Becoming a Soccer Referee
Becoming a referee is a fairly simple process Ė you take a class, you take a test, you pass the test, you buy a uniform and youíre off to officiate your first game. Sounds easy, right? Well nothing is that easy, but we can help you get started. Here is whatís involved in becoming a referee:
Find out where and when the next Training Class will be offered in your area. You can locate all the Soccer Officials Associations by contacting a Maine Association of Soccer Officials representative. Your Local Maine Association Of Soccer Officials Representative Once you find the area that is convenient to you call the person listed as the contact. Now that you have the first step out of the way, things get better.
You will be attending classroom instruction on learning the basics of becoming a soccer referee. Donít worry, the training is normally spread out over the course of several days depending on the class size. Each class will cover different laws of the game and your instructor will share actual game situations to help you understand these rules. At the end of the class, you will take a test to determine if you have passed the course. If you pass the test, you will be eligible to officiate lower level games such as junior varsity, freshman and middle school soccer matches.
If you pass the test, you will be required you to officiate two years of lower level games in order to build your confidence as a referee. After that second year is under your belt, youíll be eligible to take the Maine Association of Soccer Officials Class 1 test. Pass that test and you will be officiating varsity level games.
If you are a USSF Level 8 Referee with at least two years of experience, and 18 years of age, you can join as a Class 2 Officials as long as you take the Rules clinics and pass the MASO Class 2 test.
If you are a USSF Level 7 Referee you may join as a Class 1 referee after taking the written and field tests. You must also take the MASO rules clinics,
Uniform and Equipment
Now that youíre ready to officiate, itís time to go out and buy your first uniform. The basic referee uniform shirt varies from Board to Board and you should check with them before buying a shirt (they may also direct you to a website where uniforms may be purchased if not available locally. Check out Helpful Links for Referees on the home page); black referee shorts, black socks with three white stripes and black shoes. There are no particular shoes that we recommend, only that you get a comfortable pair that wonít cause blisters when you run. In addition to the uniform, you will need a watch, preferably one that counts down time. Youíll need a whistle, a small book to keep score and game notes, a flipping coin and your very own red and yellow cards. Now ask yourself, where do I get all of this stuff. Donít worry, your instructor will help you locate a supplier.
Now that youíve bought your uniform and all the stuff, youíll need to talk to the Board assignors who will schedule your games. Not sure who these people are, not to worry. Again, your instructor will advise you on who the local assignors are.
Your First Year
Well, youíve been out on the fields for a year or two now and youíve learned how to issue cards, deal with the players, coaches and parents, and suffered through the hot and cold. Now what. Every year, you will be required to take a refresher examination to maintain your status as a Varsity official. You will also be required to attend rules interpretation, mechanics and clinic meetings offered by your local chapter. These meetings will keep you informed of all rule changes and refresh your memory on the basic laws of the game, not to mention the ability to swap stories with fellow referees.
In a nutshell, thatís what it takes to become a soccer referee. Of course the more games you do, the more your confidence will improve and the games will seem easier. One thing to remember is that we all have a bad game from time to time, so donít despair. Every Board has experienced referees, a rules interpreter, new officials instructor and Executive Committee to answer your questions and help you through any difficult times. These will be few and far between.
Who to Contact: Your Local Maine Association Of Soccer Officials Representative
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