PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — We may be barely approaching spring — but before you know it, high school football will be on our doorstep.

Even in March, the push is on to hire new officials to ensure there are no delays for games this fall. The Portland Football Officials Association (PFOA) says they need a few good men and women.

“We wanna sit at the 180 officials level. [We had] been doing that pretty well up until COVID hit,” PFOA Recruiting Chair Rob Fuller. “You’ve heard of the great resignation, it’s out there and hitting everybody… we’re feeling it as well.”

Now that there’s some normalcy returning to our lives, it’s time to replenish PFOA’s roster of refs.

“We lost 60 officials out of 180,” Fuller said. “They just didn’t come back”

Fuller says he realizes this is not gonna happen overnight and, like any job, they’ll need to vet their applicants.

“We work backward from mid-July, and that’s the window that we are in right now,” he said. “Give us your name, number and email and tell us you’re interested and we’ll give you a call.”

Fuller says this could take years to get over, but the situation is dire enough that they need to get the word out.

There are just 3 requirements to being an official: availability, flexibility and mobility.

“From a personality standpoint or interest, you gotta love football — and that’s really what drives you,” Fuller said. “And I’ll tell you — if you like the sport of football, officiating is a blast.”

If you are interested in becoming a high school official, follow this link to the PFOA’s website.