SALMON CREEK SOCCER CLUB

Regarding referees...

Referees are an integral part of the game. For that very reason we need to nurture and grow them just as much as we do our youth players. As your child progresses through the age groups and various levels of play, so does the young referee. Most of them start at 9 yrs old, refereeing the U6 games. As they get older the gap can narrow to 2 years difference between the ref and the players. Young people and adults can get started at any age so just because a referee appears older that doesn't translate to more experienced. The referee coordinator works with referees so that they can develop the skills they need to move on to older players.

In a perfect world, we would have enough referees of the correct age and experience to cover every game. As you are probably aware, this is not a perfect world. So we don't always have the referees we need to cover every home game on a Saturday. In these cases the referee coordinator has to manually go through the schedule and juggle it to cover the centers. Now, every U6 to U8 coach just yelled at the computer "I didn't have a referee last Saturday!" The referee coordinator considers what games need to be covered and who is available (age and experience). The age group of the game is a also a factor. The first games to be covered are those of the oldest kids because the center has to be 2 yrs older than the players so we need the most experienced adults covering the U18 boys team. As one moves down through the age groups, the pool of potential referees grows because the age of the center is also decreasing. U9 and above games will take priority for experienced referees for two related reasons. Standings and stats are kept at U9 and above with a championship in the division at stake. In addition, the older the players are the more overwhelming a game can be because the field is bigger and there are more players to keep track of. We don't want the families and coaches of the littlest players to think they aren't important. They are! U6 to U8 is where the love of the game begins. The rules have been modified to miniturize the field and simplify the rules. This modification makes these age groups the perfect training ground for new referees. As they move up through the ages, more rules are added, the field gets bigger, and more players are racing around with the ball. On the other hand, we don't keep score, standings, or have championships because they are too young to start focusing on winning only. We have the freedom to assign a very inexperienced referee or ask a parent or older sibling to referee the game.

To counter these problems, the referee coordinator actively recruits young players and their siblings to train as a referee. This year most of the pay grades were increased at least slightly to encourage the experienced referees to stay here at their home club instead of moving on. And similar to coaching, the club helps referees pay some of the expenses incurred if they referee for at least 10 games here at Salmon Creek.

If you have questions about your referees conduct, please contact the referee coordinator at referees@salmoncreeksoccer.com. Make sure you include your name, contact information, nature of the problem/question, name of referee, date/time of the game, team name and your role on the team.