Estevan Minor Football hopes to tackle a shortage of officials by cracking down on abuse from parents and coaches.

President Kevin Mortenson said the association is having a harder time getting people to officiate games. 

He chalked up the challenge to the amount of vitriol hurled at the stripe-wearing, whistle-bearing, rule enforcers.

"We get a bunch of armchair quarterbacks who want to sit in the stands. I'm not saying it's just football - it's hockey, it's lacrosse, it's baseball  - you talk to any of these minor sports associations, and the abuse on the officials is just getting worse and worse."

Kevin Mortenson wearing a Riders jerseyEstevan Minor Football President Kevin Mortenson (submitted photo)​​​​​

Mortenson said he made it clear during the parents meeting that the association will be implementing a zero-tolerance policy.

"If they're going to mouth off, and the coaches as well. I'm not welcoming that stuff at our field anymore. It's one thing, having fun. Another thing, abusing another person."

Mortenson said they have around six to eight officials for minor football. Some of them coach as well. He helps with some high school games along with someone they mileage to come from Weyburn.

Mortenson hopes to get away from working the Elecs games because he's "busy enough." But he said it's a lot of fun being out on the field, and pointed to rates of $40 for Chargers and Oilers games, and $50 for Viragos and Elecs games as a nice way for people to make money. 

"it's actually a whole new perspective of the game, being on the field, being an official."

Mortenson added that they'll provide full training for anyone looking to try their hand at officiating.