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 give you a little more insight into U.S. Soccer’s Referee Department and its registration procedures. While some in the U.S. Soccer community interact with the department on a weekly basis, many don’t know much about it or the people that in it. The following article will give you a glance – albeit a brief one – into the department and at the same time allow you to familiarize yourself with the people who staff the department. For more information please visit the "Referees" section of ussoccer.com.
The U.S. Soccer Referee Department
The US Soccer Referee Department registers about 126,000 referees, assessors, assignors and instructors each year. The process begins at the state level, and concludes with referees receiving their credentials from U.S. Soccer.
The challenge for the department is to efficiently handle the volume of forms and requests that come into the department throughout the year. With more than a thousand forms coming into the office on certain days, the process can be a difficult one. In fact, the registration process for next year has already begun in earnest. Plans for the design of the 2004 registration form are already taking shape and communication with each state referee committee is ongoing, until all the pieces of the puzzle are put together. With the new registration form new grade levels or changes to grade levels are introduced, new supplementary materials are created and updates are made to the FIFA Laws of the Game.
The planning culminates with the registration packet each referee receives toregister through the State Referee Administrator. The form eventually is sent back to U.S. Soccer in Chicago for final registration. The process has been further enhanced by the ability to digitally scan each form into the Referee Database. Each form is reviewed, approved, and, if need be corrected to assure that all USSF rules and regulations are met. Once the form is processed, the end product is a registration fulfillment packet received by each referee with the appropriate credentials and material.
In 2004, one of the publications that will benefit our new, young referees is the Simplified Laws of the Game book. This new publication is based on the official FIFA Laws of the Game book, but is written and designed for young people. The book explains each law in a lighthearted way, including cartoon drawings that help the young reader understand the basic meaning of each law without having to decipher complicated language. This book will not only benefit young readers, but coaches and parents alike.
The Referee Department also has other instructional and educational material, please contact the department for additional information or visit the website. The "Referees" section of ussoccer.com is packed full of useful information, including referee news & announcements, “Ask a Referee”, referee forms, a schedule of referee clinics, laws of the game and much more. If you have any questions pertaining to the department or questions about refereeing, please feel free to contact any of the following individuals at U.S. Soccer.
The referee office staff can be reached via direct e-mail.
For information about policies/procedures/rules/Laws of the Game:
- Managing Director of Federation Services: Julie Ilacqua - email@example.com
- Manager of Referee Development & Education: Alfred Kleinaitis - firstname.lastname@example.org
For questions about Professional League Referee Assignments or Assessment Scheduling:
For questions about Fast Tracking or Scouting Network for Referees or International Questions and Concerns:
- Director of Advanced and International Referee Development: Esfandiar Baharmast - email@example.com
For questions about Referee Registrations:
- Referee Coordinator: Deborah Williams - firstname.lastname@example.org
If you need address or phone number information or want to know how to register as a referee.
- Administrative Assistant for the National Program for Referee Development: Sandra Meadors - email@example.com
For questions about Referee Material & Equipment Orders:
- Call: (312) 528-1215.
For program, clinic, workshop questions/general information:
- Referee Programs Manager: Carol McGuire - firstname.lastname@example.org
If you encounter difficulties using the referee materials posted on the U.S. Soccer web site, contact:
- Chuck Locke - email@example.com
If you are not sure who to address, write to anyone above. Your question will be forwarded to the right party.