BUFFALO, N.Y. — Section VI kicked off its 2022 high school football schedule with two games on Thursday, and there's growing trend to schedule more games on Thursdays and Saturdays this season.
It's an answer to an ongoing shortage of referees plaguing not only Western New York but other parts of the country as well.
"More schools have been installing lights and had been choosing to play on Friday nights," Section VI Football Chairman Jay Sirianni said. "But there are not enough officials to cover a full slate of games on Friday."
This has resulted in an increasing number of games having to be played on Thursday night, or on Saturday in order to ensure that all games are officiated.
Teams playing home games on Thursdays as opposed to Friday might attract smaller crowds with students and adult fans having to get up the next day for school and work, respectively.
"I have heard from some schools that said they had a Thursday night game last year and they lost revenue," said Sirianni, who noted that this could impact the amount of money raised by booster clubs supporting teams due to smaller amounts of revenue at the concession stands.
"What we look at when we look at the schedule is who had a home Thursday game last year. We're doing our best to cycle through this and be fair. It doesn't come out equitable all of the time, but we try our best to do that. I have also had some teams who want Thursday night games."
Having games three days a week also creates a bonanza of sorts for the most die hard high school football fans.
"They could get to see three three good games in three nights and that is something for someone who truly loves high school football," he said.