News from the SRA - May 18, 2003

It seems that spring is finally here in earnest. Although nearly every team has games to make up from the early season rainouts, it seems that most have played a game or two. Finally. It feels good to have the ball in play.

Sporting Behavior

Have you gotten to see the Mass Youth Soccer video Attitudes Are Contagious? It discusses how sideline behavior by adults adversely effects players and referees, particularly younger ones. Having watched the video during its development and several times in its completed form, I am pleased that such a powerful educational tool exists. I hoped that the long winter would have given coaches and parents a chance to see the video and the spring games would reflect a more positive tone from all participants. Early returns suggest that this has not yet happened.

Perhaps because of pent-up emotion due to cancelled games, I have received news of more incidents in this young season than usual. I have heard from referees who have been abused and others who were assaulted, including a player spitting at an official. I have heard from irate coaches who, while acknowledging that they overstepped the "zero tolerance" rules, tell me how they felt obligated to berate a game official after a youth match.

It is still early and time for improvement. Maybe those who most need to see and listen to the message of "Attitudes Are Contagious" have not yet gotten a chance to see it. I hope they do and that we all will be respectful of each other on the field.

Youth tournaments

The assignment committee is working on its assignments for State Cup having interacted with over 170 referees. Week 1 (May 31/June 1) is the busiest of the weekends at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, but there are logistics to be considered for at least three weekends of competition. The tournament kicks off for officials on Friday, May 30 with a meeting and clinic featuring World Cup and FIFA referee Brian Hall. Check out the list of appointees to State Cup.

On the weekend of June 20-22 Amherst will be busy again with the Massachusetts Tournament of Champions (MTOC). The competition runs for three days. Availability requests for MTOC have been sent to hundreds of referees and meetings are being planned.

The 2003 Region I ODP Tournament will be held from June 6-8 at Rider University in New Jersey. Massachusetts is sending a contingent of eleven referees. Check out the list of appointees to ODP.

The 2003 SNICKERS Region I Championships will be held from July 3-7 at the University of Rhode Island in Kingston, RI. Massachusetts is sending a contingent of referees and assesssors. Check out the list of appointees to Regionals.

Adult tournament

The spring and summer months offer a number of appointment opportunities in the adult ranks. With Open Cup, select teams, state and national competition, and more there is plenty of high level adult soccer being played. A referee crew of Syrus Ataii of Newton, Eric Jansen of Lexington, and Ed Shea of Fiskdale were assigned to a Cup match which was, unfortunately cancelled. Two referees have been appointed to officiate at the USASA Veteran's Cup in Honolulu, HI in August. See the full list of adult appointments.


It it difficult to believe but the 2002-03 registration season, which has been ongoing since November, is not quite complete. To date, 4,447 referees, 143 assignors, 59 assessors, and 31 instructors have registered with USSF in Massachusetts. Preparations are already underway for the 2003-04 season. Pre-printed registration forms are expected to be mailed from US Soccer in Chicago to Massachusetts officials in August.

Advanced Education

Paul Tamberino and Angelo Bratsis directed two full days of advanced referee education to top referees in the state. The sessions were held at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) on March 29 (for those invited to work in professional leagues) and March 30 (for anyone interested in an Advanced Clinic). Although over 150 referees participated and benefited from the tremendous information presented, we hope to attract even more next year by improving coordination with MASS-sponsored events.


At its March meeting, the MSRC voted to add a five dollar administration fee to all registrations in 2003-04. The move was made to offset the projected budget deficit for this and upcoming years as services continue to be extended to the membership. At the same time, the committee has worked hard to reduce the deficit for the current fiscal year and expects it to be less than the $23K that was originally forecast.

In Conclusion

Beyond providing opportunities to participate in and observe the games, the spring playing months affords the administration and staff a chance to get caught up on paperwork that has piled up through the winter. Efforts to improve communication and the MSRC website will continue. If any question cannot be answered on the website, please contact me via e-mail