Friday Night Lights pushed to Thursdays due to officials shortag - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Friday Night Lights pushed to Thursdays due to officials shortage

(Source: TASO) (Source: TASO)
(Source: KCBD) (Source: KCBD)
(Source: KCBD) (Source: KCBD)

As the high school football season kicks off in four weeks, the teams and fans will be ready, but will the officials?

The Texas Association of Sports Officials South Plains Football Chapter is in need of officials. TASO Secretary Ken Patterson says it's such a problem that some teams will be forced to play under the Thursday night lights.

"Football season is right around the corner and we are desperately in need of additional officials. Our chapter is down about 50 officials from last year. As a result we're not going to be able to cover all of the schools that we have in this area. We cover over 60 schools, providing officials for. We're having to move some Friday games to Thursday night."

With games moved to Thursday, the South Plains Chapter can't cover all the sub varsity games and they're missing out on training opportunities.

It's not just a West Texas problem, but a statewide concern

"We're down over 1000 officials all over the state. Every sport is dealing with this issue."

What's the reason for the decline in officials? Patterson isn't sure.

"Maybe it's because of the abuse we're taking or the time commitments required. It could be people are too busy because of their job requirements. We are in desperate need of new officials," he said.

Patterson is passionate about this important job as he officiated for 44 years.

"I loved Friday nights. There wasn't a better place to be than on a football field. The band, pep squad, drill team, cheerleaders. All these kids paid a price to be there. If you played football, if you have an interest, it's an opportunity for you to give back to the game. If you've played, you understand the philosophy of the game. You understand why officials are important because without us, they can't play a football game."

If you're interested in putting on the stripes and being trained to officiate games, go to for more information.

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