It’s been no secret that the pandemic has revealed weaknesses in the world’s supply chain, wreaking all manner of havoc with consumers’ timely receipt of goods to this day.
The very same can be said of amateur sport, though the weaknesses in the supply chain almost always come in the form of a lack of available and qualified officials.
All team sports, bar none, report challenges in registering an adequate number of officials, with some sports reporting concerns with senior officials choosing not to return after an extended covid hiatus.
This, obviously, has a direct effect on student-athletes’ ability to play and if it continues, could spell doom for the very future existence of some team sports.
For example, this past fall, fewer than a dozen officials were left to cover all the boys tackle and girls flag football games scheduled during the season — and more than 100 games were scheduled! This past winter, when the schedule restarted in boys basketball and then was socked with four consecutive snow days, only a small percentage of games postponed due to weather were successfully rescheduled.
There is an irony in all of this.
Every single year, Sudbury schools graduate hundreds of students who would be excellent candidates to stay in the game by becoming officials in their sport of choice.
Granted, this is not for everyone, but on just about every senior team there are at least one or two graduating students who have demonstrated the knowledge and the love of the game that it takes to become a good official.
So let me turn this week’s column into an appeal to all graduating students to seriously consider returning to the game that you played and loved so much as a player, only this time as an official, helping ensure its continued success for future participants.
Speak to your coach and phys ed program leader, who can show you the path.
High school notes
Badminton leaps to centre stage next week as the SDSSAA championships will be hosted Tuesday and Wednesday. The birds start hitting the air around 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday with novice events hosted Macdonald-Cartier, junior at St. Charles College and senior at St. Benedict.
As a result of the above, the SDSSAA April association meeting that was scheduled on April 12 has been moved to April 19.
Dave Makela is the athletic administrator for the Sudbury District Secondary Schools Athletic Association. His column runs weekly during the high school sports season.