2015 RDA

Dates are set for the 2015 Referee Development Academy.
July 24, 25, 26, 2015 at Central Washington University in Ellensburg, WA. Friday we begin at 7pm and will adjourn on Sunday at noon.
Friday night July 24 we will begin the opening session at 7pm and conclude before 10pm.
Saturday will begin early with the USSF interval fitness test being run in 3 groups with the first group beginning warmup at 7:00am.
Then Saturday afternoon we have invited Pete Jaskulski to join us again. The survey results from last year were overwhelmingly positive. Our referees wanted to learn more about his concepts of verbal defense and communicating under pressure. So we will use a new interactive format to take what we learn from Pete in the classroom and deploy it on the field. We will spend an hour in the classroom then the next hour outside on the field running drills that practice what we just learned.
Sunday we will serve breakfast from 8am to 9am and then clinic from 9am to noon. RDA adjourns at noon on Sunday, July 26.
The provided meals will be served in the cafeteria and they are: Saturday lunch and dinner, Sunday breakfast.

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What Illegal Contact Against a Goal Keeper Looks Like

goal keeper contact

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Fall 2014 Points of Emphasis

Fall 2014 Points of Emphasis
Washington Youth Soccer

To all Referees, Coaches, Players and Parents:

As we enter into the busy fall season of Washington Youth Soccer we thank all of our coaches, parents, volunteers and referees for playing such important roles in facilitating positive experiences for our players. While all Laws of the Game are of great importance as this 2012 fall season begins we bring special attention to three points of emphasis. We ask that everyone involved in youth soccer please be aware of these points of emphasis and work to ensure their implementation.

1) Concussion Awareness – Head Injury Prevention – Injury Management
Contact to a player’s head is not legal contact. Referees need to be unwavering in calling fouls and when necessary issuing the proper misconduct. Especially important to watch for is elbow to head contact. The primary duty of our referees is to ensure the safety of all players. When players are injured and remain on the ground please quickly stop play and allow the player to be attended to. There is no need to allow play to continue when players are hurt and on the ground.

2) Goalkeeper Safety
Goalkeepers are at times very vulnerable and referees need to error on the side of safety in calling fouls against attacking players when contact is made against goalkeepers.
Offside flags from AR’s need to be raised immediately when a player in an offside position could make contact with the goalkeeper. The definition of “involved in active play” is broadened to include players in offside positions who could make a challenge to the goalkeeper. Please keep our goalkeepers safe.

3) Respectful Communication
Please work to establish respectful relationships with everyone involved in each game. We all have to be accountable for our words and actions. Respectful questions deserve answers. Disrespectful behavior needs to be immediately addressed, then, if necessary, sanctioned with misconduct and reported. Avoiding or ignoring disrespectful behavior is not acceptable. It is imperative that coaches, parents and referees work together to create positive experiences for the players.

We wish you a wonderful and busy fall season of youth soccer.
Will Niccolls
Referee Program Director

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American FIFA Referee Mark Geiger Very Impressive at World Cup

Confident. Strong. Decisive. Accurate.

Mark Geiger American FIFA Referee from New Jersey provided one of the best World Cup referee performances of the first three days. Americans should be proud. Geiger was clearly on the top of his game for the full 90 minutes as Columbia beat Greece 3-0. Geiger was supported by American AR Sean Hurd and Canadian AR Joe Fletcher.

For purposes of getting ourselves better as referees let’s dig deeper into Geiger’s performance to see what elements of his game we can bring to the games we referee:

Accuracy – accuracy matters. Being right is paramount. Mark Geiger was correct/accurate/right with every decision. How can we do a better job in our local games of raising our percentage of correct decisions on simple calls like: Throw in calls?  Goal kick/Corner kick decisions? When we get the direction incorrect on “simple” calls we significantly lose credibility with players/coaches/parents. As a solution when we AR be more prepared for the ball to go out, anticipate with your mind (NOT you flag!) that the ball is going to cross the touch line and goal line on every play. As a referee all of us can do a better job of making confident/strong/decisive throw in decisions in our quadrant. I see it all the time…the ball goes out deep in the referee’s quadrant and the ref looks back at the AR who is standing at midfield. You are asking a lot of your AR to help you that far down the line into your referee’s corner – our referees have to take more ownership of throw in and GK/CK decisions that occur in their corner of the diagonal. If we do have to guess please lean to guess it’s a goal kick instead of “guessing” for a potential goal scoring corner kick.

Fitness –Mark Geiger has clearly dedicated himself to a training regimen that places his fitness in to top echelon of international athletes. Obviously that level of fitness is unnecessary for the level of games most of our referees officiate but you can see how beneficial it is to be able to use your fitness to remain 10 to 15 yards away form play. While getting that fit might not be possible we can all do a better job of being in better shape.

Free Kick & Corner Kick Position – watching our referees on local games our positioning is across the map on our position for free kicks. As referees we don’t have to make up positioning ourselves. Watch our top referees and stand where they stand for attacking free kick and corner kick restarts.  We have to keep good open angles and remain aware of 5 major elements: 1) wall/defenders 2) the runs made by attackers 3) where the ball is going to land 4) goal keeper 5) location of kick and encroachment. Geiger was always so well positioned to have great angles to watch the area where the ball was going to land, awareness and an angle to see the goalkeeper all while he remained peripherally aware of the free kick and encroachment.

Drop Zone – on keeper punts and kicks out of the back Geiger was always in position to have an open look through the 2 players going up to challenge for the ball. If we are not fit this is really tough to do. We have to get up field fast to recover your position to see “through” the challenge with a good open angle.

Anticipation – Mark Geiger used his perception to read play so he could anticipate where the ball was going next. There were sequences that seemed like he knew before the players exactly where the ball was going next. In our games we can all do a better job of opening up our awareness to all 22 players and try reading their movements to anticipate where we have to position ourselves for the next play.

Congratulations to American FIFA Referee Mark Geiger for a most exceptional performance on the world’s stage! 

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Presidents Cup Regionals and Far West Regionals

Congratulations to our 26 WA referees heading to Presidents Cup Regionals in San Jose, CA and our 37 WA referees attending Far West Regionals in Albuquerque, New Mexico. For the 3rd consecutive year our state is sending the most referees to both of these prestigious officiating opportunities. Congratulations to all 63 of our WA referees!!!

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WIAA High School Championships

The WIAA crowned champions in boys soccer for 2014 and they are:

4A Snohomish
3A Lakeside (Seattle)
2A Squalicum (Bellingham)
1A Quincy

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How Parents Influence Participation in Youth Sports

The following comes from Steve Locker of Second Nature Sports about how parents influence their kids participation in any youth sport.

Here is a very logical (and simple) explanation on how sports work.  Kids play because they are having fun.  Kids quit because they are not having fun.  Which scenario are your comments/actions/behavior supporting? If we allow our children to simply have fun, they will keep playing.  If they are destined to advance in a sport, they must become their own motivators.  When this happens, they are the first ones to know when they made a mistake and when they did something really positive.  They don’t need anyone to tell them.  Our job as parents of young athletes is actually pretty easy when you follow this perspective.

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