Indiana Soccer and the Indiana State Referee Association are aware of the significant shortage of referees. While there are many reasons for the shortage, the purpose of this communication is to Invite member clubs to be a part of a corrective solution by hosting referee courses. Member club participation in addressing this challenge is imperative. Hosting referee courses is only one piece of a more comprehensive approach to addressing the issue, however, it is an important piece and one each club can participate.
The goal is to schedule multiple USSF Referee Certification courses in each region of the state.
Small-sided referee course are also part of the overall strategy to mitigate the small referee pool. Each member club is expected to host at least one Small-Sided Referee Certification course each year, and preferably more than one. Clubs may work together to host a course.
A third piece of the strategy to mitigate the referee shortage is to have club assistant referees available for each game scheduled. These assistant referees are being termed, Guardians of the Game. To accomplish this, every Indiana Soccer team will be required to have a minimum of two individuals, 12 years of age and older, complete the Guardian of the Game program (see below).
Indiana Soccer has engaged Ball State University to complete an analysis of why a significant number of referees have withdrawn from refereeing games. Ball State will also be working with Indiana Soccer and its membership to develop mitigation strategies to counter the excessive turnover rate related to referees. More information on this challenge will be shared soon.
There are three programs available to clubs:
1 - USSF Referee Certification
- Individuals that complete this course will be eligible to work as a center or assistant referee for any US Soccer game.
- Link to the referee website for more information on USSF Referee Certification.
2 - Indiana Soccer Small-Sided Referee Certification
- Individuals (of any age, 12 and above) that complete this course will be eligible to work as a center or assistant referee for any Indiana Soccer sanctioned small-sided game (9v9, 7v7, 4v4).
- Link to the Indiana Soccer website for more information on Small-Sided Referee Certification. This link provides information on how clubs can sign up to host a course. Once a course has been confirmed, this link will allow individuals to sign up for a course.
3 - Club AR – Guardian Program
- The Guardian Program allows each team to have certified individuals who can step in to work as a club AR when one or two referees are not available to referee a scheduled game. Every Indiana Soccer registered team is required to have a minimum of two individuals to complete the Club AR-Guardian of the Game registration.
- Link to the Indiana Soccer’s Guardian of the Game registration and the program itself.
Your Indiana Soccer staff looks forward to working with all members to grow this aspect of our game together.
“The ISRA is very excited about the Small-Sided Referee Certification initiative and we strongly encourage clubs to fully support it as it will help increase the number of referees to cover all the games and cub the shortage of soccer officials” stated Samir Yasar stated, Indiana State Referee Association SRA.