules. Referees work anywhere from one night a week to six nights a week.

“Another thing that you get from this experience is the relationships that are built with the other officials, with coaches, with players, it’s just something that you can’t really put a price tag on,” Garber said.

Referees and umpires can take a lot of heat from coaches and spectators, but Eberly assures they are treated with respect in the SBOA.

“We realize that boo and hiss is not acceptable anymore, it’s become more combative with people, fans especially,” Eberly said. “Our schools and our athletic directors do a fantastic job of policing those kinds of things so we encourage people to come out and give it a try.”

If you would like to sign up to referee with SBOA, applications are available on their website.

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