BANGOR, Maine — The Bangor Chapter of the Maine Association of Football Officials has 53 officials available for varsity duty as the 2012 high school season is set to begin this weekend.
Nearly all of them will be working Friday night.
With six officials unavailable for duty for various reasons on opening night, 47 will be available and all 47 are needed, according to Bangor chapter official Allen Snell.
That’s because the majority of teams in the region play Friday night home games, and the few schools covered by the chapter that routinely play Saturday games all are on the road for their openers this Friday night.
That means there are 10 games to be covered by the Bangor chapter this weekend, all on Friday.
And in recent years, more and more schools are opting to hire a fifth official for home games instead of the minimum of four in order to provide maximum coverage for the increased use by teams of spread offenses that place a greater emphasis on passing.
Of the 10 games to be staffed by the Eastern Maine board on Friday night, seven will employ five officials while the other three will use four officials — adding up to 47, exactly the number available.
Last year, the Week 2 showdown between Bangor and Lawrence of Fairfield was shifted from Friday to Saturday night because there were 10 other games scheduled that Friday night and that was the maximum number of games that could be staffed by the officials available on that date.