RICHARDSON, Texas--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Texas Association of Sports Officials (TASO) has announced a bold new policy to address the growing incidents of excessive verbal and physical abuse directed towards sports officials during middle school and high school games in the state of Texas.
Thought to be a first in the country, TASO’s Officials Abuse Policy could suspend the assignments of sports officials to schools that demonstrate a repeated culture of abuse.
“While it's never our desire to withhold officials,” said Michael Fitch, TASO Executive Director, “the abuse of officials is a major contributor to the increasing number of officials who are walking away from the sports we love. If we don’t reverse the trend, there will be no officials available for the games of our Texas student athletes.”
“It’s the desire of the TASO Board of Directors to collaborate with schools where excessive verbal and/or physical abuse or threat of physical abuse of officials has occurred to provide a safe and more positive climate for all participants,” added Fitch.
The new policy covers TASO’s seven Divisions, Baseball, Basketball, Football, Soccer, Softball, Volleyball, and Water Polo, and it has safeguards to ensure the reported cases of excessive verbal threat or physical abuse are legitimate.
Fitch further stated, “It’s a problem everyone recognizes and talks about, but no one does anything about it. Most schools do an excellent job of controlling their players, coaches, and spectators; this policy is for those that do not.”
TASO is an independent organization, providing support, resources and training for Texas middle school and high school sports officials. With more than 160 local chapters serving 15,000+ members throughout the state, we are one of the largest professional organizations for sports officials in the country.
TASO works closely with the University Interscholastic League (UIL), the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools (TAPPS), the Texas High School Coaches Association (THSCA), other Coaches Associations, the Texas High School Athletic Directors Association (THSADA), and many other organizations to ensure fair, challenging, and safe athletic competition for Texas middle school and high school student athletes.