Fall sports at schools across Green Country are still on, but with some added precautions due to COVID-19. Those precautions also apply to referees.
The president of the Greater Tulsa Officials Association said many referees are excited about returning to the game and happy to embrace new safety protocols to keep everyone safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.
A new electronic whistle is gaining popularity among officials for its ability to be used while wearing a mask.
“I mean it’s pretty loud, it got everyone's attention," said referee Devon Maynard.
With some sports moving forward this fall, COVID-19 precautions are front and center.
"We're trying to work together with the schools to make sure we maintain the proper safety protocols that are passed to us and we want everyone to stay healthy," said Maynard.
For referees, some of those guidelines include wearing a mask, using electronic whistles, and bringing their own water bottles so they're not sharing one with the teams. Greater Tulsa Officials Association President Ethan Rolen said these guidelines are voluntary, but he expects officials will have to follow rules of whatever school they go to.
"If we go to a school and a school has a mandatory mask, then I assume we'll have to use masks," Rolen said.
Devon Maynard just wants to do his part to let hard-working athletes play the game.
"I do this not just for my enjoyment, but so that the kids can perform and you know they practice their hearts out, and I want to be able to provide that game for them, it's hard to have a game without officials," Maynard said.
Ethan Rolen said they always need more help calling games, so if you'd like to get involved, go to the Great Tulsa Officials Association website.