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Resource Center: A Recap of Referee Committee Workshops in Colorado Springs

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, you will receive an article/paper/essay in your inbox that will hopefully enhance your enjoyment and knowledge of the game of soccer - on and off the field.

This month U.S. Soccer recaps workshops for referee administrators, instructors and assessors that were held earlier this year in Colorado Springs, Colo.

State Referee Committee Members Meet in Workshops

State referee committee members from around the country met at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., earlier this year for workshops to stay current on topics ranging from Laws of the Game updates to administrative changes. 

The State Directors of Instruction (SDI) and State Directors of Assessment  (SDA) took part in the first joint SDI-SDA workshop from May 21-23, after the State Referee Administrators (SRA) and State Youth Referee Administrators (SYRA) met at the OTC from February 27-29,

SDI & SDA Workshop Recap
Workshops for SDIs and SDAs are held annually to share the updates in the Laws of the Game and any instructional material that has been completed during the past year.

The May 21 weekend marked the first time that the State Directors of Instruction and the State Directors of Assessment met together in a joint workshop. The 104 attendees were divided into small groups to review and input on a wide array of subjects. Their input will be sent to the U.S. Soccer Referee Department, which will make changes and updates to existing programs. It will also aid in the development of new programs and materials.

U.S. Soccer presented the “Points of Emphasis on the 7 + 7 Memorandum and Resolutions,” “Player Management” and updates to the referee program as a whole. David McKee and Paul Tamberino presented “What Assessors Should be Looking For in a Game,” which is compatible with the content that is being taught on player management through the instructional program. 

Additionally, McKee reviewed the changes to the assessment criteria that were passed by the Referee Committee at its last meeting. Attendees were given the opportunity to offer feedback about an instructional CD covering player management that was created by Esse Baharmast and Tamberino. That CD will go into final production later this year. 

Finally, indoor registration has been approved for 2005, so the indoor curriculum and rules were reviewed by Jeff Kollmeyer, Missouri SDI, and Herb Silva, MISL Vice President of Officials. The final version of the instructional material is scheduled to be sent out to SDIs in the coming weeks.

SRA & SYRA Workshop Recap
February marked the first annual workshop for SRAs, who previously met every two years to be updated on administrative and instructional changes, to offer input on the program and to exchange ideas and practices.

The SRA Workshop provided the administrators to oversee the implementation of the National Program for Referee Development at the state level. This gives them an opportunity to have input into a variety of issues, including the updating of the Referee Program Manual.

State Referee Administrators were also used as presenters to share information with their peers. The major presentation and discussion topics for the weekend included:

1. “Mentoring” by Thomas Bobadilla (California-South)
2. “Online Registration” by Scott Meyer, (Washington, D.C./Virginia)
3. “A Review of the Small Sided Games Modifications adopted by the State Directors of Coaching for US Youth Soccer” by Barry Towbin, (New Jersey)
4. “Identification, Development and Out of State Success” by John Bouda, (North Carolina).

Terry Vaughn of Iowa, who was recently appointed to be a member of the FIFA International Panel of Referees, gave a presentation that detailed his experiences in going from an entry level referee to the FIFA list of international referees. Along with Greg Annexsted, Chair of the State Referee Committee in Iowa, he also made a presentation titled “Using Your Talent.” 

Vaughn addressed the group from the perspective of a referee, who grew up and developed in a state that has not been known to be a hotbed of soccer. He shared ideas with the SRAs on how to help their top referees advance if they think they are at a disadvantage because of where they live. Vaughn said that personal determination and help from both within and outside of his home state helped him achieve the highest badge a referee can attain in the world. He talked about his experiences obtaining and after he earned the FIFA badge. Annexsted explained the structure of the Iowa State Referee Committee, and how they use Vaughn in the development of other referees within their state.

Two U.S. Soccer presentations featured a general overview of the referee program and current and future registration plans. Following dinner on Saturday night, all new SRAs and SYRAs were asked to meet with experienced SRAs and staff to raise questions and issues they have in their new positions. This forum allowed the veteran SRAs to share their experiences and what they have learned along the way.

The workshops are long days for the various administrators and they are provided with a great deal of information to digest in a short period of time. U.S. Soccer wishes to thank all of the attendees for taking the time to make the workshops a success.

For more information on the U.S. Soccer Referee Department or any of the topics discussed at the workshops, contact Carol McGuire at 312-528-1241 or