Poor adult behavior reducing the number of willing referees

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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. The passion spectators display at sporting events in high school, youth, and other leagues can sometimes be too much. There will always be some displeasure from one side when it comes to the officiating and that is to be expected as one well-known referee knows it is impossible to assess 100% of the calls correctly in any sport. Brian Barlow knows the pressure of this task, and the ensuing malicious jabs all too well as he officiates collegiate soccer, semi-pro, and youth games in Oklahoma and other areas. He first drew attention to the world when he decided to start his Facebook page 'Offside".

"My bold statement was if you ever capture referee abuse and we post it on our Facebook page, we're going to give you $100." Barlow said.

That promise remains true to this day, and Barlow has gathered over 6,000 videos illustrating the poor behavior of the people he calls 'cheesburgers' because they are the "junk food of youth sports".

Plenty of game officials would agree with him because nationally, there have been declining numbers of referees willing to do their job, retain the innocence of the game, and separate the parents from the game's boundaries.

Nearly 80% of officials quit after the first two years on the job, and aggressive parents are often the reason. South Dakota High School Activities Association staff are trying to reduce the inappropriate adult behavior at high school athletic events because if no one wants to endure the responsibilities of a referee there will be no more games.