Montana referee shortage directly linked to fan verbal abuse

Another weekend of tournament basketball is in the books. Thousands of fans packed into loud gyms over the past few weeks, but are they loud for the wrong reasons?

Last month, the Montana High School Association released an op-ed titled, ‘Dear Mom and Dad – Cool It,’ telling parents and fans to stop the growing trend of verbal criticism toward officials.

The article shows a number of nationwide stats that are eyebrow-raising, to say the least. According to the National Association of Sports Officials, more than 75 percent of all high school officials say adult behavior is the primary reason they quit, and 80 percent of all young officials quit after just two years.