LHSAA wants parents to "cool it"
BATON ROUGE - The Louisiana High School Athletic Association asked for calm Wednesday among parents and fans at sporting events. It issued an open letter as part of a national push to recruit and retain referees in an atmosphere on growing animosity.
"Be a fan not a fanatic," said LHSAA Executive Director Eddie Bonine.
The letter included a list of recent fights and attacks on officials throughout the state, particularly at basketball games were fans sit much closer to players. As recently as Tuesday, a brawl at a New Orleans high school game ended with 24 players ejected and police having to clear the court.
Wednesday's letter asked parents and fans to set the example and not berate referees at sporting events. It also pointed to the problem of attracting young officials as there are currently more referees over the age of 60 than under the age of 30 in many areas.
LHSAA encourages people interested in becoming a referee to sign up through its website.