OHSAA Pat Houseworth Suspension

(10-5-17) Ohio High School Referee Pat Houseworth has been suspended for the rest of the school year with no appeal considered until at least the next school year (2018-19), due to his postings on social media.

The letter of his suspension from the OHSAA was sent on October 2nd, after the initial letter was sent on 9-25-17. Reviewing the correspondence their is no mention of any Houseworth shortcomings with on-field activities during his long career as an official.

Although the OHSAA’s Beau Rugg, Director of Officiating wrote in the letter:

Any reasonable person who reads your postings would doubt your ability to fairly a game, regardless of whether or not you actually do call them fairly. This is not an issues of politics. It’s an issue of respect.

Houseworth Paper Trail

  • Portions of Houseworth’s first response (September 25th) to the OHSAA’s Ben Ferree and their allegations–

 Near 69 years of age a college graduate with multiple degrees, a two tour Vietnam Veteran with Honorable Discharge and President of the Midwest Buckeye Umpires Association, multiple times. My work speaks for itself…and yes I have made many enemies in some fields…and it comes as no surprise that someone or several someones, would use my words against me, or the words of a potential hacker to do same. Without dwelling further into the matter.


  • Portions of Houseworth’s email response (September 25th) to the OHSAA’s Ben Ferree- –

I have given many years to officiating high school, college, and lower level sports, and have always upheld my end on the field, diamond, and courts…my personal opinions on political and social media are mine alone. I think I fought for those rights, and have never carried them out on the fields of play at any level, college, high school, or lower contests. I’m not sure who has an axe to grind, and frankly I don’t care who that might be.

It’s my God given right to say what I feel and think, and of course I know that the chips may fall on me, for those opinions. This is NOT a free speech or political/social issue. I have right to say what I believe and those who choose to hire me as Independent Contractor and those who sponsor my Blogs have the right to disavow my opinions. That is their choice.


  • portions of an Email Houseworth sent to Officials, Athletic Directors and Assigners (October 4, 2017)-


This suspension has nothing to do with anything I have done on the Football Field, Baseball Diamond, or Basketball Court…or any criminal behavior. It is simply using my personal quotes and opinions on social media against me. Freedom of opinions and speech, if the powers that be in OHSAA don’t agree or like them, do not exist. The person suspected of hacking or using somebody else to gain entrance to my Facebook and Twitter Accounts has taken out a few comments over the past decade {out of thousands} and sent them to Beau Rugg and his assistant Ben Ferree. One or both determined that those non public postings were enough to suspend me for the remainder of the current year.


My advice to my fellow officials.

The “Good Ol Boy System” is locked in place and this “good ol boy” was never, nor did I ever want to be, a part of that….until that system is dismantled and those pushing and controlling it at OHSAA are removed, the lack of quality officials will continue to shrink. I wish all of you, whether you agree with my thoughts or not, Good Luck in your future Officiating pursuits.

Facebook responses on our SSN Page

  • 1st posting

This is absurd , had the pleasure over the past 4 years of watching Pat officiate high school baseball games. Pat always conducted himself as a professional and a gentleman! Pat exemplified through his actions respect for the game and the players !

We need more officials like Pat .

OHSAA , your wrong !Don’t push the good ones away !

  • 2nd posting –

Give ‘me hell Pat. You have just as much right to voice your opinion on social media as those yahoos taking a knee! I’m tired of all this “I have the right” stuff getting twisted. No more pledge of allegiance or prayer in school but it’s OK to disrespect the National Anthem and those who fought for our freedom.

Houseworth is presently looking into his options and next move from several sources, including legal actions.

Pat Houseworth Football Referee


Ohio HS Referee To Seek Legal Options Against OHSAA