If they are retired from their real career, and have to give up other activities with friends on a given day to go ref a middle school match, then I call that charity work. The reason they are increasing ref pay is to try and attract younger people where the pay means more to them. A high school kid can make some decent money (for them) by reffing 2-3 middle school matches a week right after they get out of school. We are always trying to attract them with money because that are not at a point in life yet where money means less than time. That doesn't work as well with the older refs who are in a different economic situation. Those I consider doing charity work for the sport. Same with coaches that do it not for the money but instead do it to help shape the lives of young men and women.
My question for "Seen2Much" is are you willing to put on the stripes for the pay that refs actually receive or are you "too busy". I am not discounting you points but when you paint every official as some employee that works for you is insulting. Same for coaches. There is no long line of applicants for the upcoming brain drain coming in both groups.
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