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SRC referee program update

REGISTRATION: The Superliga season is one week away. You should have received your superliga assignment username and password this week if your 2015 registration is complete. If you did not, all grade 9 officials should contact Brian Sperlongano at syra@risrc.net. All grade 8 officials and above should contact Steven Mauricio at sra@risrc.net.

INSERVICE TRAINING: There are many opportunities to obtain in-service training hours this month. Please remember that all in-service training can be used for 2015 or 2016 at this time of the year. You must indicate to your instructor if you are using the training for a year other that what the session is listed for.

You must pre register in gameofficials before attending any training event. You must obtain 4 hours of training annually and all training must be done by December 31 of each year.


April 2 6:30 pm Advanced Superliga Meeting Warwick
April 4 12 pm Town Hall Meeting East Greenwich
April 4 12:30 pm Field Training Providence
April 4 2:30 pm Field Training Providence
April 4 4:30 pm Field Training Providence
April 7 6:30 pm Intermediate Superliga Meeting Smithfield
April 8 6:30 pm Advanced Superliga Meeting Bristol
April 15 7 pm Monthly In-service Bristol


FITNESS TEST: The first fitness test of the year is scheduled for April 4 starting at 9 am in Warwick. Fitness testing is required for all officials to maintain grade 7 and above. Fitness testing is also used to add bonus points to your Top 100 score.

MEMBER AT LARGE: Congratulations to Kathy Souza for being reelected to represent all officials on the SRC board at our AGM last month. You can reach out to Kathy with any questions or concerns about officiating at klsouza1@cox.net

GEAR: You can order SRC program gear (polo, training shirts, warm ups etc) at the Gob Shops in Warren

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The SRC AGM will be held on March 24 at CCRI Knight Campus, Room 4080tarting at 7:00 pm. The AGM will include elections this year for the SRC At Large Member. The AGM will be immediately followed by the pre-season meeting for all officials interested in working adult games in 2015. Two hours of inservice credit from this session can be applied to 2015 or 2016 as appropriate. Registration is now open on gameofficials.

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Congratulations to RI new national referee

IMG_0031 IMG_0030Congratulations to our Amilcar Sicaju for passing the fitness test and the final hurdle to becoming a Grade 4 National Referee.

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January SRC meeting minutes

The minutes from the January SRC Executive Board meeting can be found here:  January 2015 meeting minutes

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Player Pass Check In

By Randy Vogt

You never get a second chance to make a first impression. For referees of youth soccer games, that first impression generally comes when checking player passes.

It seems simple enough. Each team has a player with a pass and each player must give the pass to the ref (or assistant referee) in order to play. Most youth soccer leagues now have passes for coaches and sometimes for trainers and that is a very good thing as the officials know who is allowed to coach the team.

A growing number of referees call players by their number. This might work for those refs (since each player has a distinct number) but it seems very impersonal to me. I prefer to call players by their first name and even introduce myself to them by my first name. After all, I will know their first name plus the captains of the team will know the names of the opposing captains when they introduce themselves during the coin toss.

What to do if I do not know exactly how to pronounce the name of a player on the team? As the coach hands you the roster, look it over and if you are not familiar with a first name, listen as the coach gives out the passes. The coach could say that player’s name as in “Kryanna, here’s your pass.”

It’s a simple technique that has helped me and I’ve heard many comments from the teams such as, “You are the only ref who has pronounced everybody’s name correctly.”

As the player’s name is called, they approach and give you the pass. The ref checks the photo on the pass and that the info on the pass is correct. The ref checks to make sure that the number on the roster corresponds to the number on the uniform and that the player is wearing legal cleats plus the correct-sized shin guards and the shirt is tucked into the shorts. All players must have shirts tucked in, including goalkeepers. Very importantly, the ref checks that the players are not wearing anything dangerous such as earrings, an uncovered cast, etc.

If you are unsure that the player’s photo on the pass is that player, and I have seen thankfully just a few coaches try to get away with using an ineligible player or a ringer not on their team, ask the player what his birth date is as that’s on the pass as well.

When checking the player’s pass against the roster, mark the players who are there, such as using a checkmark. If the coach says the player will be late, put an “L” by the name. At halftime, recheck to see if in fact the player did show up.

Some teams are quite disciplined in lining up: their players are standing in alphabetical or numerical order, the shirts are tucked into their shorts, all socks correctly cover the entire shin guard. The Felix Unger teams.

Then you will check teams that do not seem to care and are an absolute mess. The Oscar Madison teams.

Just as with referees, the attitude of players go a long way in determining the type of match it will be. It will most likely be much more challenging to referee the Oscar Madison teams than the Felix Unger teams.

When checking the teams, many referees, particularly new ones, make the mistake of telling them how the game will be called.

Saying things such as “When the goalkeeper has the ball, you leave her alone, otherwise I’m going to call a foul” or “Gentlemen, I heard that you don’t get along with the other team so I’m going to call a tight match” or any other such instructions is a bad idea and can open a can of worms.

After all, as soon as the ball is legally in play near the keeper and you don’t call a foul, the keeper’s team will complain that you contradicted yourself. Or as soon as you don’t call a perceived foul in a game that you said that you were calling tight, players will complain. Besides, who told you that those teams do not get along?

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February 2015 Newsletter

February 2015 Newsletter

Believe it or not, there are 67 days left until the spring season begins.

There are 3 inservice opportunities scheduled this month. A superliga webinar, monthly meeting and the Pro Clinic. For those of you still working on 2015, a $20 late fee now applies.

The Superliga will be very active with meetings and trainings as we move towards the spring season. Be sure you register for each course with the superliga and on gameofficials to get credit for attending a webinar or meeting. Look for your emails from the superliga once the dates are announced.

At this point most of you are registered for 2015, if you are unsure, check to see that your 2015 registration record says state approved, if it does not there is still a problem with your registration.

The SRC will have uniforms and accessories for sale at all of the upcoming superliga meetings. In addition, the uniform committee can take orders for any uniform pieces that you may need at a discounted price.

Special thanks to John Geyer for taking a volunteer role with the SRC as an event planner, we are still in need of other volunteers to make the program better. Please contact us if you are interested.

The grade 7 referee course was moved to March due to a weather cancellation. If you are eligible and would like to attend, please let us know as soon as possible.

The Pro clinic is available to those referees grades 8 and above and is taught by a national instructor. This year’s instructor is Kermit Quisenberry, a former FIFA and current MLS referee. Each segment of the Pro Clinic counts for 4 hours of inservice training and meets the needs of state referees, assessors, instructors and assignors. Registration is available on gameofficials.

Grade 9 new referee courses begin in February in various locations throughout the state. If you know someone interested in refereeing, now is the time to obtain training for the spring. The next round of new referee and upgrade courses will not occur until the summer.

Congratulations to those who successfully completed the Grade 8 referee course last month.

The following new policies were approved at the last SRC Executive Board meeting.

  1. Effective January 1, 2015, all grade 9 recertification exams will be allowed 3 attempts to pass. Should an individual fail all 3 attempts, they will be required to take the grade 9 entry level course.
  2. Effective with 2016 registration year, the cost of assignor registration be increased to $25.
  3. Effective with 2016 registration year, each instructor should be given inservice credit for all courses taught.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns.

Steven Mauricio

Rhode Island State Referee Administrator

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2015 Call for Volunteers

Members of the Referee Community,


The State Referee Committee (SRC) is a 100% volunteer organization.  There is a lot that goes on behind the scenes in running the statewide referee program that goes into the many events that we run throughout the year.  We are currently looking for volunteers that are willing to serve on the SRC in various capacities in order to expand the program:

Treasurer  (http://bit.ly/1ugAzHv)
Publicity (http://bit.ly/1ycI07t)
JOHN GEYER IS NOW Event Planner (http://bit.ly/1CCV2ea)
JIM FONSECA IS NOW Content Developer (http://bit.ly/1yyIO7k)

If you are interested, please contact me directly at sra@risrc.net or 401-692-7285.

Service as an administrator does not require any specific refereeing ability.  This is a great opportunity to meet people, gain experience, and make a huge impact on our referee community!

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Replacement badges

Replacement badges are not available through the SRC, but can be purchased online from US Soccer by clicking here:  US Soccer replacement badges

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Refereeing Restarts Near The Goal

By Randy Vogt

When I watch a soccer game on TV, I “referee” it. Sometimes instant replay confirms that I was correct and sometimes it does not.

Just as everybody else, I like consistency in the refereeing. A foul is a foul is a foul. What’s a foul at midfield should be a foul inside the penalty area and I become very frustrated when the game is not officiated this way.

Arguably the most graphic evidence that referees are sometimes letting the defense get away with murder occurs on restarts by the goal. We have all seen the holding and shirt-grabbing in pro games as corner kicks and free kicks are played into the penalty area. If the same amount of contact occurred at midfield, the ref would whistle a direct kick but somehow it is expected that these fouls will go unpunished near the goals. So much so that a large amount of contact by the goal has filtered down to some youth games.

In April 2007, I went on a tour of the English Premier League, watching several games, including Sheffield United vs. Newcastle United. Since Sheffield coach Neil Warnock is a referee-baiter, I rooted for Newcastle. Referee Mark Halsey and his ARs unfortunately did not have a good performance. They lacked teamwork and Halsey let the players, rather than him, control the match in a game that definitely needed control. The penalty area became a bit of a war zone as the players knew that the ref was not going to make any important decisions there. What would Warnock have said had he had as clear a view as the ref, or me sitting behind the Newcastle goal, of the two hands grabbing a Sheffield player’s jersey, preventing him from jumping to head the ball just a few yards from goal off a corner kick?

In a boys U-16 game that I refereed a couple of years ago, a free kick was crossed into the penalty area at the start of the game. There was contact between two defenders and one attacker as the attacker tried to get into position to head the ball. The contact was not putting a body on the attacker to prevent a free header but rather, one defender pushed the attacker from behind as he tried to head the ball, so I whistled a penalty kick. A couple of defenders complained.

The assistant referee on that side, not far from the defending team’s bench, said that none of the coaches complained and I told him that those coaches know me and know that I am simply going to enforce the Laws of the Game. Besides, as I told the AR, “If I had not called that foul, we would have had holding and pushing on every play near the goal.”

Obviously, it was easier for me to whistle what for some was an unexpected penalty kick as there were not thousands of fans watching and many more viewing on TV. That’s just one example but come to any of my games and the matches of some other refs and you will not see the clutching and grabbing by the goal that you might see in other games.

All we need are some PKs whistled around the world and defenders would get the memo that they can no longer get away with fouling on restarts. If refs follow that up by continuing to be consistent in their foul decisions throughout the field, scoring will increase as attackers will no longer be fouled without punishment by the goal.

(Randy Vogt has officiated over 9,000 games during the past three decades, from professional matches in front of thousands to 6-year-olds being cheered on by very enthusiastic parents. In “Preventive Officiating,” he shares his wisdom gleaned from thousands of games and hundreds of clinics to help referees not only survive but thrive on the soccer field. You can visit the book’s website at www.preventiveofficiating.com.)

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