Columbia Gorge Officials Association is trying to recruit volleyball referees in west Klickitat County and Skamania County for the upcoming high school and junior high seasons.
The head of the organization, Bill Daniels, said anyone interested in becoming an official should plan to attend an organizational meeting at 7 p.m. this Monday, Aug. 16, at Riverview Savings Bank in Goldendale.
Those who can't make that meeting could come to the next one on Monday, Aug. 23, or call Daniels at (509) 773-3980 for more information.
According to Daniels, most of the officials who work matches in Klickitat County come from the Goldendale area. He said the need for officials in the west end of the county becomes especially critical when junior high season begins in mid-September.
"Those are afternoon matches and for someone coming from Goldendale, that means someone like myself has to leave work early in order to get to Henkle (Middle School) in time for a 3:30 match," Daniels noted.
Having officials based in the Bingen-White Salmon area or in Skamania County would help alleviate some of those scheduling issues, plus infuse some "new blood, young blood" into the ranks of county volleyball officials.
"You don't need to know anything about volleyball, but it's helpful if you have played the game or have some officiating experience, even if it's in another sport like soccer or basketball," Daniels said.
Daniels was a basketball referee before he started officiating volleyball matches. He said he's worked with a wide range of volleyball officials, from high school students to retired citizens, during his career.
"It's been a rewarding experience for me personally," said Daniels, who teaches at Goldendale High School.
During a season, officials can earn from $500 to $2,000 for their service, depending on their level of experience. Moreover, the association provides all the training and handles the scheduling arrangements.