PHOENIX - It's a problem high school sports officials are trying to curb, and quickly: kids and coaches getting ejected from games at an alarming rate.
According to Brian Gessner, the State Commissioner of Officials for the Arizona Interscholastic Association, the number of ejections this school year has already surpassed that of last year, and we still have a few months to go.
"We're just not throwing people out on whims," Gessner said "It has to be very egregious."
According to Gessner, statewide ejections for high school sports are as follows:
2016-2017 School Year: 725
2017-2018 School Year: 800+
"We are going to tackle the sportsmanship issue," Gessner said.
Gessner says officials are cracking down on the rules.
"In the past we've been a little bit soft and I'm challenging these officials to be more stringent," he said.
Gessner says he's seen a lot of good examples around Arizona of good sportsmanship and he hopes to see more.
At the end of the school year the AIA will look at what's causing most of the ejections, such as profanity, and will take steps to tackle that issue. In terms of ejections, Gessner says soccer is the biggest problem.