2020 First look

2020 First look message

Current referees received this as an email, but GameOfficials restrictions caused the email to be split. The following is the full message unedited.

The 2020 season will bring a great number of changes refereeing. Some of these are annual, but some are fundamental changes to the way we are licensed through US Soccer. There are always pieces of information available online and some of those sources have some elements of truth to them. There are even more rumors than there are facts. The State Referee Committee has been working to plan what’s best for the referees of Ohio North based on the changes being affected by US Soccer.

We all expect changes to the Laws of the Game and those for this year are numerous. They will go into effect on January 01, 2020 and the instructional staff is working to prepare those updates and the training necessary for re-certification. Many of us are active on various social media platforms and those outlets are not always as thorough as we’d like. Changes to LotG do NOT go into effect here until January 01, 2020. If you are watching the Women’s World Cup, they have already implemented those changes, but they do not go into effect here until January.

For a couple of years now we’ve been advised that there will be changes to GameOfficials. For those same couple of years, we’ve been given a shifting timeline. We’ve seen the platform being built and tested. It does look like an awesome improvement. The system is much more user friendly and is being developed to be more intuitive for all users; referees, assignors, league schedulers, and administrators. The latest launch date has been postponed and we are looking to move into 2020 still using GameOfficials. This seemed a good time to make you aware that a move is imminent, and we think getting closer.

One date that is fixed and will mark a change for us all is July 1, 2019. On that date US Soccer’s Digital Learning Center will go online for the Referee Program. **Please note right off that we don’t have full details and we’re sharing all that has been shared with us at this point.** Specifics will come from US Soccer and our SRC will supplement information that we feel might make things easier. All referees will have an account in the Digital Learning Center (DLC). You will receive instructions how to “claim” your profile and confirm your registration history. Essentially the DLC will replace how we use GameOfficials Group 1149 Registration and Learning. Please await communication from US Soccer or the Ohio North SRC, to simplify the process.

Another change for 2020 will be the registration classifications previously referred to as Grades. There are a lot of rumors circulating about this change. The National Referee Committee suggested changes that have been adopted by the US Soccer Referee Program. Beginning with this re-certification cycle (July 1, 2019, for the 2020 season), referees will be licensed in one of five categories: FIFA, Professional, National (which will include former National referees), Regional (which include former Grade 5 and 6), and Grassroots (formerly Grade 7,8, or 9.) These titles are those which have been used by US Soccer for the coaching and player programs for years. We have been told that emeritus referees will be licensed as Emeritus Regional or Emeritus National as applicable for 2020. The SRC recognizes that there were pros and cons to the 7A designation. In some cases, this transitional tag has worked well for referees to set advancement goals and for assignors to more easily identify officials who are going the extra mile to be prepared and excel in assignments. In some cases, however, it created an additional step which placed our referees at a disadvantage when working games outside of Ohio North. The SRC is continuing discussions on how to distinguish and identify those referees looking to advance while providing the means to keep those referees advancing. Our 7A became a goal or “destination” rather than a pass-through. The SRC has no intention to explicitly or implicitly create or sanction an additional level of license outside those defined by US Soccer. If you have been considering an upgrade to 7A, continue your improvement. When full details are finalized, referees should have conversations with your District Referee Administrator or specific members of the State Referee Committee to assist you in determining your options forward.

The final point for this message is one of the more contentious issues where we’ve heard several rumors and seen more than a few inaccuracies. The game count required for Regional Referee license. Currently 25 games are required as an Assistant Referee and this will not change. Requirements in the past have been 25 “adult” centers and 25 “competitive youth” centers. These youth games were typically 17, 18, 19 year old leagues of competitive play and 90 minute games. The total requirement was 50 games as a referee. The new requirement set by US Soccer is 50 games. US Soccer is calling these 50 “adult” games, but the definition is any competitive, 90 minute match, of players who are adults. U18, U19, and our traditional adult leagues (NCSL, NOASA open, APL, NWOCL, NOSL, or NOASA over 40D1) will all meet that requirement. Yes, LESL games you’ve worked in the past will count. The goal of US Soccer is to standardize the license requirements for all referees within the US Soccer program.

We understand that this will not answer all questions. Please remember that we don’t have all the information that we’d like to have at this point. The SRC is confident that we can work through these changes to improve the procedures, training, and administrative processes that we all use. We are striving to make these changes work for all of our needs in Ohio North. We will communicate additional information as it is available. We appreciate your patience and will still work to reply to questions. Please forward those questions to the registrar: ohn.reg@gmail.com and you will be copied on the response or the forward of your message to the best help on the SRC.

Ohio North

State Referee Committee