“The NCHSAA is working diligently in conjunction with our member schools, regional supervisors of officials and our partners at US Lacrosse to alleviate the impact of the shortage of women’s lacrosse officials in our state. The shortage is particularly impactful in the Triangle region at this time. Athletic Directors there became aware of the shortage of officials and representatives from each area conference met last Friday to work on solutions to salvage as much of the women’s lacrosse season as possible for this year.
From these meetings, athletic directors asked for the NCHSAA Executive Committee to approve emergency relief to rules such as the number of required officials to conduct a contest and number of allowable contests in a week. These requests were granted. Athletic directors worked through the weekend to finalize suggestions for the Triangle Area Supervisor of Officials, reconvening on Monday to present several ideas for this year including: setting priority days for each conference, scheduling double and triple-header contests at a single site to optimize available officials, and discussion of emergency officials training to grow the pool of available officials.
US Lacrosse is reaching out to their network of officials and are working on plans to provide trainings for officials that will put new officials on the field for youth games in the area quickly, potentially freeing up some experienced officials for high school contests. They plan to target potential adult and junior officials to go through training, providing whistles and waiving fees to attend the trainings or on-field sessions.
We understand that it is difficult to change plans and schedules. We certainly are sensitive to the student-athletes who are concerned about losing game opportunities throughout the season. It is our hope that through creative thinking, flexibility and a willingness of all member schools, officiating supervisors, partner organizations and NCHSAA staff to come together and find a solution that we will be able to provide the best possible experience for our student-athletes.
We want the game of lacrosse to grow, especially for women, and for that to happen, qualified officials are needed! If you or someone you know are interested in becoming a women’s lacrosse official, please contact the NCHSAA Officiating Department, (919) 240-7401. They will be happy to assist you in your journey to begin training and get on the field as an official.”