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The Overseas Referee Branch

As part of our continuing effort to service and educate our membership, each Thursday U.S. Soccer will provide an informative article from one of its departments. Once a week, we will bring you an article/paper/essay that will hopefully enhance your enjoyment and knowledge of the game of soccer - on and off the field.

This week we examine the Overseas Referee Branch.  The Overseas Referee Branch provides
U.S. Soccer referees who are temporarily living with referee registration opportunities.

The Overseas Referee Branch

Registered referees who find themselves assigned to military duty overseas do not necessarily have to put their officiating career on hold.   The United States Soccer Federation’s National Program for Referee Development provides registration opportunities for referees living abroad, including military personnel assigned overseas and registered referees who have been temporarily transferred to foreign countries by their employer.

Mack Alarcon, from St. Augustine, Florida, has administered the Overseas Referee Branch since its inception in 1988.  Mack has provided registration assistance, instruction, educational and training material and other valuable services to these referees who are not able to access assistance through local means. In addition, Mack provides contact information, introduces newly transferred referees to others in their area and in general is the first line of communication for these referees who find themselves in a new location.

Recently, Mack announced his impending retirement. With the departure of Mack, the Overseas Branch will undergo some changes in the next two years.

Changes for 2004
Beginning with the registration period for 2004, the Overseas Branch will be “decommissioned.” Referees who are currently registered with the Overseas Branch should register with their home state for 2004.  If you have been living abroad for several years and do not know where to register, or have other questions about this change, please contact U.S. Soccer’s Referee Department for more information (

Re-certification requirements
The 2004 registration forms for current Overseas Referee Branch referees will contain additional instructions for processing, to insure prompt handling. Certain criteria for re-registration such as in-service training, written and physical exams and minimum game requirements will continue to be waived for referees living overseas.

Who qualifies?
You qualify for this consideration if you are a referee currently registered with the United States Soccer Federation and are in the armed forces serving overseas. Referees who are in a civil service position and are posted overseas also qualify. Currently registered referees who are temporarily transferred to a foreign country by their employer may be qualified, depending on the length of time away (less than one year).

The United States Soccer Federation plans to continue assistance to these referees, with training, information and law interpretation.

For more information, please contact Carol McGuire, U.S. Soccer's Referee Programs Manager.  Carol can be reached at, or (312) 528-1241.