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Referee Region: Ways to Improve

Referee Region

Hello Referees,

The 2018 season has started. I hope you are all off to a great start.  In this Pitch article, we want to highlight two recent events involving our referee program.

The 2018 North Texas Presidents Cup held in Cedar Hill, Teas from March 7-11 had some of the finest referees from all over North Texas. To work this tournament, a referee had to be invited. State and National Referees were guaranteed an invite. Referees that have attained their 7D got an invitation to work this. We also had some GR8 Referees, some that were new, maybe having only worked one season. The GR8 Referees that earned a spot at the tournament were highly recommended from their local assignor. The common thread was that all that were invited and worked this tournament has a solid reputation for working hard, being reliable and giving every game best. They all had the common characteristic of being outstanding referees.

Also at the tournament were coaches and mentors.  The identification group consists of National Referees, National Referee Coaches, and a FIFA Assistant Referee.  They volunteered their weekend to go out to the games to watch referees in action, provide suggestions for referees to hone their refereeing skills, and to identify up-and-coming talent who may want to work other North Texas events and progress their refereeing careers. Photos from the event are below.

Secondly, the State Referee Committee attended the 2018 USSF Referee Workshop held in Dallas on March 17 -18.  We are all still students of the game, as well as students on how we can serve the North Texas Referee Program better. We attended a full day Saturday and a half a day of learning Sunday.  Some of the messages conveyed at this workshop included:

Lifelong leaner: Are you still striving to get better? If the answer is yes, how are you trying to get better? What are you doing to get better?  The presenters recommended that we have a personal development plan, which is something we can do that measures our improvement, something that we can tangibly see that we are getting better.

I challenge you all to set up a plan that you can measure your own improvement. No matter what level or age, we should be all be lifelong learners as a referee. The main reason for this: NOTHING is routine about what we do.

Fitness: Maybe you have a tough time running for the duration of the 80 – 90-minute match. Google ways to become fitter, stronger and have the endurance.

Knowledge: Indirect free kick or direct free kick? Find yourself doubting your decisions in this area? Quiz yourself once a week until you know 100% what is what.  Do you know the laws inside and out? Have you read the IFAB Laws of the Game? Read and dissect the laws. Download the 98 page document and read up on a Law per week. Then, do it again next season and again and again. As long as you referee, you need to know the Laws of the Game.

Refereeing requires each of us to have incredible people skills. How do you react when you are criticized? Or the question should be, how do you respond? Are you having spontaneous debates on the fields? Are you allowing spectators to mess with the game flow? Body language tells all.

One recommendation reading for success on the field is Verbal Judo by George Thompson. Or, try googling “effective communication – body language”. There is so much information available to help you improve.

Write down a plan, whether it is for fitness, knowledge or improving communication skills. The desired results are fitness and endurance, confidence in knowing what the restart is and walking off the field with a smile.

Remember, every association has people who are willing to give to the referee program. If you need someone to help you, just ask.

Thank you for being a North Texas Referee. We appreciate you and all that you bring to the fields every weekend. We are all lifelong learners, giving our best.

Have a great spring season,

Ann Hicks

NTX State Director of Instruction

2018 North Texas Presidents Cup Photos

IMG_8513Josh Ell, Jorge Luna Hernandez, Alexander Serino

IMG_8545Crystal Flores, Gloria Martinez, Patrick Bulger

IMG_8550Francisco Aguayo, Dylan Buckner, Lauren Butler

PCSat17Brayden Perry, Juan Hevia Vaca, Matthew White

PCSun4Kody Richardson, Travis Haight, Alexander Serino