Getting Ready for Spring 2014

Spring is Just Around the Corner

Are you ready for some Futbol?

Originally the weekend of March 1 & 2 was the start of the Spring season. Due to the weather’s affect on fields, the leagues have decided to push the season back a week (and hope that the fields are dry). The SJ league seasons will kick-off the weekend of March 8 & 9 and will end the weekend of May 17 & 18. There may be other competitions that play the weekend of March 1 & 2.

SPRING TOURNAMENTS: There are several in-season tournaments in the Spring. I do not assign any in the Spring. If you are looking for tournaments, a good place to start is the NJ Youth Soccer Tournament Directory at As of this post there are eleven “in-season” tournaments listed before Memorial Day weekend.

IMPORTANT: I know when these tournaments are; you know when these tournaments are. If you have submitted a request to work a tournament, BLOCK your league schedules for those dates when you make the request. If you do not get the tournament gig, unblock yourself and let me know you are available. I will likely be able to find you games. This is far better that contacting me on a Tuesday to turn back the assignments you have had for over a week. The adverse ripple effect on the system is significant. It is unfair to me, your customers (the teams) and your colleagues.

Worse are the few who feel compelled to make up an excuse! Kind of embarrassing to call me up and say you have to wash your hair this weekend and then I am working on the field next to you at the tournament (also unethical). If you intend to work a tournament, have the professional courtesy not to request to work somewhere else at the same time (i.e. don’t leave yourself available for league assignments “just in case”). Again, it is a rare weekend that we cannot find games for people a few days out.

You should also be checking through your gear and uniforms to make sure that you are ready to hit the ground running. I have an expectation that a new referee with the Fall season under his or her belt will have one or more alternate jerseys. As a self-employed professional you need to invest in your business if you want to grow your business. Here is a good starting list for your second season of work:

  • The Basics (beyond or enhancing your starter kit):
    • Two pairs of referee shorts (no white-trimmed basketball shorts)
    • Long-sleeve gold jersey
    • Short-sleeve black jersey (can be worn with LS black sweat shirt as alternate cold weather jersey)
    • Third short-sleeve jersey (green if you work futsal or want to work higher levels, blue otherwise, red as your last choice)
    • Two pairs of 3-stripe and two pairs of 2-stripe socks
    • Extra/different whistle
    • Second (back-up) watch with timer
    • Second (back-up) pair of black shoes (different sole surface, e.g. turf versus flat, cleats versus turf, etc.)
    • Black duffel/gym bag
  • Cold-Weather Gear:
    • Black long-sleeve sweat shirt/cold shirt
    • Plain black windbreaker/jacket
    • Black knit hat and gloves
    • Black duffel/gym bag

Stay warm and safe (it’s a good time to sit by the fire and read the Laws of the Game again). See you outdoors in a few weeks…


About Dan Paolini

Soccer & Futsal Referee Assignor

Posted on February 15, 2014, in Advice Posts and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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