The 2018 U.S. Soccer Referee Program Workshop took place March 17-18 in Dallas, Texas. The 2018 edition marked the 17th combined workshop since 2002, where State Referee Committee members from all 55 State Associations discussed best practices, education, technology, leadership, and administration. The workshop aligned with the Referee Program’s overall mission to improve the quality of refereeing at all levels.
Here are five takeaways you should know from the 2018 U.S. Soccer Referee Program Workshop:
Approximately 200 attendees made their way to Dallas. The guest list included State Association State Referee Committee (SRC) members, state presidents and administrators, and U.S. Soccer Referee Program staff. SRC members are the individuals responsible for leading State Referee Associations in promoting and implementing referee initiatives and programs with all affiliated members and competitions within their geographical jurisdiction.
The workshop also included guest speakers on a variety of topics including technology, finance, insurance, and education.
During each day of the workshop, attendees participated in general and breakout sessions geared toward providing information in a number of areas including administration, education, and development. The SRC’s used the meeting time to work cooperatively and share ideas.
Designed to bring together SRC’s in a forum to work cooperatively, share ideas, and provide an overview of the U.S Soccer Referee Program, the workshop provided information to State Referee Committee members in the areas of administration, education and development. The structure of the workshop allowed attendees to not only build relationships with administrators from around the country, but also collaborate on best practices, in an effort to support referees at all levels.
One of the key topics at the workshop was technology and how it effects referees on and off the field. Technology has continued to play a key role in many U.S. Soccer referee areas including education and development, registration and game assignments. During the workshop, speakers focusing on areas of technology touched on how to create a better online environment for referees.
Along with technology, one of the most important topics of the 2018 workshop was referee education. With a continued emphasis on creating low barrier, easily accessible education programming, U.S. Soccer used the workshop to inform and collaborate with SRC’s on the future of referee education. The planned move to a more enhanced and engaging approach for online training is meant to inspire more match officials to continue a lifelong journey of learning and development.