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Basketball officials take a big cut due to COVID

By Tim Chambers
Sports Editor

The next time that basketball officials are announced at a game, the crowd ought to give them a standing ovation. They, too, have been affected by the COVID 19 virus. Just recently, TSSAA voted to cut their pay by $25 for each night they officiate games until the end of the regular season. The reason for doing so was a result of the restricted number of fans permitted to attend basketball games.

The pay decrease began last week. It means that officials who work two varsity games like most do per night would receive $80 instead of the $105 they have been receiving. Officials will receive $50 for a single varsity game instead of $75. This pertains to a three-person crew. This was a good move for the schools because there was a rumor that some schools might cut varsity sports due to expenses. 

The athletic departments can no longer rely on gate or concession revenue to buy equipment because only a small following attend games. Some schools in Carter County allow no fans at all at the games. The restricted number of fans that can attend games are responsible for a lot of it.The pay cut for officials will not apply for postseason games.

Cheerleaders, pep bands, and dancers cannot attend games while COVID restrictions are in place.  Please remember that fans are not allowed at games in Carter County, including parents and grandparents. 

Those who can attend most schools are:

  • Players’ parents or guardians and immediate household members
  • First responders
  • Coaching and team personnel
  • School, game, and facility administrators
  • Athletics officials
  • Media and athletic scouting personnel attending the event in their professional capacity