June 21, 2017

Today is the longest day of the year!  

I want to take this moment to discuss the Spring season and some of the interesting situations that arose during the past few months.  

There is no doubt that you were inundated by requests for coverage as the number of games this past season in New Hampshire was quite excessive.  I was even asked to do games so that should say it all!  Though the desire to work games may be great, one thing I noticed is that many referees are not taking care of themselves.  The number of injured referees is rising and I can only derive a few reasons as to why that may be:
    - perhaps referees are working too many games because of the amount of money one can make with the number of games being so high
    - perhaps it is because we are feeling obligated to the assignors and do not want to let them down
    - perhaps it is lack of fitness
    - or even something I cannot think of at this moment

Whatever the reason, your health is most important and you should place a high priority on it.  Over the past two weeks, I have been in Delaware for the ODP Tournament and West Virginia for Presidents Cup.  In each case, I witnessed referees being overcome by bad knees, shin splints, heat exhaustion.  I fear that this will carry forward as the season winds down over the next few weeks.  With soccer becoming a year round sport in the Northeast, I would urge you to take some time off.  A few weeks can go a long way to giving your legs, knees and feet a well-deserved break.  Before you know it the Fall season will be starting and without some rest, the problems will only get worse.  No one can fault you for resting the only body you have.  I promise you that there will be games to do when you are ready to start up again.

To this end, if you know anyone who wants to become a referee, please have them monitor the "New Referee Training" link to the left.  We are always looking to expand the referee base and there will be quite a few new classes added over the remainder of the year.  I also would urge you to re-register for 2018 as soon as possible.  The recertification for 2018 will be open in July and with the year flying by, I hope that you re-register sooner rather than later.  Quite a few referees began the process early on but when April rolled around this year, many had yet to complete their testing requirements and found themselves left out for the year.  The Instruction program offered well over 25 opportunities to attend an IST and each IST was well attended.  However, the testing portion of the recertification process was largely ignored  or put off until it was too late by many.  I would hope that the testing wasn't too complicated but perhaps it was.  Should you have an issue like this, reach out to the Area Representative or the SDI or anyone else on the SRC so that we can help you meet the deadlines.  If you don't, you have no one but yourself to blame.

As always, if you have concerns about the youth game in general or questions that surround it, I am always willing to answer your questions as best possible.  Some have asked questions and not liked the answers (I cannot control what Chicago mandates) but I will always get you the answer.  So before I get deluged by questions regarding uniforms, here is what the current policy is:
  - Effective January 2018, you will no longer be able to utilize the "old" style shirts (in 2016 US Soccer allowed a two year transition from "old" to "new" style uniform shirts
  - Please use the "two stripe socks" for all outdoor matches
  - The primary color for outdoor matches is yellow
  - Click here for The US Soccer Referee Program Standards of Dress or you can download it at the bottom of the page.

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

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