The number of registered Michigan High School Athletic Association officials has fallen from 12,400 to around 10,000 over the past decade. (MLive). And that's not the only troubling concern. With the economy rebounding, folks joining the workforce, and not necessarily needing that extra paycheck (or having extra time), people aren't lining up to be officials. And therein lies the real problem. The result is a shortage of officials in all sports, all across the state!

In addition to not having the time because of work or taking on extra responsibilities within the family, there were two other factors that officials said contributed to them leaving and not coming back. Lack of sportsmanship from coaches and poor sportsmanship from spectators (angry sports parents especially). MHSAA and school administrators are working on all of these problems and desperately need help in finding officials and referees.

Interested in becoming an official or referee? Think you have what it takes? Ready to give back and get paid for it? REGISTER HERE WITH MHSAA to start the process!

Source: MLive, MHSAA,

Michigan in desperate need of high school officials and referees

Grand Rapids Sports a4f_mike_jager180124_cls_mlive_mikejager_19.jpg Referee Mike Jager runs down the court while officiating a high school basketball game between West Ottawa High School and Traverse City Central High School at West Ottawa High School in Holland, Michigan, on Friday, Jan. 26, 2018. As of this season, Jager has been officiating for 30 years.

In addition to the two teams on the field, there's always another team between the lines critical to the outcome of the game - the officials. Behind the whistle and underneath the stripes beat some pretty big hearts and lasting memories of one of their own. Mickey York from FOX Sports Detroit has the story of a group of such officials from Mid-Michigan.