What is SAM Soccer Doing to Help Improve Referee Performance?
Our SAM management team receives many emails after every game weekend and a large number of them pertain to referee performance, both good and bad. The way a referee manages the game is one of the single most important factors in your team's game experience.
It’s extremely important for all SAM coaches, players and parents to support the good of the game by refraining from challenging the referee’s calls or confronting the referee during or after the game. SAM Soccer has a zero tolerance policy of referee abuse, verbal or physical, and reports of this will be addressed promptly and aggressively. If you are a parent and have a complaint (or compliment) about a referee, please have the coach of the team send it to the league on your behalf.
It’s important for you to know what SAM is doing and has done to help improve referee performance:
1) All complaints and compliments are reviewed by SAM management to determine what action may be necessary. The more serious issues are forwarded to a representative from CASRA, the association that assigns referees for all SAM games. (SAM referees are not employed by SAM. Rather, SAM contracts with CASRA and CASRA pays the referees.) CASRA determines if remedial action or sanctions may be necessary should a pattern of poor performance develop for a referee. In the most extreme circumstances, a referee may be limited to certain age groups or possibly even be banned from working future SAM games
2) On several game dates during the season, SAM hires a mentor from the State Referee Association to observe referees at SAM games. The mentor provides the referee with important guidance at halftime and after the game on how he or she might improve performance. A report card for each referee observed is provided to SAM management. Every game weekend, SAM staff is on hand at games to observe referees as well.
3) In the future, the SAM contract with CASRA will include a minimum age requirement for referees at given age groups and a limitation on the number of consecutive games a referee can work without a break. (Please note that, at times, extreme circumstances that arise because of multiple rainouts and an extraordinarily high number of makeup games might warrant an exception to this mandate.)
4) SAM will award a Referee of the Year award at the end of each year and your team’s nomination for the award is welcome. We want to hear about our shining star referees!! Considerations when determining the winner will be the referee’s knowledge of the Laws of the Game, game management skills, positive and cooperative demeanor and number of SAM games worked over the course of the year.
5) At least twice yearly, SAM management meets with CASRA representatives to discuss matters of mutual interest. This discussion includes referee coverage data for the previous season, whether or not certain referees should be restricted to certain age groups, and SAM modifications to FIFA Laws.
The SAM management team will continue to pursue innovative ways to ensure that our league has the best referees. Thanks to all of you for helping to ensure that all referees are supported and respected.