Thursday, May 28, 2009

Spring Showcase Video Production

Another point of view from the D.A. Spring Showcase provided by full-time U.S. referee Baldomero Toledo illustrates the necessity and challenges of creating instructional videos for developing referees...

As a full-time FIFA referee, I think it is always important to be present during the development of young referees. On this occasion, U.S. Soccer assigned us to be part of the Development Academy Spring Showcase in Sarasota,Florida from May 21-26. All the participating teams from the academy arrived on Thursday prior to the U.S. Soccer staff, directed by Paul Tamberino. Brian Hall was also present, in charge to assign advisors at different fields to observe all the referees directing every game. At the end of the day we had the opportunity to discuss every game with every crew. The main idea was to identify areas that needed improvement, giving the proper advice so that those training this weekend will become better referees. Full-timers had the opportunity to share our good and bad experiences, so that others may learn and be better prepared for the future.

In my case, I traveled on Tuesday, May 19, 2009, with a special assignment coordinated by U.S. Soccer staff directed by Paul Tamberino, Alfred Kleinaitis and Dick Triche. They planned to produce a video detailing game situations, specifically how to conduct proper restarts off fouls. Wednesday around noon we headed to the fields to begin, but had to postpone because of weather conditions. Saturday morning around noon we tried again with much better weather. We prepared the field and had the opportunity to work with players from the U.S. U-17 Men’s National Team, they were our “players” in the game situations we were filming. We began to record and demonstrated all types of fouls and misconducts, along with the appropriate re-start that should happen during the game. That way, we as referees can prevent these type of situations from occurring in real games. I would like to thank the U.S. Soccer Federation staff for giving me the opportunity to be part of such an important project, and I hope I have helped future referees.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

A Look Inside the Lines Part II

Since the 2009 Spring Showcase began this week, some of the referees have been keeping some notes on what it's like to be an official during this hectic but exciting weekend. Over the next few days, we'll share their thoughts and experiences to give you a better idea of the challenge all referees face in keeping matches clean, fair and safe.

I am now traveling home from another great event put on by U.S. Soccer, the 2009 Development Academy Spring Showcase held in Sarasota, Fla. They are doing these events to help develop the players, coaches and referees. This showcase was run very well through all levels like administration and the environment, and being out on the field with the best players and coaches means we had to make sure the referees were also top-notch. It was great to help coach and mentor them to help prepare them for future matches.

There were clinic sessions, assessments, and mentoring that went on to help them understand what it will take to go to the next level. As one of the four full time referees with U.S. Soccer, we were able to watch referees do the games and then give them guidance on what they were doing well and what they may think about changing so they could get the best results in every match they officiate. We also had referees sit with us at a game and talk through situations, and point out things that work as well as some alternatives. We would go back to the referee tent and share these things with the other referees. The best feeling was talking to the referees about improvements they could make and then going out the next day and seeing that they were trying it.

If you want to have a shot at getting on the U.S. Soccer referee staff, this is an event you want to attend. The whole staff was there along with new U.S. Soccer inspectors to do assessments and help mentor. But if you hope to impress them, you must come ready. You have to be up to date with what is coming out from U.S. Soccer Directives, the Week in Review, and you must show up very fit, not just the minimum because there is nowhere to hide on the field if you’re out of shape. If you want to get the most up-to-date training this is the place you need to be. Again, this was a great event and it was an honor to be part of preparing the future.


Monday, May 25, 2009

Paul Tamberino Wants You! watch Referee Week in Review.

The weekly combination of video clips and written explanations of close calls has provided an invaluable tool in continually teaching not just U.S. Soccer Federation referees, but officials of all levels. Don't believe us? Take a look at this clip detailing one such success story.

Here's the clip in question with the accompanying explanation. Think you could have made the right call?