CHSAA launches new program to recruit and retain referees |

CHSAA launches new program to recruit and retain referees

Tom Skulski
Steamboat Pilot & Today
Moffat County defenders tackle the Resurrection Christian ball carrier in front of the ref during a football game on Aug. 26, 2022, in Craig. Due a shortage of officials, CHSAA has launched a new program to try to recruit more referees.
Eli PAce/Craig Press

Going back several years, Colorado has dealt with a statewide referee crisis for high school, middle school and other recreational sports.

The shortage has only gotten worse over time. To combat the problem, the Colorado High School Activities Association has announced the “You Look Good in Stripes” initiative.

The goal of the program is to recruit and retain referees to help high school sports run more smoothly and start on time. To achieve this goal, the campaign is designed to help prospective officials cover the cost of CHSAA dues and Sports Officials Association dues for their first year. 

That would cover everything from background checks, insurance and testing to rule books and a membership to ArbiterSports. 

Mike Book, the CHSAA assistant commissioner responsible for officials, knows how expensive it can be to get started and how important it is to give new refs some relief. 

“We want to be able to remove that cost via our foundation, which is our funding source this year, and take care of those dues and CHSAA fees, and even some uniform costs for officials,” Book said. 

The program went live on Nov. 1, and CHSAA has already seen an uptick in referee interest forms. Book said he saw more than 100 submissions within the first 24 hours of the program’s launch. 

“It’s been going really well, and we’re excited about it and we hope everyone else is excited about it,” Book said. “I think the big thing too is we simplified how you can sign up. I got a lot of feedback from people that wanted to sign up, but they didn’t know how to start. We simplified it by putting one main link on our website and in our press release.”

One of the biggest features of the new program is the simplified interest form, which is just five questoins long and can be found on the CHSAA website at and submitted in minutes. 

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Craig and Moffat County make the Craig Press’ work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.