Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Far West Regionals

It was an excellent year for NM Referees at FWR 2008 in Hawaii. This year we brought eight referees (Matt Presser, Marc Laws, Amanda Forletta, Orion Stradford, Mark Merritt, Clayton Merritt, Matthew Morelock and myself) as well as one assessor (David Vehar). All of the crew did very well and we made a strong showing; three of the eight were assigned to final matches and two will be going to national tournaments.

Special Congrats to those who got finals:




Orion will be going to the Youth Nationals in Little Rock, AR and I will be going to the Directors Cup in Kirkwood, DE. I think we should all be proud of how our referees did. If you happen to see one of the referees from the FWR crew please ask them for some tips and tricks they picked up from Regionals. Also, think ahead to next year - it's never too early to start working on getting noticed for the 2009 crew.

Saturday, June 7, 2008


Just got back from the Annual General Meeting for the state association. It was good to meet the people from around New Mexico that put so much time and energy into making soccer better. We identified a lot of areas for growth and I can see that there is a lot of work to be done. Here are my initial thoughts:

*Local leagues each face unique challenges. Some having issues with not having enough adult referees, others have extreme financial hurdles and others need help getting referees registered.
*No matter what the location we simply need more development. Referees must invest a lot of time in order to get better.
*We need to work on better communication throughout the state. The focus needs to be on helping each other get better, not dwell on differences.
*I'll be traveling a lot and hopefully get out to some of the areas that haven't had that attention before.
*Retention is key to having a strong base of referees. If we lose someone in their first year we've wasted an investment of time and money. The longer referees stay the more experience they have to help them deal with a variety of situations.
*Parents and coaches need to step up and help us deal with the serious threat of referee abuse. That's the only way we can keep people around.

Nothing like a good round table to focus our efforts. There is a lot of work to be done but I hope this will be a step in the right direction. We'll continue to build on our Game of the Week and other initiatives to ensure you guys are supported after we certify you.