Referee Program News

WVSA Referee Program names Keefover and Sharpe as 2015 Young Referees of the Year

posted Sep 26, 2015, 5:03 PM by Michael McCarthy

Congratulations to the 2015 WV Soccer Association Young Female and Male Referees of the Year:  Ashley Keefover and Justin Sharpe.

Ashley, 16, of Fairmont, West Virginia, is a Grade 8 referee in her third year of service.  She referees for the local Marion County recreational league and has worked WVSA statewide events including Kohl’s Cup and Open Cup.  Dean Shriver of Marion County described her as a reliable and tireless referee for the local league, and West Virginia State Referee Administrator Michael McCarthy noted that she is committed to developing as a referee, as evidenced by her willingness to make the trip all the way from Fairmont this past June merely for the opportunity to observe referee crews working the US Youth Soccer Region 1 Championship tournament.

Justin, 18, of Morgantown, West Virginia, is a Grade 7 Referee in his sixth year as an official.  He referees high school matches as well as youth and adult amateur matches for the Mountaineer United Soccer Club.  He has worked several WVSA statewide events, including Kohl’s Cup, Open Cup and the WVSA State Championships, as well as events for US Youth Soccer Region 1, including President’s Cup, the Olympic Development Program (ODP) Tournament and the US Youth Soccer Region 1 Championship tournament, where he served as West Virginia’s Head of Delegation in 2015.  He has also worked matches in the United Soccer Leagues’ Premier Development League (USL PDL) and is poised to upgrade to Grade 6 State Referee during the 2016 badge year.  He also mentors newer and younger referees, as noted by Jessica Kennedy, former State Youth Referee Administrator for West Virginia, who observed that “Justin is a very ambitious young man who encourages other young referees around him to strive to become better.”

Ashley and Justin will be honored at the 2016 WVSA Hall of Fame and Awards Dinner in Charleston, WV, on March 5 and will now both be considered for the US Youth Soccer Region 1 Young Femal and Male Referee of the Year honor.  Nominees for both the West Virginia and the Region 1 awards are judged on their commitment to personal development, promotion of the game and involvement in the community.

Sideline Development: How Parents Can Improve the Game (video)

posted Sep 18, 2015, 6:50 PM by Michael McCarthy

8:25 video by Washington Youth Soccer on how parents can improve the game:

SAVE THE DATE - WVSA Referee Program Workshop, March 5, 2016, Charleston, WV

posted Sep 9, 2015, 6:10 PM by Michael McCarthy

SAVE THE DATE:  March 5, 2016 -- WVSA Referee Program Workshop, Charleston, WV, with the WVSA Hall of Fame Dinner to follow that evening.  Region 2 Referee Administrator and US Soccer National Instructor Jonathan Meersman will be the featured facilitator.  Details to follow....

New US Soccer Coaching Initiatives Target Improvement in Youth Development Standards

posted Sep 1, 2015, 6:29 PM by Michael McCarthy   [ updated Sep 1, 2015, 6:29 PM ]

CHICAGO (Aug. 24, 2015) – In another step towards its commitment to long-term player development, U.S. Soccer is phasing in new standards related to small-sided games and birth-year registration.  Read more....

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:

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