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After several high profile assaults on sports officials, legislation to protect referees is getting higher visibility.

Across the nation and recently in Wisconsin specifically, instances of assault against officials have made headlines. NASO President Barry Mano was asked to comment on the trend and what work needs to be done in states across the country to protect officials from assault. READ THE FULL INTERVIEW

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NASO has led the effort to make assaults on officials serious crimes for decades, but much work still needs to be done.

Many states consider assualt on an official at least a misdemeaner, but in many, assault on referees is treated the same as any other assault on a member of the public.

NASO supports the effort to recognize officials as a special class more susceptible to assault, as they do police and fire personnel. In the cases of those groups, special and extended protection is given because the risk and potential for assault is much greater than other professions in general.

You can examine NASO’s legislative efforts and see what has been done in your state to protect officials HERE.

NASO has also created a resource center called Say Yes To Officiating that gives leadership at the local and state levels tools to recruit and retain more officials. It also has resources for members of the general public who are looking to get into officiating and instructions on how to go about it for the sport they are interested in.

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