Mentor Notes

To all WPA referees,

I, along with Max Hartman, Colin Nelson, and Josh Sanders recently attended a college showcase tournament in Richmond, VA. Not only was it a well-organized tournament with terrific facilities and good play, there was also mentoring with myself, Alan Kelly, 2015 MLS Referee of the Year and Rob Fereday, former FIFA assistant referee. During our mentoring, I felt it was a good idea to list what we saw as mentors on sheets of paper and hang them in the referee tent for all to benefit. This was very well received and I wanted to share what was noticed and written by the mentors. Please take a moment to read the feedback and hopefully you can apply it to your games.

Peggy Neason also had this concept at the Open tournament this past season.

I want to thank Peggy for allowing WPA referees to attend this fine event.

Paul Tamberino, Director of Referee Development

Mentor Notes by Field

Field 9

  • Throw-in mechanic for ARs: arm should be at 45°.
  • Referee is too far away from play—20 yards is a good distance.
  • More energy on counter attacks.
  • Think about creating better viewing angles by moving right or left.

Field 2

  • Referee—Do not record goal until teams are in their own halves.
  • Referee—Free kick positioning: don’t be in a straight line with the players.
  • Referee—Free kick positioning: never be behind the wall; maintain a view of the ball by moving right or left.
  • Good 1-to-1 talk with #6.

Field 7

  • Good use of fitness—varying speeds.
  • Good reading of play.
  • Think about not standing still for too long before breaking into a sprint!

Field 3

  • Good physical presence.
  • Good use of fitness on counter attacks.
  • Keep concentration during lull in pay.
  • Move with play—Watching play, then reacting vs. constantly moving.

Field 7, Day 2

  • Referee—Do not constantly backpedal; just keep eye on ball.
  • Referee—Overrunning, getting too close to play.
  • Referee—Lack of personality: blowing your whistle is not enough; find opportunities to communicate.
  • AR—Side step and face the field more as the ball gets closer to you.
  • AR—Get to the goal.

Field 4, Day 2

  • Referee—Good advantage with bringing ball back for a foul.

General Observations for Assistant Referees

  • Move as the players; you do not need to side-step 100% of the time.
  • Side-step when play is in the attacking third.
  • When the ball is in the opposite side of the field or when there is no offside to be had, your primary focus should be on the play; keep offside line in peripheral view.
  • When transitioning from side-stepping to running, turn your hips and push off with your trail leg.