Despite Discussion Over Wages, Brevard High School Sports Officials to Continue Work
By Chris Bonanno // August 7, 2019
Mid Coast Officials Association believes its members should be paid more, but says it doesn't want to hurt student-athletes
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – As discussion with the Florida High School Athletic Association continues regarding the pay rates for high school officials, the Mid Coast Officials Association, which provides referees for Brevard’s sporting events, says its members will work as scheduled this season.
That stands in contrast to some other such organizations in the state.
The Fort Myers News-Press reported on Tuesday that members of the South Gulf Football Officials Association have not registered with the FHSAA for the upcoming season.
Similarly, the Palm Beach Post reported on Monday that some members with the East Coast Football Officials Association also did not register.
“We’re not going to put the student-athletes at risk,” said John Scaprino, president of the Mid Coast Officials Association.
Pay rates for officials differ depending on sport and type of game within the sport, but as examples, an official who works a varsity football game is paid $65, according to the FHSAA handbook.
A high school football official in Georgia, for instance, is paid $100 per regular season game, according to the Georgia High School Association.
An official for a “sub-varsity” football game would be paid $51 with the proper training.
“What the big concern is the pay is not commensurate with the amount of time the officials take,” said Ed Dufrene, commissioner of baseball with the Mid Coast Officials Association.
Scarpino said that it can take between $400-$450 for someone to begin working as an official when factoring in the cost to purchase proper attire and approvals.
“Most of us don’t do it for the money. We really don’t. We have a love for the sport that we do,” said Dufrene.
“A lot of us as officials love the sport that we’re doing but we’re still wanting to get appreciated at least in the pay aspect.”
The FHSAA addressed the situation with a statement via its Twitter account:
— FHSAA (@FHSAA) August 6, 2019