US SoccerUS Soccer

2002 National Referee Certification/Recertification and Professional League Referee Training Seminar

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

"United We Stand"
The 2002 National Referee Certification/Recertification
Professional League Referee Training Seminar

Each year, the National Referee Certification brings together all of the top-level referees in the United States.  From January 24-27, the 2002 National Seminar will take place in Houston, Texas, where more than 250 National Referees and National Referee Candidates will gather for the four-day seminar that prepares and evaluates the top U.S. referees for the upcoming professional seasons.

While in Houston, the referees will take a written exam as well as a demanding series of physical examinations.  The referees will be required to take a written examination that covers the Laws of the Game, refereeing mechanics and procedures.  The referees also have to pass a difficult physical testing examination that consists of two 50 meter dashes (in 7.5 seconds), two 200 meter dashes (in 32.00 seconds) and a 12-minute run (must run 2700 meters).  Referees must pass the written exam and all three components of the physical exam before they can receive professional league appointments.

The principal speaker at the 2002 camp will be Harvey Ratner of Baltimore’s HRA Sports.  His presentation will cover 'Physical Vision', which includes dynamic acuity and screening procedures.  Ratner has worked with NFL officials, Major League Baseball umpires and Major League Baseball players who have experienced performance slumps. His vision-training techniques are used to enhance athletic performance for players and officials.

Other lecturers and speakers will cover various topics of interest to these referees, who work the top soccer matches in the United States each year. The video tapes and training material from these sessions will also be used at regional pro clinics and other clinics throughout the year.

Representatives from the three top professional leagues -- A-League, MLS and WUSA -- will present the referee group with their goals for the upcoming season.

A recognition and award ceremony will be held on Thursday evening, where the Presidential Award and Eddie Pearson Award will be presented.  Awards will also be presented to the referees who were selected to officiate at various professional league championship matches.

While in Houston, the 2002 FIFA Panel of Referees and Assistant Referees will receive their badges and pins and will be recognized by their peers. Last year, 225 National Referees were certified.

The theme for the 2002 program is "United We Stand."  Special guests at this year’s seminar include U.S. Soccer President Dr. S. Robert Contiguglia and Dan Flynn, U.S. Soccer’s Secretary General.  

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