Friday, July 30, 2010

High School Information

Attention: Important information has changed.  Carefully go over this document again!

This information is for referees registered for HS and comes from Jeff Eschenburg and Mark Merritt.  If you have questions, please email Jeff or Mark.

High School season is just around the corner; unless you are a new referee you should already have paid your dues to NMAA.  If you have not, please do so immediately if you plan on getting games! There is a lot of important information in this post so please read it carefully.

Finishing reading "High School Information"

Thursday, July 22, 2010

On And Off The Pitch

On And Off The Pitch: 
Watch what you do

We talk a lot about how to conduct yourself when showing up to the fields, during the game, at tournaments, on travel or when you see teams/coaches away from the fields.  We talk about these things because our competency as a referee is being scrutinized from the first moment teams and coaches see us and, therefore, the impression we give is vital to our success. 

This concept is true even when at home.

A quick Google search will lead you to thousands of stories of employees being punished for content on popular social-networking websites.  Many will argue that it’s unfair for them to be held accountable for things that, perhaps, weren’t posted with their permission.  Or, they say, what they do on their own time has no bearing on their performance at work.   These are valid points but it all comes down to one issue:


We of course have the right to have fun away from refereeing.  Clearly no one can say that because you referee soccer you can’t have a night out on the town.  But remember that regardless of whether you feel it is fair or not, information posted on social networking sites often is out on the public domain for all to see.  People (coaches, players, administrators, assignors, fellow referees) will most certainly come across this information and make assumptions about you based on what they see.

I always tell people to assume that whatever you post on a social networking site is public domain, that everyone you know will eventually see it.  Adjust your privacy settings to ensure that you limit what can be seen by other people.  And finally, use common sense when you post things.  Not only can it impact your refereeing career; but it can also have negative effect on your normal career as many employers scan social networking sites as part of their hiring screening. 

Ultimately no one can tell you not to post things on your website.  Free speech is a wonderful right we enjoy, just don’t have it come back to haunt you.  Just be smart!

Patriot Games

Orion Stradford talks about his travel to El Paso, TX to do PDL games.  Bob Croft and Kris Grano also traveled to cover these matches.

On July 8th and July 16th I was assigned to work on PDL games in El Paso between the Chivas-Patriots and the Dallas-Ft Worth Tornadoes and the Chivas-Patroits vs the West TX Utd Sockers.  The PDL is considered the bottom division of the professional ranks of US Soccer, and is a developmental league for MLS scouts to find players.  Although most of these players are not paid, the atmosphere of the games is of a professional caliber. The expectations of the referees are also to perform at a professional level.  

In the games that we did, we arrived two hours before kickoff to inspect the field and meet with the referee liason.  In the pregame conference with the referee, much of the topics covered were reviewing the USSF Directives, and discussing how to handle key players.  In our warm up for the game, we did an organized warm up together for 20 minutes.  At both games, the center referee had requested that we all wear matching black shirts to show teamwork.

During the games, I did notice a high level of play and that our our discussion over the Directives was very important, as these games had many incidents that related to them.  I had to draw on my knowledge of AR involvement, injury management, and mass confrontation.  

In both games we were assessed.  The assessors at this level do not miss anything.  Everything that happens in the games are open for discussion afterwards.  Each correct or incorrect decision is dissected and brought up and talked about.

Overall the experience of doing these games was very rewarding and I hope for more opportunities to do games at that level.

Orion Stradford

Monday, July 19, 2010

Fitness: Are you ready?

Many of us have been staying active during the "off" season this summer.  Remember, just doing a few Coed games doesn't really count as staying in shape.  The fitness test is just around the corner!

More importantly than the fitness test is the fact that HS and other games are starting up soon, too.  If we train just to barely pass the fitness test we are doing a disservice to the game.  The players deserve our very best effort; if we're out of breath twenty minutes into the match we're not going to be making very good decisions.

Now is the time to get out there and put some miles in so we're ready! Until this heat wave settles out I would suggest getting your workout done indoors or early morning/late afternoon or even evening.