October 6, 2016

Now that the Fall season is near its half-way point, please take some time to reflect on the following:
  1. Have you achieved what you wanted to achieve when the season began?
  2. Have you given your best at each game?
  3. Have you been professional in your actions both on and off the field?
This is a short list of the "haves".  I hope that your list of "have not"s is even shorter.  As a referee, I have always tried to reflect upon what I have done and what I have not done to be better and to better the sport.  It is okay to not be the best, provided you strive to be the best.  There are no guarantees that hard work and your best effort will get you a FIFA badge, but it is guaranteed that if you do not give your best effort, you will not.  This is a lot like any profession - every day people go to work and try their hardest to do their job.  Some go on to become the president of the company, some start successful businesses and some just have the satisfaction of knowing that what they did was of benefit to their customers and co-workers.  Those that don't try don't lose their job necessarily, but do limit their ability to earn more, get promoted or be recognized by their peers as a valued member of the "company".

This year and next year will be difficult as the sport transitions with changes to the Laws Of The Game, incorporates Player Development Initiatives and grows.  New referees being trained will have an easier time adapting as it is information that they will be given from the start.  Experienced referees may have a harder time adapting, as the "old" way of doing things is comfortable.  The amount of effort you put in to grow as a referee has a direct correlation on the benefit you bring to the game.  As you know, the State Referee Committee is here to assist you in being your best.  If you want to excel, you need to take the initiative to contact us.  

I am pleased to report that we had 45 referees, ranging from Grade 8 with less than 1 year experience to State Emeritus with 27 years experience, attend this summer's Advanced Referee Training.  All were able to participate in training provided by Rob Fereday, former FIFA Assistant Referee and learn from one of the best.  This coming winter, we will host another Advanced Referee Training and hope to have Lee Suckle, former National Referee lead the session.  I am sure it will be a great event.

Speaking of training, we should begin to see classes for 2017 re-certification resume shortly (within the next 6 weeks) and re-certification and entry level Futsal courses are being worked on now.  Though we are in the middle of the Fall season, planning for next year should be a priority for you now.  Keep in mind that your current 2016 registration is good through 12/31/16 but effective 1/1/2017 you will be prohibited from officiating until your 2017 recertification is complete and approved.

Remaining events that you should contact me about (if you are interested) are:

    1.  The last year of the USYS Kohl's American Cup (October 22, 23, 29/30).
    2.  The New England Soccer Invitational (tentative November 12 & 13) 

If you are interested in these events, please send an email to me and let me know.  

Please remember that regardless of the league(s) you may be working, you need to be a professional and to do the following:
  1. Accept/Decline your assignments promptly.  The assignors want to know as soon as possible that you can or cannot wok the game(s).  Keep your availability current!!! 
  2. Honor your commitments and Do Not Cherry Pick your assignments.
  3. Arrive to your games at least 30 minutes prior to kick and be professional.  
  4. Do your game reports and report your game scores as soon as possible after the game.  Many systems now allow for reporting via smartphone.  You should submit your game reports within 48 hours per US Soccer Policy.  If required (due to cautions, send-offs, dismissals or other unusual event) be sure to submit a US Soccer Supplemental Report to the assignor and the SRA as well, with a copy of the game report.  These reports are found on this site under the "Resources" tab on the left side of this page.  There is no substitute for using the correct form!  Despite many of the assigning programs having these reports built in to them, you still need to use a USSF Supplemental Form when sending off a player, dismissing a coach, reporting a serious injury or other unusual situation.  In time, the software programs will get the new forms incorporated, but until that time, please send in the form as described above.
  5. Please work hard in your games. Whether you are working a rec league game, NHSL, MAPLE or NEP, these games deserve your best.  If you don't try hard, it will be noted and your game counts may likely drop.  The amount of compensation that many of the leagues pay is quite good and your effort needs to match that of the players and competition.  Show them that you deserve the money they pay!
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.
Enjoy the last few weeks the season,
State Youth Referee Administrator