News from the SRA - March 17, 2003

Like all others, the referee community is anxious to see the ball put in play for the spring. The instructional season has been grueling and it is time for green grass and enthusiastic competition. In March, we are putting the final touches on our off-season preparation as we finalize recertification, teach several entry level courses, and hold administrative meetings.

Young Referees of the Year

At the recent Mass Youth Soccer banquet, the winners of the Young Referee of the Year awards were announced: Mairin Robbins of Mendon and Kevin Sager of Hopkinton. We are very proud of these young people who have demonstrated excellent progress and dedication in refereeing.

Youth tournaments

Preparations for State Cup and the Massachusetts Tournament of Champions is well underway. State Youth Referee Administrator Marc Lamoureux has been collecting and reviewing nominations of referees for these tournaments and planning agendas for the programs. Interested referees should contact their Area Referee Administrator (ARA) to see about getting involved.

Certified assignor compliance

With two recent, tremendous courses in Dartmouth and Marlboro, the assignor program is well on its way to meeting its goal of compliance with the US Soccer requirements. State Assignor Coordinator John Utter has been making great strides in pulling together the assignor community and is in the process of distributing certified referee lists to certified assignors. Another course is being offered on March 29 in Wellesley. Pre-enrollment for that course has been very strong with over fifty participants already signed up.

2003 Recertification

On March 8 we held our thirteenth and final recertification clinic for the 2002-03 soccer year. The event drew over 400 hundred people to Westborough. With that, our year over year recertification rate moves to approximately 66%. That is, two-thirds of referees registered in 2002 have re-registered in 2003. Although the number is still lower than we would like, this marks a significant increase from the previous year, so we are pleased that we are headed in the right direction.

Those interested in registering who failed to attend a recertification clinic can appeal for special consideration here.

Entry Level courses

From July 2002 until April 2003 -- the 2003 instructional season -- the MSRC will have offered nearly eighty entry level courses, registering over 1800 new referees. The course offerings have gotten more consistent and more professional with time. The instructional staff has been doing a terrific job.

State Director of Instruction Ed Rae notes that changes are in the wind for next year as US Soccer has announced the conclusion of the Grade 11 Associate Referee program. This 2003 soccer year will be the final year for Grade 11. Through recertification next winter, our Massachusetts referees will transition to Grade 9 Recreational Referees. Stay tuned to hear more about this process.

More Education

On March 1, the MSRC launched a pilot education program aimed at referees who wish to reach their highest level possible. Peter Kokolski of Wrentham is leading the program and reports a tremendous start. The first meeting included a number of presentations and activities designed to start the participants thinking beyond the field to improve their craft.

On March 30, an Advanced Clinic will be offered in Worcester at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. This clinic targets referees interested in advancing in grade and skill with an agenda of high-level refereeing topics. Taught by top National staff, Paul Tamberino and Angelo Bratsis, the clinic promises to be a great opportunity. If interested, pre-enroll.

USSF Instructors Milan Robbins of Mendon and Nigel Bright of Franklin traveled to Wisconsin recently to take part in an advanced program of referee instructor training. The two have worked diligently to help move the Massachusetts instructional program forward. Thanks and congratulations to them.


State Director of Assessment Andy Weiss held a successful meeting of the assessment team on March 9 in Waltham. Stressing the need for consistency, communication, and professionalism, the discussion was a large step forward in preparing for a busy spring and summer season.


In previous writings we have referred to the predicted, large deficit (near-$23K) for this soccer year. The committee has taken steps to reduce this deficit and is planning on adjustments for next year. In the meanwhile, a successful financial audit was completed in January to coincide with the required filing to the federal and state authorities.

In Conclusion

The energy and dedication of the people working on behalf of referees in Massachusetts cannot be understated. If you get an opportunity to thank an instructor, assessor, or administrator, please do.

The MSRC will continue our pursuit of providing better service. If you have questions please check out the rest of this website. If any question cannot be answered on the website, please contact me via e-mail at