Soccer Referee Recertification for 2014

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Recertification classes for 2014 Grade 8 are now available. The recertification exam for Grade 7 is also available. Information is on the website under “Registered Referees” tab. The actual courses are accessed by logging into GameOfficials and choosing your “NJ SRC Official” identity (if you have more than one). Choose “Courses”, “Referee Courses”, and then “2014 Grade 8 (or 7) Recert…”. Do not procrastinate – they are filling rapidly.

You must pass the online test no later than three days before the classroom session in order to attend the classroom session and be recertified. Read the rest of this entry

No Pass – No Play – No Exceptions


(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For all USSF sanctioned competitions that we work, we must make sure that the participants have a valid pass for the competition. In addition to being used to validate that the rosters and players match and are in order, the pass may be required as the “entry ticket” to enter the pitch in competitions with limited substitutions. In competitions with unlimited substitutions, the player still must have a valid pass at check-in (and for late arrivals, before they enter the pitch).

The passes for any one match must be the same for both teams and for all participants on each team. Some teams have passes from more than one registration authority (such as NJYS and US Club). In some cases the same two teams will play each other under one set of passes, and then play again another time under the other. We cannot allow mixed passes, even for coaches. Both teams and all participants play under one set or the other – never mixed.

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The Foul of Handling

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At the October meeting of the SRANJ, Alan Brown, NJ State Director of Assessment, provided a clinic on handling, or “hand balls”. He described the wording in Law 12 and then the guidance for how referees should apply it. He stated that referees must first determine whether handling has occurred, then, if it did, where it occurred (for the restart) and whether misconduct was involved. He used video clips to make the following points: Read the rest of this entry

Unusual Situations

Assistant referee during the match FC Barcelon...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Over the past nine days, I have encountered a number of situations that I have not seen often (two were in fact firsts for me). I share these so you might recognize a similar situation and be better prepared. Read the rest of this entry

New Season, Old Tactics

Corner Kick | 111/365

(Photo credit: mfhiatt)

In between validating team rosters, I tried to keep an eye on the Liverpool-Manchester United match on NBC Sports. The match was interesting on many levels. Coming in, Liverpool is off to a great start. Everyone is following David Moyes’ progress at ManU with Sir Alex gone.

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US Soccer Open Letter to Referee Community

As some of you may know, there are significant changes underway to the way US Soccer looks at the referee grades – especially 7, 8, and 9. Please see this open letter from the federation explaining the new direction.

Open Letter to the Referee Community from US Soccer

I will share more as we learn more…

New Referee Courses Announced

English: A Welcome To New Jersey sign promotin...

The NJ Referee Committee has announced the entry-level (Grade 8) class schedule for this Summer. Please pass on to anyone interested in becoming a referee (they must be sixteen years of age by the first day of the class). Students are now required to take online lessons and a test before the actual classroom sessions. It appears that the registration fee includes an OSI referee starter kit (perhaps to get some consistency in appearance for new referees). Registration information is here:

Recertification classes for existing referees have not yet been posted…

Mark Geiger and the Mexico-Costa Rica CONCACAF Qualifier

Here is a reminder from Scott Ashcroft by way of Mark Mittelstadt:

The MexicoCosta Rica CONCACAF qualifier is on ESPN tonight at 8:00 PM. Coverage begins at 7:30 PM. New Jersey’s own Mark Geiger will officiate.

Azteca stadium in Mexico City

Azteca stadium in Mexico City (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Referee Positioning

This diagram represents a Diagonal system of c...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have a tendency to overreact when given advice or feedback about my weaker areas. When I got the typical feedback early in my career that my whistle needed to be stronger, I worked on it to the point that feedback now is the opposite. Last year I was advised that my whistle could be quieter in some situations – players three fields away were stopping play!

I have heard the comments we all do at association meetings and recertifications about avoiding the “referee retention circle” (center circle). In the past I have also received direct guidance, advice, and/or feedback about my positioning. As a result, over the years, I have worked to get wider and go deeper on my diagonals. I have also tried to follow the general advice to always be able to see play and one assistant referee. In attempting to meet these objectives, I had adopted some bad habits (from good intentions) that result in suboptimal positions for the current play, reactive rather than proactive movement for the next phase of play (consequently having to work too hard), and extreme positions (wide or deep) that exacerbated the first two problems.

Last year, Mark Geiger (at the time NJSDI) gave a USSF presentation at a SRANJ meeting about some new concepts on referee position that are evolving. These concepts address the issues I mention above. I am attempting to absorb the material and work it into my toolbox. This weekend, I will be using a tournament and feedback from colleagues to fine-tune the approach. Like any attempt to break habits, I expect it to be rough around the edges at best, if not downright clumsy and awkward. I will report back on my experience. In the meantime, here is the positioning presentation:

Positioning – Revised

Enjoy, and have a great holiday weekend (and don’t forget why we recognize Memorial Day)…

A Question about Crew Support

Bench View of Rocha Sending Off

(Photo credit: joncandy)

As a result of my recent email about AR responsibilities, I received the following question:

When you stated “Support the referee if questioned by coaches/players – NEVER indicate that the referee made a bad call!”, what if I were to signal a foul that clear to everyone but the center waved the call off?  How can I support the center ref if he disagrees with my call, especially if I am on the coaches’ side and as the game continues the coach comes over to talk to me during play?  They will probably ask why the center did not agree. What should I say?

That is a great question! (And somewhat ironic that it comes at the time of the retirement announcement of Sir Alex – one of the most famous referee bait-ers)

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