By Eric Fischer
High schools and youth leagues across the state are facing a potential crisis, a shortage of officials. The number of WIAA certified officials is decreasing at an alarming rate and as Shawn McQuillan puts it, it’s simple if there are no officials, there are no games. McQuillan, a football and basketball referee with nearly 30 years of officiating in each sport says dealing with parents seems to be one of the major causes of reducing numbers.
McQuillan also says unequal compensation for time and distance traveled has been a deterrent for older officials who can ref a JV game closer to home, for similar pay, without as much of a time commitment that evening. All this being said, McQuillan says for him, there isn’t much more gratifying than being out on a Friday night, under the lights, helping kids play the game they love.