Canadian sport system faces officiating crisis
“They’re not yelling at you. They’re yelling at your shirt,” is the refrain that Nicole Pagliaro, a Harassment Officer for the Huronia District Soccer Association, repeats to her young referees, so that they’re armed with mental defenses for dealing with abuse.
But fewer officials young and old are feeling like the positives of the job are worth the abuse and stressful environment. The COVID-19 pandemic further exacerbated the decline in officiating numbers. Now sports across Canada are facing an officiating crisis.