Amateur Sports Officiating Must Improve, Author Says in New Book

More than 100 million amateur sports games are played every year and each one requires a sports official.

In his new book Whistleblower: Calling Fouls on the Amateur Sports Officiating Crisis, Brendan Szulik reveals the realities of officiating, the way they affect you, your children, and the sports you love.

Szulik, an entrepreneur, amateur sports official and CEO of Silbo (//, says the vocation of sports officiating is dying. If officiating dies, then so will youth and amateur sports.

Low pay, harassment and abuse are part of the problem with officiating, Szulik says, but officiating is not without hope.

After spending five years researching and officiating, Szulik says there are technologies, policies and solutions that will reinvigorate sports officiating: Referees can be empowered by automation.

Rethinking the Way We Play
Silbo’s mission is to improve amateur sports by connecting game providers and officials simply and conveniently, while also developing the next generation of sports officials. Through Silbo, Szulik advocates for officials’ wages, working conditions and scheduling, with the goal of providing more opportunities for sports officials nationwide, as well as train and activate the next generation of officials.