10,000 Officials Licensed | Still a Significant Need!
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10,000 Officials Licensed | Still a Significant Need!

Wednesday, April 3, 2024

10,000 Officials Licensed | Still a Significant Need!

This week, the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association has reached an all-time high of 10,021 licensed officials, with 17,376 individual sport registrations across fourteen sports – but there’s still a significant need for high school officials in Wisconsin!

Over 1,300 of this year’s licensed officials are high school students, compared to just 240 for the 2021-22 school year. High school students are only eligible to officiate non-varsity contests.

Many sports still have a significant need for officials:

  • Cross Country had just 319 officials statewide this fall.
  • Gymnastics has extremely low numbers of officials, with only 125 judges statewide for this past winter season.
  • Hockey had less than 500 officials statewide this winter.
  • Boys and Girls Lacrosse is in its first year as a WIAA-sponsored sport, so the WIAA is licensing officials for the first time. Since the boys’ and girls’ game have different rules, they are considered different sports and there is rarely crossover between the two. There are just 101 boys and 72 girls lacrosse officials statewide this spring.
  • Soccer student-athlete participation numbers are growing, but there are not enough officials to cover games, with just 1,177 individuals currently officiating. There are 260 girls teams and 270 boys teams this school year and each game required three officials.
  • Softball is still trying to catch up to the 2,220 officials that were licensed in 2010, as there are only about 2,000 individuals registered for this spring, but 200 of those are high school students.
  • Swimming and Diving had just 219 individuals registered to officiate statewide.
  • Track and Field is in need of newly trained, younger officials, as the average age of a track and field official is currently 62 years old. There are currently only 562 individuals licensed to officiate this spring, while track and field has the most student-athlete participants of any WIAA-sponsored sport.

To learn more about becoming an official or to register, please visit wiaawi.org/Officials/Become-an-Official.

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