Referee Program News

US Soccer publishes new recommendations for referee skin care

posted Jul 21, 2015, 7:16 PM by Michael McCarthy

US Soccer has published new recommendations for referee skin care (7/18/15):

Kelly Shamblin joins WV State Referee Committee, succeeding Jessica Kennedy as SYRA

posted Jul 7, 2015, 6:41 PM by Michael McCarthy

The West Virginia Soccer Association State Referee Committee welcomes Kelly Shamblin to the position of State Youth Referee Administrator (SYRA), where she will fill the position formerly held by Jessica Kennedy as Jess and her husband prepare to welcome their first child to the family.

Kelly will be responsible for overseeing development initiatives for young referees in West Virginia, as well as recruiting and selecting the referee and assessor delegations to US Youth Soccer Region 1 events, including President's Cup, the ODP Tournament and the NCS Champtionship.  Further, she will have responsibility for the selection process for the WV Young Male and Female Referees of the Year.

Please join the WVSA Referee Program in thanking Jessica for her years of service and wishing her good luck, and in welcoming Kelly to this role and supporting her in her efforts.

WV Referee Recruitment & Retention, 2006 - 2015

posted May 25, 2015, 6:14 PM by Michael McCarthy   [ updated May 25, 2015, 6:41 PM ]

The PDF document below provides detail on WV Referee recruitment and retention from 2006 - 2015.  Some grim observations:
  • 1 out of every 3 new referees in WV quits after only a single year.
  • 2 out of every 3 new referees in WV have quit after 2 years.
  • 4 out of every 5 new referees in WV have quit within 3 years.
  • 9 out of every 10 new referees in WV have quit within 5 years.
  • Approximately 1 in every 3 referees in WV is in her or his very first year.
  • Our total number of referees in WV has declined each of the last 6 years.  We currently have more than 125 fewer referees in WV than our annual average over the previous 9 years and more than 200 fewer referees than we had in 2009.
  • Our success in recruiting new referees this year has been 32% below the annual average of the previous 9 years, meaning that we recruited 80 fewer referees this year than our historical numbers would have predicted.

The WV Soccer Community Mourns the Death of Coach Peter Underwood

posted May 21, 2015, 7:01 PM by Michael McCarthy

I knew Peter Underwood as an assistant coach for the Marshall University Women's Team and for youth teams with the West Virginia Soccer Club (now the WV Futbol Club). Peter was the very definition of class. The youngest person in the world at the time to hold a UEFA A license, no single memory better illustrates Peter's talents as a coach than what I observed while AR1 in a U11G match at the 2009 WVSA Open Cup. Peter's tactical instructions from the technical area were unfailingly positive for those young players. He never admonished his players to "run faster" or critiqued a missed shot. Rather, he continually motivated them with encouragement: "Who can be first?" "Can you win that ball?" "Anything left in the tank for me?" He was a truly inspirational leader, eliciting from his side everything they were capable of giving, but more than they themselves even realized. I was honored to share the pitch with him that day and the planet with him in the time since.  -Mike McCarthy

"Behind the Whistle" documentary on EPL referees

posted May 18, 2015, 6:27 AM by Michael McCarthy

A great documentary on the training and development of EPL referees from NBC Sports:

New Hampshire Soccer Association launches "Zero Tolerance" policy to stem referee abuse

posted Mar 29, 2015, 8:38 AM by Michael McCarthy

The New Hampshire Soccer Association has launched its "It's a Game: Take a Stance Against Referee Abuse" zero tolerance policy with this promotional video.

WVSA Referee Program 2014 Annual Report Posted

posted Feb 27, 2015, 12:52 PM by Michael McCarthy

The WVSA Referee Program 2014 Annual Report has been posted in PDF format to the collection of files at the bottom of the "For Referees" page of this website.  Also posted is an Excel file with additional data related to the annual report.

Five Referees Among WV Soccer Association Hall of Fame Inaugural Inductees

posted Jan 19, 2015, 6:13 PM by Michael McCarthy

Five referees are among the eleven members of the inaugural Class of 2015 of the WV Soccer Association Hall of Fame:

- Dennis Brumfield (Point Pleasant) - Current State Director of Referee Instruction, Former WVSA President, Region I Treasurer, and US Youth Soccer Treasurer.

- The late Gorden Hearnshaw (Charleston) - Former WVSA State Referee Administrator, coach, referee and player.

- Les Baldwin (South Charleston) - Former WVSA State Referee Administrator, referee, instructor and assessor, administrator of SCDYSL and KVSL

- Eric Wood (Charleston) - Former administrator of KVSL, SWVASL, referee, and instructor and WVSA board

Jane Laraba (Beckley) - Former US Youth Soccer Region I Cup Committee,WVSA administrator, coach, referee and referee instructor

Other inductees in the Class of 2015 include:

- Jay Adams (Wheeling) - Former administrator of Wheeling FC, WVSA and WVSA ODP

- Bob Gray (Huntington) - Two terms as WVSA Director of Coaching, WVSA ODP coach and DOC, current men's head soccer coach of Marshall University

- The late Ken Cross (Elkins) - Former President of WVYSA, administrator, player and coach in Elkins

- Hank Steinbrecher (Meritorious) - Former US Soccer Federation Secretary General and point person for 1994 men's World Cup held in US

- Frank Graziano (Charleston) - SWVASL player, coach, manager, and supporter.

- Scott Fischer (Huntington) - Founder of Soccer Shop Rowdies, former player and coach.

The WVSA Hall of Fame Awards Dinner will be held on February 28, 2015, at the Embassy Suites in downtown Charleston, WV.  Additional Information as well as tickets for the event can be found at

WVSA Referee Program Mourns Passing of Kevin Carney

posted Oct 6, 2014, 6:56 PM by Michael McCarthy

Sadness has come to the West Virginia soccer community with the passing of Kevin Carney from Fairmont.   Kevin went to be with the Lord at 7 amFriday morning, Oct. 3 from complications of a heart attack he had suffered on July 4, 2014.  He had been hospitalized since that time at Pittsburgh Presbyterian Hospital and had suffered a series of heart attacks while in the hospital.    Kevin was a friend to all within the league of soccer officials statewide and had been a member of the local high school soccer officials association.    Kevin began officiating 11 years ago with the Marion Co. Youth Soccer Assoc.  and soon became the referee coordinator, a position he held for several years.  He was an instant hit with the younger players and referees and had coached for several years as well.  As for being the referee coordinator in Marion Co., Kevin was an outstanding mentor, especially to the younger referees under his guidance and was always more than willing to share advise with others in our region.  A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10:00a.m. Thursday, Oct. 9 at St. Peter the Fisherman Catholic Church and will be laid to rest at the Hold Cross Cemetery in Fairmont.   Indeed, it has been an honor to have Kevin as a colleague and a friend.

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