San Marcos High School ~ Santa Barbara, CA

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CIF Referee Strike

As we enter the winter sports season of the 2023-2024 high school sports season, one sport stands out, Soccer. The soccer season may be on pause due to the current ref strike on soccer CIF-Southern Section officials who are unhappy with their current pay rate threaten to boycott matches. With games scheduled to begin in mid-November, officials are pushing back on the new fee structure that was approved in January 2022.

The new pay system has shifted to an hourly-based one rather than a flat fee per game. Before the change, soccer referees were given $80 per game, and are now receiving $35.56 per hour for an average of $2.25 hours of work. The average on this is about a $0.01 raise, the issue with this is that football, baseball, basketball, and softball officials all received raises that were much larger than what soccer received. Although a majority of sections are on strike, not all 7 out of 11 are on strike, but our section is one of them.

“We are going to have a season,” said San Marcos Athletic Director Mr. Solis, on whether San Marcos was going to have a season. “I’m currently making calls all around town to find refs who are qualified to ref our boys games. We want our boys to have a season, they deserve to have a season, and we will find a way to get them refs to have their season.”

The issue with this situation is the contract that the sections and the refs agreed on was a 3-year contract, and the negation period for a new contract would be during the spring of 2024, at the end of the soccer season, meaning the boycotting of games would likely last the whole season. This forces the sections to find their own or other refs to be able to have a soccer season.

We as a school hope this can come to an end soon, and that the boys, and girls teams at San Marcos can have an excellent entire season. We will add another update when we know more about the soccer referee strike.

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About the Contributor
Shams Jahangir-Arshad
Shams Jahangir-Arshad, Sports Editor

Shams is in 12th grade at San Marcos High School. This is his third year in Journalism, and he enjoys writing about sports and movies. At school his favorite subjects are math and photography. Outside of school he loves playing golf, watching movies, and hanging out with friends. Some of his favorite movies are Sully, Blue streak, Rush hour 1, Rush hour 2, Rush hour 3, and Star Wars The Revenge Of The Sith.

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