Rural Kansas Faces Ref Shortage

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

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Northwest Kansas is short on varsity high school basketball referees.

Northwest Kansas League Commissioner Jim Keenan says there are just seven crews of officials signed up to work every varsity game
in the 16-county area for the 2007-2008 season.

About 12 to 15 crews are usually needed for the Northwest Kansas
League, Western Kansas Liberty League and parts of the Mid-Continent and Hi-Plains Leagues.

Keenan says officials from Hays and Garden City will be used.

Three or four crews are also on the verge of retiring.

Officials say sportsmanship among basketball fans in the area has been a big reason the decline in officiating crews.

The league held an officials' clinic last weekend to attract new referees.

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