More and more prep games are being canceled due to the lack of MSHSL officials.

state tournament
Roy Koenig/Townsquare Media (mshsl graphic)

The MSHSL (Minnesota State High School League) currently has around 6,200 officials and that number is on the decline. With this, many games have been either cancelled or postponed thus affecting prep sports. The latest game to be cancelled was Tuesday night's Boys Basketball game between Mora and Zimmerman.

This is not the first time this has happened to Zimmerman High School. In an email sent to Bring Me the News, Zimmerman High School AD, Jaime Hilyar, said "We have had to move games due to not having officials," she added, "In my experience it's been more common in soccer, softball, and baseball. This is the first time in my time being at Zimmerman that we've had to move a basketball game due to not having officials".

It's getting to be a serious problem.

Hutchinson High School Athletic Director, Thayne Johnson, spoke with Kare 11 earlier this month about the issue. Due to this Hutchinson started offering "Officiating Classes" to help address the issue. St. Thomas Academy is also doing the same thing.

Minnesota is not the only state dealing with this problem. The Philadelphia Inquirer has reported the PIAA (Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association) faces similar issues. The National Federation of State High School Associations believes a major reason for the shortage of officials is the abuse they receive from parents at games. To counter this, the NFHS launched a marketing campaign in hopes to educate parents and fans on the correct way to act during games.

The next time you see an official, take time out of your day to thank them for what they do. Without them, kids won't be able to play the games they love.

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