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Local ref comments on developing guidelines

A.J. Kinnell speaks out on AIA's pending officiating standards.

Yuma area prep football officials had a preliminary meeting with the Arizona Interscholastic Association on Monday night about how referees are expected to conduct games amidst the Coronavirus Pandemic.

A.J. Kinnell was one of those officials.

What he took away from the meeting is the general responsibility of referees to show up to their assigned games wearing a mask from their car to the field, and practicing social distancing before and after the game.

Beyond that, more details about what's expected from officials will likely be revealed at the next meeting sometime next week.

Where things can differ from there would be to abide by the home school's set "on field" protocols established by that school's administration or athletic director.

Whatever the case might be with school to school guidelines, according to Kinnell, the games might be somewhat longer because of it.

Because of social distancing, players on each team will likely stretch the bench on both sidelines to cover the area on each side from the 10 yard lines on both sides of the field.

This could slow the game down, since players will have their own assigned water bottles that will be at varied locations on their respective sideline.

Another concern, could be having enough game balls rotating in the game to make sure each are sanitized.

If there aren't enough game balls, that too can slow down the progress of the given game.

But, even with those concerns Kinnell doesn't think these things will hinder the official's role in regulating a game.

"Will it give us any more challenge? I don't think so. As far as we're concerned, if the players follow the protocols, do what they are told, do what they are taught, and we follow what we've been given as far as our guidelines are concerned, I think everything will go smooth. And it won't add any kind of extra burden to us officiating the game."

High school football is scheduled to begin on Friday, October 2nd.

The Yuma Union High School District is yet to determine when the condensed 6-game regular season will start for it's member schools.

High School Sports

Rob Fram

Rob Fram rejoined the KYMA News Team in February 2010.

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