Shortfall in refereeing is affecting Sacramento high school game schedules

As football season begins, a shortage of umpires is forcing high schools across Northern California to rearrange their gameday schedules. Instead of Friday night games, some schools will have to move a game or two to another night of the week this season. Kristofer Zanardelli, who has been refereeing volleyball and soccer for years, said the big problem isn’t the people actively involved in the game. He said crowds were instead the main reason for the shortage, having dealt with his own cases of unruly crowds,” Zanardelli said. The shortage has made assigning a team of officials to a game a difficult task. Monty Muller of Muller Sports is doing the job for games in the northern portion of the Sac-Joaquin section of the California Interscholastic Federation.He said 10 Friday night football games in the second week of the season had to be rescheduled to other days due to the official shortage.For example, were both games for Roseville High School at Placer High School and Natomas High School at Liberty Ranch High School were rescheduled from Friday, August 26 to Thursday, August 25. Knowing the need existed, Zanardelli decided to play football to the list of sports he will be in charge of this year, saying he is doing it for the athletes. “I’m here to make sure the high school experience can be a positive one for as many athletes as possible,” he said.

As football season begins, a shortage of umpires is forcing high schools across Northern California to rearrange their gameday schedules.

Instead of Friday night games, some schools will have to move a game or two to another night of the week this season.

Kristofer Zanardelli, who has been refereeing volleyball and soccer for years, said the big problem isn’t the people actively involved in the game. He said viewers are instead largely causing the shortage, having addressed his own cases of unruly viewers.

“Yes, I’ve been in a couple of games where there were insults from the referee. There were spectators who came onto the field,” said Zanardelli.

The shortage has made assigning a team of officials to a game a difficult task.

Muller Sports’ Monty Muller does this for games played in the northern portion of the Sac-Joaquin section of the California Interscholastic Federation.

He said 10 Friday night football games in the second week of the season had to be postponed to other days due to the official shortage.

For example, games for Roseville High School at Placer High School and Natomas High School at Liberty Ranch High School were both moved from August 26 to Thursday, August 25.

Zanardelli knew the need was there and decided to add football to the list of sports he will be leading this year. He said he was doing it for the athletes.

“I’m here to make sure the high school experience can be a positive one for as many athletes as possible,” he said.

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