News from the SRA - July 16, 2003

The rainy spring was as difficult as any spring season in recent memory. It seems that referees adapted and supported the reschedules and make-ups well. As many observe, there is no off season in soccer anymore. In the middle of July we are as busy as can be with tournaments, course preparations, budget planning, and more. This note provides some highlights of ongoing activities and discussions of the Massachusetts State Referee Committee.

Recognizing Our Own

The MSRC is pleased to announce that it will host its inaugural Awards Night on August 1, 2003 in Westborough. Annual awards will be given out to deserving individuals and a Special Award is being presented to Ted Carlson of Bedford. All are invited to join us in the celebration.

Upcoming Educational Events

In recent years a trend of increased educational offerings in the summer months has been seen. A number of entry level courses have been scheduled. Additionally, we are offering two special clinics -- an Advanced clinic with National Instructor Jim Allen and an Intermediate Clinic and fitness test for those interested in upgrading to grade 7. Advanced enrollment is required for each clinic.

Tournament Season

The 2003 Massachusetts State Cup was successful despite the adjustments required to deal with rain-soaked fields at the University of Massachusetts. The semi-finals and finals were played at five venues across the state and the sun was out! The referee crews did a fabulous job. FIFA and World Cup referee Brian Hall was our clinician at the pre-tournament meeting and he set the tone for the tournament. His message of "refereeing is an exercise in human relations" was very pertinent. Chief State Cup Assignor and State Assignor Coordinator John Utter did his usual excellent job (see related article) with the help of many -- Marc Lamoureux, Rich Filippetti, Milan Robbins to name a few.

The Massachusetts Tournament of Champions (MTOC) was abbreviated due to the deluge on top of soggy fields. A disappointment for all involved, the decision was unavoidable. We hope to see many of the delegation on the field in the future. Long hours were turned in by tournament officials Dennis LaVersa, Derek Ambrozaitis, and Bob Purple.

The out of state delegations for the Region I ODP and 2003 SNICKERS Region I Championship tournaments and other regional appointments did very well representing themselves and the state. Beyond the smiling faces of the referee crews, evidence of their success is seen in the regional and national appointments that have followed. In particular, Head of Delegation for Regionals Ryan Davis of Salem was selected to represent Region I at the 2003 SNICKERS National Championships. Kara Honthumb-Lange of Natick and Russ Wolf of Newtonville have been selected to the National League Director's Cup to be held in Lawrence, IN in August. Check out the full list of youth appointments for 2003.

Two National referees, Claudiu Badea of Brookline and Niko Bratsis of Norwood each have been selected to United States Adult Soccer Association events. Badea is heading to Houston, TX as an official for the Soccer Festival, and Bratsis will participate in the National Cup Finals in Milwaukee, WI. Check out the full list of adult appointments for 2003.


Preparations are well underway for the 2004 registration season. Nearly all the dates for clinics have been finalized and posted. A full set of information for 2004 recertification will be posted by August 1, 2003. Note that pre-enrollment by each referee will be expected this year.

We have arranged for pre-printed registration forms to be sent to Massachusetts referees from US Soccer in Chicago in August-September, delayed from last year when they arrived in June. We hope that the timing works out better for most referees so that more referees will bring their signed, pre-printed form to a recertification clinic.

At last year's recertfication clinics and in other publications the MSRC discussed the need for addressing its budget deficit. In May it was announced that a $5 administrative fee will be charged with all referee registrations beginning in the 2004 soccer year. Please plan accordingly for this increase.


As we head towards the end of the fiscal year on August 31, 2003, our financial picture is taking shape. Treasurer Rob Akie continues to do excellent work and he notes that our spending controls have been effective. Although we expect a significant deficit he expects that it will be less than the originally anticipated deficit. This situation is a result of increased revenue (an increase in referee registrations, income from special clinics) and a reduction in expenditures. The MSRC had preliminary budget discussions at its meeting on July 15, 2003 and hopes to finalize the budget in the coming weeks.

In Conclusion

Enjoy the rest of the summer. Check the MSRC website often as things are changing constantly. If any question cannot be answered on the website, please contact me via e-mail