This last weekend, three of the full time referees, Jair Marrufo, Ricardo Salazar and me joined U.S. Soccer Referee staff Alfred Kleinaitis, Paul Tamberino, Dick Triche, and Craig Lowry at the Development Academy Winter Showcase in Dallas, Texas.
This showcase is not just for players, coaches and teams, but it is also a showcase for referees. It is a great environment to work with and develop upcoming referees. Here’s a quick run through of the events we participated in:
We arrived on Saturday at the headquarters, checked in, unpacked and got settled in. We then attended a meeting to go over the rules of competition, points of emphasis, pointers to what might help the referees in the days to come and we also received our assignments. Marrufo, Salazar and I had the opportunity to referee one game a day and then mentored the rest of the day. This works well as you had the opportunity to work with a crew, and they get to watch how you prepare before a match, how you communicate and how you work with the players and referee crew during the game. They can also ask questions along with the other referees that watched the game.
The rest of our time was spent going from field to field to watch portions of matches and find people which are ready to be looked at for the next challenge. We provide feedback and helpful hints to improve. At night we compared notes from the day events and made a game plan for the next day.
Overall, it was a great event and one that will help improve the quality of referees in the U.S. We’re looking forward to the next Showcase in May!