Jul 3, 2013 7:29 PM by Akeam Ashford
Every die-hard football fan knows that every play has to be called just right, but what if there is a shortage of referees? According to the Lafayette Area Football Officials Association, the Lafayette association began seeing a shortage five years ago. Today, the association has forty fewer referees.
Normally, a football game calls for 6 to 7 officials on the field, but there are only enough for four at each game. So why aren't there enough officials? Lafayette Officials Association Secretary Greg Gautreaux says, "I think because of the harrassment that they take some people tend not to go into officiating. They see it as a work that they don't want to take that abuse."
Gautreaux says when he makes a call, everyone is watching. "Not just the thick skin with fans, but coaches. You have to be a confident person when you go officiate a game," says Gautreaux.
Teurlings Head Coach Sonny Charpentier says he's had to learn how to play around the shortage. "I think like most young people, they're just there to play the game, have fun and enjoy themselves. An old saying is an officials that's not noticed then they did a great job," says Charpentier.
With the rules of the game constantly changing, Gautreaux says opening the doors to more people could solve the problem. "In college football their bringing in more female officials into the game, and I think in the NFL there will be a female official in the league in the next few years," says Gautreaux.
Gautreaux says thre are female referees in Acadiana who officiate high school games. If you're interested in becoming a referee, the Lafayette are Football Officials Association will hold its first meeting on Monday at 6:00 p.m. in Girard Park.