Monday, June 18, 2007

Far West Regionals Day 1

Dear Friends,

There has been a lot of interest from Referees in other parts of the country in hearing what is going on in the different Youth Regional Championships. So to offer some insight from the first one of the year I will try to check in each day with some commentary and, if I remember, some photos. Let us know how we are doing. Also, if you have them, feel free to ask questions and I will try to answer them for you.
Sunday, June 17th, Day 1

"Don't worry it's a dry heat."

The opening statement about the 107* weather from Scott Conner, Nevada SYRA and the Host Association for this years edition of the Region IV Far West Regional Tournament being held in Las Vegas, NV.

Dry it is. As in Bone Dry. And HOT!

This years tournament is being staged in two field complexes which are within minutes drive of one another. The Kellogg complex has 11 full sized fields and we were told today at the Referee pre-tournament meeting that it is exactly one mile walk from field 1 to field 11. The other complex is the Bettye Wilson Complex. This complex is home to 10 fields for our use this week. Both are in excellent condition and should prove to be excellent surfaces for the players in this tournament.

The Referee meeting took place yesterday, Sunday, beginning at 2:30pm. There are nearly 250 Referees in attendance from Region IV. This group includes some National Referees and FIFA AR, Corey Rockwell of AZ. The Instruction focused on Teamwork and Referees doing what they can to improve their performances each day. Also there was a session about taking care of yourself in these conditions. Of course they include drinking enough fluids (not pop or alcohol), eating enough calories to keep the quality of your performances up and resting indoors as much as possible between games.

After the main meeting a get together with the Assessors in attendance was lead by Kevin Yant and Ali Saheli. They told the assembled Assessors their responsibility is to help the Referees improve by recognizing the positive elements of Referee performances and also make suggestions for improvement. When indicating where improvement can be made the Assessors are to focus on 'What Went Wrong, Why did it go Wrong and How to Fix it.' They will be focusing on providing solutions to any difficulties Referee crews face on each and every match. Hopefully when the officials leave Las Vegas they will have learned a few more tricks and improved their knowledge of the game as well as the Art of Refereeing.

While the Assessors were meeting there was a meeting held for 'First Time Regional Referees' to provide information about protocol and other information you need to know to be successful at these events. I don't know what all was said, I was in the Assessor's meeting. If you want to know more about the 'First Timers Meeting' leave a comment and I will try to find out or have one of the First Timers reply for everyone. After a dinner break it seemed that every state had an organizational meeting and I met informally with a group of women officials who wanted to have a forum to get some questions answered. We talked a lot about fitness, staying involved with officiating when you are really busy with school and other things and some tips in dealing with coaches and parents..."oh, those parents."

Now I am back in my hotel room blogging at 11pm+ and the first games kickoff tomorrow \nmorning at 7am! Kickoff at 7! Referees must be at the fields no less than one hour before kickoff and all the Referees are hoping to get a 7am game, it's THAT hot here. Wish us Luck. "May the Ball Bounce Straight." Let the Games Begin.

-Sandy

PS A link to the Tournament www.regioniv.com

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