February 7, 2017

Winter is not over yet as we receive a modest amount of snow today.

I hope that your "off" season has been kind to you and that you have taken the opportunity to attend or register for your 2017 recertification.  There are many changes coming this Spring and by getting the reregistration portion taken care of now, it will mean one less adjustment later.

You may have heard of the changes to MAPLE, which is now called the Northeast Soccer League.  You may have heard of changes to the payment by many of the cross-border leagues from cash/check at the field to payment by ACH through assigning software.  You may have heard that very few leagues will be paying cash in the future.  All of this is not fake news. Three and one half years ago when NHSL began, the writing was on the wall as to the need for referees to supply leagues and organizations with their Tax Identification Number (TIN).  It has taken a while but as clubs are increasingly put under the microscope financially, referees need to be aware of the reporting requirements that clubs, organizations and even the referee are subject to.  Gone are the days of lots of cash in your ref bag or your pocket after a weekend of refereeing.  Though many may feel it is "unfair" or "intrusive", it is reality and you should embrace it like any challenge put upon you.  Just as registration is inevitable each year, so will be the reporting of income received by you.  It is unclear what thresholds each league or entity will impose.  A large organization sends me a reporting form each year no matter how much I worked for their tournaments (this year it was less than $100) and as a result, I must claim it on my tax return.  Adults will likely see this as a nuisance, parents will see this as a real pain in the neck as the youth referee will have to now file returns when a Form 1099-MISC is received.  This will be time consuming for many.  Additionally, in order to minimize the impact of taxes on your income, you may also need to begin to track things like mileage, uniform purchases, equipment and other expenses so that you can offset the impact of the income that you earn.  I would suggest that you seek professional advice if you cannot figure out the proper procedures.  The State Referee Committee cannot provide you guidance on this nor should they.

With that depressing news out of the way, we can address the upcoming season.  I could just insert the same words from other seasons past
  • make sure you update your availability
  • look professional and be courteous when arriving to your games
  • arrive to the fields 30 minutes before your first match
  • do your game reports in a timely fashion
  • submit a USSF Supplemental Form for any send-offs, coach dismissals or serious injuries to your assignor and the SRA
but I will forego that lecture and just use what the NE Patriots have used in the past - Do Your Job!

I hope that the snow dissipates quickly and that Spring soccer starts soon - I can wait 5 more weeks, but if the groundhog is wrong and we get delayed into mid-April, I will be looking for a few new recipes for stew, and likely sporting a new fur hat.

As always, please feel free to contact me if you have any concerns that you cannot get answers for from your assignors or Area Representatives.

State Youth Referee Administrator