MSHSAA Seeking Last-Minute Officials For 2020-21 Season

With the 2020-21 sports season less than a month from getting underway, the Missouri State High School Activities Association (MSHSAA) is seeking officials from member school districts who could serve as last-minute replacements due to the novel coronavirus.

MSHSAA sent a release to schools recommending each district consider registering one or several faculty/staff/coaches who could serve as officials.

The coaches must be out-of-season.

MSHSAA said the unprecedented situation with COVID-19 could present scenarios where games are canceled or leave schools without enough officials.

“We want to offer as many options as possible that would allow the teams and athletes to compete, along with the parents and fans the opportunity to support,” MSHSAA said in the release.

To demonstrate how COVID-19 could impact the schedule, MSHSAA presented two examples:

Scenario 1 involves School B traveling 40 miles to play School A in a soccer match. Both officials arrive at the game site 45 minutes prior to the contest and both receive temperature screenings.

However, 30 minutes prior to the contest, one official is running a low-grade fever and forced to return home. If an official cannot be procured on short notice, the game would be canceled since a soccer game must have two officials.

Scenario 2 involves a varsity and junior varsity softball doubleheader. Upon arrival, the activities director informs the umpires that School A discovered two students had tested positive for COVID-19. One of the umpires is considered high-risk and declines to participate. 

“We present both of these scenarios because although unlikely, they are definitely more possible than in past years,” MSHSAA said. “Having a MSHSAA registered official from the school district, readily accessible, might alleviate a situation that would still the contests to be played.”

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