(Bloomington, IL) — A recent report shows Illinois’ referee shortage is getting worse, with the number of referees for the state’s high school athletics dropping 11 percent from the 2012-13 to the 2016-17 seasons. According to the Illinois High School Association, the number of referees dropped last year from nearly 12,200 to fewer than 12,000. Sam Knox, the IHSA assistant executive director in charge of officials, said the drop is partially due to referees’ poor treatment. He said while referees were still fairly easy to find in and around the state’s metro areas, rural areas in southern Illinois find refs in short supply. According to Knox, soccer and wrestling were most affected.