Referees don't show up to big basketball game

By Eric Domingo
Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

It was a really weird Tuesday night for Manning (Iowa) high school basketball teams. They were suppose to play an exciting doubleheader against an unbeaten basketball team.

The teams in the doubleheader are still undefeated because the referees who were scheduled to officiate the games never came.

The Lawton-Bronson girls and boys basketball teams got back on the bus and returned home. Not only were both teams disappointed that they didn’t play IKM-Manning high school, but they also had to drive nearly 100 miles back.

“The (IKM) athletic director had a signed contract and he did his job, but the issue was that no one sowed up…This is my nightmare as an A.D. You have singed contracts and you confirm it, but it doesn’t come together,” says Vince Johnson, Lawton-Bronson athletic director of boys basketball.

The No. 2 ranked IKM-Manning girls team and the No. 4 ranked Lawton-Bronson team were teams that went 8-0 in the season. The 2-A’s No. 4 ranked IKM-Manning team was 8-0 and they were suppose to face the 1-A Eagles, that were unranked and 7-0.

“I kind of have a routine where I wait for the national anthem of the girls’ game to get done before getting the guys ready, and I kept waiting and waiting…It’s definitely disappointing,” says Keith Wagner, IKM-Manning boys’ coach.

The four teams are expected to makeup the games January 10, with the site to be determined.

According to Roger Barr, director of officials with the Iowa High School Athletic Association, individual schools are responsible for hiring and confirming game officials throughout the regular season.

“It’s very unfortunate that you have that type of thing happen…But we don’t take over official scheduling until postseason,” says Barr.

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