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Officials with the Montana Officials Association watch as the Sentinel football team substitutes players during a game in Missoula last season. Facing a shortage of referees, the MOA is launching a major recruiting effort.

With the high school football season nearly here, the Butte and Dillon Montana Officials Association are looking to fill a severe shortage of high school referees.

Anyone interested in becoming a football official is encouraged to contact Bob Rowling (Butte) at 406-490-5822 or Mike Richardson (Dillon) at 406-925-2352 for further information.

Butte will host its first MOA meeting on Monday at 6 p.m. at the Butte Civic Center. Dillon's meeting will take place on Wednesday at Dillon Middle School at 6:30 p.m.

Membership in the MOA is attained by paying Association dues ($65 for the first sport and $30 for each additional sport) and passing the rules exam, an open-book test that must be passed with a score of 60 percent or better.

There is no late registration fee charged to new or prospective officials. Registration can be complete online at www.mhsa.org

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