Jefferson Cup Referee Academy, Boys Weekend

Ashley Smyda and Alfonso Fajardo participated in the Referee Academy of the Jefferson Cup, Boys Weekend. They took some time to reflect on their tournament experience.

Alfonso Fajardo

I worked a total of 7 games at the Jefferson Cup. Two middles and 5 lines. My middles went great. I made two critical game decisions in the same game. Those were two PKs and the mentor said were “Spot on.” Also I had two cautions in the first match. Bryan Rosland said he liked the way I managed the second game. I personally don’t remember having talked so much to the players in a single game but just to clarify, I was not talking because players were complaining, I was talking to manage the game and to avoid problems. Bryan told me great things but he also gave me some things to take away. One of the main things I can take away is that I need to improve my work rate. He said I do not look tired or anything and I was always in good position but I could do a better job getting closer to the sideline near the benches such that coaches and others can have a good perception.

Great tournament. The competition was good. We also got to watch some offside clips presented by Ricardo Salazar, ex FIFA referee and Michael Salyers, former MLS Assistant Referee.

Ashley Smyda

I recently traveled to the Jefferson Cup Boys weekend which is held in Richmond, Virginia. I was part of the academy of this tournament hosted by Brian Smith. Ricardo Salazar, a full time referee for PRO and former FIFA referee, and Mike Salyers, former FIFA assistant referee, were the lead instructors. All of our games at this tournament were mentored by assessors along with Salazar and Salyers.

We had a meeting every night of this tournament to discuss the events of that day and also a presentation on the duties of an assistant referee. One point they made was the difference between possession of the ball versus having an advantage after a foul or misconduct by the opponent. When that had a foul committed against them has possession of the ball, especially in their own defensive third and even on their own half, does not mean that they have gained an advantage. In this case we should call the foul and let them set up since the foul that was committed on them provided no advantage. We also discussed the role of the assistant referee. The three prominent duties of the assistant referee include offside, ball in and out of play, and assisting the referee with fouls and misconduct. If there is an offside decision to be made then that is your priority.

I have been to this tournament for a few years and there is always an excellent group of mentors that have valuable feedback in order to improve your refereeing. I am thankful that I had this opportunity to travel outside of the state to referee with numerous people from other delegations and would definitely travel back down next year.