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How the COVID-19 pandemic has increased workload on local referees

Some referees have stepped away due mask restrictions, others because of the virus itself.

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted sports across the board, including the workload on local referees. 

A shortage of officials had already been a growing concern before the pandemic; now some are stepping away due to mask restrictions, and others have opted out due to the virus itself. 

Both sides of the rivers had trouble staffing games

"You do it because you enjoy the game, the players, the coaches," said one referee, "the time spent together, it all adds up to a really positive experience."

Another referee said despite mask mandates, capacity limits and other restrictions, the return of more normalcy.

Tournament play complicates the shortage as well, with games being held nearly every night of the week.