(WJW) – The threat of a boycott of week one of the high school football season is officially over.
Football referees were asking for a raise before the start of the season. That raise became official on Monday, but how close were we from getting a boycott?
“That’s a great question,” Chagrin Valley Conference Commissioner Don Lewis said. “Speaking from outside, we thought it was pretty close to really happening.”
That’s when Lewis and Beachwood Athletics Director Ryan Peters stepped in and organized a meeting with dozens of athletic conference commissioners, athletic directors, officials, members of the OHSAA and school principals from all across Northeast Ohio to figure out a new payment plan for football referees.
“We had about 60 people in the room,” Beachwood Athletic Director Ryan Peters said. “I was pleasantly surprised. I didn’t think it was going to be that easy.”
The plan Peters and Lewis presented to this group included a five-year pay scale.
Varsity football officials will be paid $80 per game this season. That’s a $10 increase from last season and the first raise in nearly 20 years.
The pay scale jumps to $90 per game in 2023-24 and 2024-25. Then, it jumps to $100 per game in the final two years of the agreement.
“The Officials Association, I think those guys were extremely reasonable, responsive,” Peters said. “They just wanted some resolve. We committed to making sure that happened.”
“I believe the officials are happy because I know they’re going to get raises, to get to the $100 fee that they wanted,” Lewis said.
Peters said the school will host a similar meeting at the end of the month to determine a new pay scale for high school officials in other sports