By Randy Vogt, Director of Public Relations, Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association
June 25, 2020-Congratulations to referee and administrator John Puglisi, who has been selected to be inducted into the National Intercollegiate Soccer Officials Association (NISOA) Hall of Fame. NISOA is the national organization responsible for college soccer officiating, both men’s and women’s games, in the United States. John served as the NISOA President in 2017 and ’18 and has volunteered for the non-profit organization for over a decade.
It was a long climb up the ladder for the New Rochelle resident, whose “real job” has been Associate Vice President, Facilities Management at Fordham University in the Bronx since 2005.
“In the late 1970s, I remember watching delayed broadcasts of the German Bundesliga on PBS before we had cable TV,“ John explained. “I was a baseball player but I became fascinated with the sport of soccer and the atmosphere at games. I first started playing soccer at Burrs Lane Junior High School in Dix Hills. I went on to play for Half Hollow Hills High School West on the Class B Long Island championship team in 1979.“
Burrs Lane would become an early part of his referee career since, while a high school student, he took a US Soccer Entry Level Referee Course there taught by Jack McCabe, who was on the committee that brought the 1994 World Cup to the United States 15 years later.
John reminisced, “As with most younger referees, officiating was a way to earn some money. My first match was a youth game at Connetquot High School in Bohemia. I forgot to put a coin in my pocket. Got my first mistake out of the way before the match even began!“
He advanced through the ranks, refereeing the youth games of the Long Island Junior Soccer League
(LIJSL) and Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association
(ENYYSA), becoming a college official and working NCAA tournament games, including the 2003 Division 2 men’s Final Four in Virginia Beach.
Shortly thereafter, he was elected President of the New York Metro Intercollegiate Soccer Officials Association (NYMISOA) and served in this role from 2004 until December 31, 2018.
John has seemingly done it all in college officiating, including being a NISOA National Clinician since 2009, serving as the org's webmaster since 2010, being elected NISOA Secretary in 2013, NISOA Vice President in 2015 and NISOA President in 2017. He will be inducted into their Hall of Fame this year although a date and ceremony is uncertain at this point because of the coronavirus.
With approximately 100,000 youth soccer players––both boys and girls––and more than 25,000 volunteers, the non-profit Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association (ENYYSA) stretches from Montauk Point, Long Island to the Canadian border. Members are affiliated with nine leagues throughout the association, which covers the entire state of New York east of Route 81. ENYYSA exists to promote and enhance the game of soccer for children and teenagers between the ages of 5 and 19 years old, and to encourage the healthy development of youth players, coaches, referees and administrators. All levels of soccer are offered––from intramural, travel team and premier players as well as Children With Special Needs. No child who wants to play soccer is turned away. ENYYSA is a proud member of the United States Soccer Federation and United States Youth Soccer Association. For more information, please log on to http://www.enysoccer.com/, which receives nearly 300,000 hits annually from the growing soccer community.