This past weekend the State Referee Committee called together the "powers" of soccer and we had a great meeting regarding the dire state of refereeing in NM and how that impacts soccer as a whole. Communication is vital for any program to operate properly and we saw this weekend that we have a ways to go to repair the lines of communication. Lots of ideas were passed back and forth by representatives of leagues, associations and various referee groups.
But this is only the beginning.
It's said that half the battle is identifying the problem and possible solutions. This may be true enough, yet it seems the last half of this battle is akin to climbing a mountain. I believe the biggest challenge we face is not identifying the problem - that's easy enough - but actually acting on our plans. We don't always get the results we want but any action is better than none. We have to utilize all the resources we have available before we can ask for more, period.
There was a lot of discussion of who was responsible for fixing the problem. The answer is clear: It's a responsibility shared by us all. Leagues need referees to do their games, state associations need quality referees to raise the level of play across the state and referees need more numbers so we don't burn out doing 80 games a season.
What, then, are we going to do? Its easy to sit back and say "there's nothing I can do as a humble [insert title]." That's just not going to cut it if we want to succeed. So let's continue the discussion. You are the referee community, what are your thoughts? What do you see causing over 80% of our new referees choosing to call it quits in their first year? How can you help? Keep an eye out for future communication as we take action on ideas brought up this weekend. If you happen to get called upon to help please try and do so. Its an investment that will pay off. Because no one wants to have to be doing 4 games a weekend with no AR's, right?
Well...there are a few of you out there that don't mind that but I bet that you sometimes long for a break, too.