MSHSAA football officials utilize new technology this season - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

MSHSAA football officials utilize new technology this season

(Source: KFVS 12) (Source: KFVS 12)

Technology met the gridiron this high school football season in Missouri.

For the first time, the Missouri State High School Activities Association granted varsity officiating crews the option to utilize wireless walkie talkies on the playing field.

Twenty-six year officiating veteran and crew chief Kenny Holder says the radios are welcome addition.

“Don't know how we did it without it," Holder said. "We can get the information a lot more quickly to the sideline by talking on the mic."

Referees in the NFL and NCAA use radios and nine weeks into the season, officials in Missouri are finding them useful.

"The number thing from coaches is communications. It's another good way to talk to each other,” Holder said.

MSHSAA drafted device guidelines with the help from collegiate officials.

Administrators say it’s another tool to help crews during a game.

"We want to help the officials enjoy what they're doing as much as possible. And things that make their lives easier go a long in helping them enjoy what they do," MSHSAA communications director Jason West says.

Each crew is responsible for purchasing their own set of mics. And they are only allowed to use them at the varsity level.

Holder says it’s a balance of new technology and traditional officiating mechanics.

But the mics are a benefit to all.

"Being able to tell the coaches, ‘hey we got a holding on somebody,’ that's their number one concern is they want to know what happened so they can teach their kids," Holder said. "It's just a great tool."

MSHSAA says they'll evaluate the program after the season.

But some officials say they hope to expand mic use beyond varsity football.

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