PENNSYLVANIA, USA — On the court, on the mat, or in the pool, student-athletes can't compete if it isn't for the hard work and dedication of officials.
Carlisle’s Frank Hancock has been officiating in District III for 21 years. His story starts by being influenced by a friend.
"I was playing basketball with a guy named Donnie Eppley, a big shot and officiating so he recognized that maybe I should start reffing, so I started reffing," said Frank Hancock.
There are over 350,000 student-athletes that compete in varsity or junior varsity across Pennsylvania.
To have games, meets, or matches, schools rely on the 12,000 officials to make it possible.
"It's great, you give them a shot. You try to give them a good honest and objective game and then you do the best you can, because they deserve it. They get one shot," said Hancock.
Winter Sports Officials Appreciation Week is coming at a time when the PIAA is in need of officials, as we’ve already seen the impact during the fall; games moved to different times or nights to combat with the current shortage.
A simple week like this means a lot to the people that help student-athletes thrive in the sport or sports they love.
"It's a good thing because officials really put in a lot of hard work trying to make it good for everybody. For somebody to say, 'hey nice job that's a good deal for everybody. It's a nice way to say thank you for the effort that you're putting in," said Hancock.
If you're interested in becoming an official, more information can be found here.