Sports Officials Canada announces National Officials Day – April 17, 2013

Sports Officials Canada is pleased to announce the designation of April 17, 2013 as National Officials Day in Canada.  The theme of this inaugural event, is “Respect the Official”.  The aim is to increase the awareness of the importance of officiating to sport and to promote respect of officials. 
 
The estimated number of technical officials in Canada who come under the jurisdiction of our National Sports Organizations technical officiating programs is 250,000, of which 150,000 are registered. These are in addition to the other 650,000 Canadians who perform some sort of officiating duty each year. 
 
Sports officials are the “keepers of the game”.  It is their role to ensure fair play and safety for all participants.  For the majority, it is a volunteer activity – they give up their evenings and weekends to do something that they love.  It is their dedication and passion for what they do which makes them an integral part of the sport system. 
 
It can be a thankless and sometimes rough job. Disrespect and abuse of officials can lead to low recruitment and retention figures in some sports. The message today is that disrespecting a sports official is never acceptable nor should it ever be considered “part of the game”.
 
Additionally, it is not just here at home that they contribute to sport.  Canada has long been viewed as a world leader in the field of officiating.  Evidence of this is the fact that 144 Canadian technical officials were selected by the various international bodies to officiate at the Beijing, Vancouver and London Olympics and the hundreds of Canadians who referee and judge at World Championships and World Cups each year.
 
Volleyball Canada is in support of Sports Officials Canada and National Officials Day. Volleyball Canada would like to encourage all athletes, coaches, and parents to take this opportunity to thank any and all officials that they have crossed paths with throughout their volleyball careers.
 
“Today as we celebrate National Officials Day, Volleyball Canada would like to extend a big thank you to our referee's. Their hard work and dedication has a major impact on Volleyball in Canada from coast to coast to coast” says Mark Eckert, Volleyball Canada’s Executive Director.
 
For more information on National Officials Day, please visit http://www.sportsofficials.ca