The TASO 2017-2018 seasons set all time records for membership numbers as total TASO membership topped 16,000 resulting in a 5.6% increase in membership. The biggest contributing factor to the upswing was a sharp increase in new members. Over all six sports, 22.9% of the total membership were new to that sport last year.
That\'s the good news. The bad news ... 18.8% of 2016-2017 members did not return for 2017-2018. Even with the sharp increase in new members, Texas, like most every other state, is experiencing a shortage of officials. Based on previous surveys, we find that the most frequent reasons for not returning is due to a family or job-related concern. The most sited reason, that can be addressed is the conduct of coaches, players, and fans. This is a concern that we are continuing to address with the UIL and TAPPS.
Is seems the two largest factors for our officials shortage is the schools that open each year and our retention rate. The new school growth is beyond our control, but perhaps our retention rate is something we can work on. We are certainly working on that at the State level, but I encourage each TASO member to have discussions within your chapter to look for ways to address the retention rate.
The 2018-2019 seasons are underway with Volleyball already playing and Football just a few weeks away. Let\'s all prepare from both a rules knowledge and fitness level aspect to make this a banner year for TASO members.