Officials adjust protocols for upcoming season

Local Sports

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HARLINGEN (KVEO) – South Texas sport officials are adjusting protocols to adhere to safety regulations ahead of the 2020 fall season.

This season, referees will sport masks and electronic whistles when making calls on the football field. The south Texas chapter of the Texas Association of Sports Officials (TASO) is also recommending alternate forms of transportation– asking officials to drive separately and come dressed to avoid time in school locker rooms. TASO secretary Alex Montemayor says the goal is to promote a safe environment for the crews.

“At the end of the day, we have to come home,” Montemayor said. “We recommend that [officials] wear masks at all times.”

The protcols are put in place for the safety of those officiating, but Montemayor says referees can still opt out of the 2020 season if they feel uncomfortable doing their jobs.

“We have 30 to 40 officials that have used their right and are not going to officiate this year,” Montemayor said. “We are still ready for the season.”

Despite having fewer available officials, Montemayor is confident the group will be able to cover games across the Rio Grande Valley, Laredo and, at times, Corpus Christi. The cancellation of many sub-varsity programs have also helped ease the schedule-load.

The first set of RGV games are expected to kick off on Oct. 16.

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