The NFHS is excited to announce our second of three officials’ appreciation weeks of the 2023-24 school year. NFHS Winter Sports Officials Appreciation Week will take place January 7-13, 2024.
Participation in winter sports officials’ appreciation week can be as simple or as extravagant as state associations and/or schools want it to be. Many schools will not only get their teams involved in the fun but will ask student groups on campus to get involved. It is a great community project for school student councils, spirit groups or other groups that serve as ambassadors to your school and community. Here are some ideas that have worked throughout the country:
- Officials’ appreciation week banners and signage on the fence, wall, etc., surrounding the contest playing area.
- Gift cards/cookies/donuts/other items presented to the crew by both the home and visiting team.
- Photos of the officiating crew with both teams and coaches prior to the start of the game (or at the end, depending on timing).
- Read a PSA at the start of the game, thanking the crew for working the contest.
- Student escorts of the crew onto the field/court/pitch.
- “Thank you” cards, signed by the team and coaching staff.
- Special appreciation signage in the officials’ locker room.
- Recorded “thank you” messages from student-athletes and coaches to officials, posted on social media.
These are just some examples of what schools can do – the possibilities are endless! Please share this email with your schools and encourage their participation in the various appreciation weeks. Ask them to post their initiatives on social media and to tag the NFHS on the following social media platforms:
- Facebook: @NFHS1920
- Instagram: @nfhs_org
- Twitter/X: @NFHS_Org
Feel free to email any outstanding examples to me at firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can maintain a library of them. If your state celebrates officials' appreciation weeks at other times of the year, let us know so we can showcase what your state is doing. We appreciate your assistance in this retention effort! Recognizing and appreciating officials may seem like a “little thing” but it goes a long way and, encourage schools to thank their officials all season long - not just during a special week.
Mark this week on your calendars, as well as Spring Sports Officials Appreciation Week (April 14-20, 2024).
Have a great rest of your week and a wonderful holiday season and thank you for everything YOU do! If you have any questions, please let me know.
Dana Marie Pappas, CAA
Director of Officiating Services