With high school football fall Friday nights now scheduled to continue as the calendar turns to January, the people responsible for the rules of the game are grateful for a bit of calendar clarity.
“It was definitely music to our ears,” said Dallas Football Officials Association Vice President Xavier Velazquez. “We’ve been waiting on news for us to get on the field. We were very happy about it.”
Happy the decision provides a clearer picture of when to start but knowing there are still questions about logistics for officials once game day arrives.
“A lot of things are up in the air,” Velazquez said. “I think they decided face coverings would be optional for the officials, which is a big deal. I know overall the numbers that came out are that we’re about 8% down on officials.”
Down 8% in numbers, but with the potential to use college referees as fill-ins with some NCAA football conferences canceling or postponing their seasons, trying to do whatever they can to be ready to do what they love this fall – and even early winter – Friday nights this season.
“We want to keep the players safe,” said Velazquez. “That’s our main priority when we’re officiating is player safety. But also, we have to keep ourselves safe as well. Because if we’re not there, we can’t the players safe.”