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Indiana changes allows younger youths as referees

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press
Wednesday, April 10, 2013 - 7:40 am

INDIANAPOLIS — A southern Indiana boy has successfully spurred a change in state law that will allow sports leagues to hire youths like him as referees.

Thirteen-year-old Matthew Burkart of Newburgh was at the Statehouse on Tuesday as Gov. Mike Pence signed the bill making the change into law.

The change that takes effect immediately adds youth sports officials to the list of jobs for which children younger than 14 can be hired. State law previously had exceptions for golf caddies, farm workers and newspaper carriers.

Matthew testified before a legislative committee about the bill, saying the change will get more kids off the couches and iPads. He hopes to referee soccer games before his next birthday.