High school refs may be penalized for pink whistles



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Posted on October 21, 2010 at 10:52 PM

Updated Friday, Oct 22 at 12:43 PM

The Washington Officials Association may penalize high school football refs who use pink whistles without permission. Who do you side with on this?

BOTHELL, Wash. – Dozens of local football referees used pink whistles at football games Thursday night. Now, their governing body may throw the flag at them.

The referees, who are part of the Pacific Northwest Football Officials Association, are using the whistles to raise awareness for breast cancer research. The referees are also donating their game checks to Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

However, the chair of the Washington Officials Association Chair Todd Stordahl says the refs didn't ask for permission.

"They chose not to ask for permission, not to go the right route," said Stordahl.  He says the move sets a precedent.  Last year, a softball umpire wore a Hawaiian shirt. Stardahl says there are state official rules for what is an appropriate uniform and this particular association disregarded the rules.

“It sends the wrong message to kids that are playing the game. 'If they broke the rules why can’t I do the same,'” said Stardahl.

The decision by the officials may cost them down the road. Stardahl says the WOA may keep the pink whistle blowers from officiating two playoff games as a result. That means the referees will lose game checks.

There was a fundraiser at the Inglemoor High football game Thursday night to benefit the Susan G. Komen Foundation.  Inglemoor’s head coach, Frank Naish, lost his sister to breast cancer earlier this year and another student athlete, Todd Raynes, lost his Aunt to the disease this summer. 

They were pleased by the referee’s effort.

“I think it’s perfect. It’s great,” says Naish’s wife Teri. “I think it’s a shame (if they’re penalized).  The message we’re sending is simple.  We’re looking for a cure for breast cancer.”