Link to the Section Referee Administrator's blog.
1. We held a class for the National level and had 12 students from Section 6. 2 have already earned their National Level Badge. There is a course in Utah if you are an Advanced Referee and ready to try for Nation, or a course will be held in Section 8 [Michigan] sometime in 2015.
2. We have the following number of referees:
U8 Referees 206
Basic Referees 487
Intermediate Referees 89
Advanced Referees 47
National 2 Referee 2 [Grade was phased out several years ago]
National Referees 17
This means 82% of our referees are Basic or below. This surpasses the National Average, but I want more. The best experience we can give out players are trained referees at all levels. All RRAs, Instructors, Assessors should be working with Basic Referees to work with them to get them up the referee chain.
3. Do NOT be afraid to ask Area or Section Staff to come to your region to train. I have plenty of instructors and have travelled many times to train students. However, give us advanced notice, if you expect to get an instructor the weekend before season starts, odds are they are already booked. The sooner you contact, the sooner arrangements can be made. New RRAs, we are here FOR YOU. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
4. Concussion policy. Follow your state law. This mean by law, referees in Minnesota and Wisconsin MUST take training [normally the CDC training] and are required by State Law to not allow a player that is suspected of having a concussion from playing, practicing. Referees should work with the Coach, but no party is allowed to over-rule another is concussion is suspected, Wisconsin and Iowa both require a doctor’s note for the player to return to practice/play. Iowa and Illinois it is only HIGHER suggested to take the training. Law 5 and decisions from IFAB say the Referee may require a player to get medical attention for an serious injury. IFAB decision said head injuries are to be considered a serious injury. Law 5 makes the referee solely responsible for the player, and if it becomes an issue, the game can and shall be suspended or terminated if a suspected concussion is being allowed back onto the pitch. Note, in several states you WOULD be breaking the law by allowing the player back on. KNOW YOUR STATE LAWS.
5. Remember, always check the goals before the start of EVERY game, even if games have been played there every hour. NO RXCEPTIONS
6. I continue to serve on the National Task Forces for Concussion and Women Referees. If you have an idea for the concussion task force or a way where we can get more women referee’s, please let me know. Women only make up between 5 and 10% of our referees. Fun fact, over 80% of out referees are adults.
7. Section 6 now includes all over Iowa, all of Minnesota, all of Wisconsin and Illinois. We will also be helping several regions in Missouri and helping Section 4 with their training.
8. Training Date: Iowa Referee Academy [Free] for all levels of soccer officials March 1st. Area D referee training including Basic, Intermediate, and Advanced in Skokie, March 15-16, 2014. Rockford will be holding an Advanced Referee Course 3/29 and 3/30 2014.
9. I will continue to stop in unannounced to various regions just to see how things are going. I will come up and introduce myself during my visit, I am just seeing how things are going and if there are any referees that I can identify to work their way up.