Parents — stop yelling at the refs

Staff Reports

From The NFHS: A Message to Parents of Ohio High School Athletes

January 14, 2019

Dear Mom and Dad: Cool it

If you are the mother or father of a high school athlete here in Ohio, this message is primarily for you.

When you attend an athletic event that involves your son or daughter, cheer to your heart’s content, enjoy the camaraderie that high school sports offer and have fun. But when it comes to verbally criticize game officials or coaches, cool it.

Make no mistake about it. Your passion is admired, and your support of the hometown team is needed. But so is your self-control. Yelling, screaming and berating the officials humiliates your child, annoys those sitting around you, embarrasses your child’s school and is the primary reason Ohio has an alarming shortage of high school officials.

It’s true. According to a recent survey by the National Association of Sports Officials, more than 75 percent of all high school officials say “adult behavior” is the primary reason they quit. And 80 percent of all young officials hang up their stripes after just two years of whistle blowing. Why? They don’t need your abuse.

Plus, there’s a ripple effect. There are more officials over 60 than under 30 in many areas. And as older, experienced officials retire, there aren’t enough younger ones to replace them. If there are no officials, there are no games. The shortage of licensed high school officials is severe enough in some areas that athletic events are being postponed or cancelled—especially at the freshman and junior varsity levels.

Research confirms that participation in high school sports and activities instills a sense of pride in school and community, teaches lifelong lessons like the value of teamwork and self-discipline and facilitates the physical and emotional development of those who participate. So, if the games go away because there aren’t enough men and women to officiate them, the loss will be infinitely greater than just an “L” on the scoreboard. It will be putting a dent in your community’s future.

If you would like to be a part of the solution to the shortage of high school officials, you can sign up to become a licensed official at Otherwise, adult role models at high school athletic events here in Ohio are always welcome.

By Karissa Niehoff, Executive Director of the National Federation of State High School Associations, and Jerry Snodgrass, Executive Director of the Ohio High School Athletic Association.

OHSAA Adjusts Format for Boys Basketball State Semifinals

Semifinal sessions will include two games instead of one, same as girls basketball state semifinals

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Changes are coming to the Ohio High School Athletic Association boys basketball state tournament, Executive Director Jerry Snodgrass has announced. Beginning with the 2019 state tournament, the boys basketball state semifinals will be doubleheader sessions, meaning fans will need only one ticket for both semifinal games of each division and will not need to leave the arena between those two games.

The new format for the boys semifinals is similar to how the girls basketball state tournament has been conducted. The changes were approved last week by the OHSAA Board of Directors.

“We are pleased to make this change,” Snodgrass said. “This means that during the semifinals, fans will not have to leave the arena and reenter as often and many of the teams and their fans will miss less school and work time. It also means the semifinal sessions will have four communities inside the arena instead of two, so the Schottenstein Center will be closer to capacity, which will create an electric atmosphere for both games.”

All-session tickets will go on sale to the general pubic in early February. Ticket order forms were mailed to OHSAA member schools.

Some ticket prices will be adjusted for the boys state tournament, including a decrease in the cost of all-session tickets in the terrace level from $120 down to $96 per person ($12 per session). All-session ticket prices in the lower level remain the same at $144 per person ($18 per session). For the semifinals, single-session tickets will increase from $15 to $20 in the lower level and from $10 to $15 in the upper level.

Single-session tickets in the lower bowl for students and fans of the 16 semifinalists will be sold at the schools for a reduced rate compared to the public lower-bowl cost and will allow admittance for both games of the session.

Like the girls basketball state tournament, the boys basketball state championship games on Saturday will remain as a separate ticket for each game.

“We want to stress that this format change doesn’t mean that we are doubling the cost of tickets for the semifinals,” Snodgrass said. “In fact, the cost for all-session tickets stays the same in the lower bowl and actually decreases in the upper bowl.”

The Center Court Club tickets will also be available again, which includes access to a VIP club section between every game.

Additional details for tickets will be released in mid-January. The 2019 OHSAA girls basketball state tournament will take place March 14-16, while the boys basketball state tournament is March 21-23.

Staff Reports