Southeast Referee Assignors Meeting

January 18, 2005

Attendees:  Peter Garland, Bob Stanners, Rich Ronne, Laura Smith, Frank Balantic, Shelly Cumpstone, Sandra Meinsen, Peter Fuhrmeister, Chris Sinko

Regrets:  Jack Nelan, Joe Schomaker, David Reim, Tom Scagliarini, Art Moran


Clubs Not Represented:  Salem, Stonington, Groton, New London, Montville


  • Chris described the Connecticut State Referee Program (CSRP), the role of the Area Referee Administrator (ARA) and the differences between the DRA (a CJSA-appointed position) and the ARA.  Simply put, the ARA, Chris Sinko in SE, is the administrative tie-point for all referees who live in towns that make up the SE district.  Principally responsible for certification and recertification, the role is now expanded to cover referee education, mentoring, development and identification for State-level and National-level officiating opportunities.
  • Grade 8 and 9 Certification Clinics:  The group debated the referee certification strategy that would best serve the district given the new rules for age limits and minimum numbers of registrants required for clinics.  We agreed that we would hold one Grade 8 certification in the clinic for the first half of the year and at least 3 or 4 Grade 9 certification clinics with an attempt at spreading the Grade 9 clinics throughout the district.  Working with Frank Balantic’s schedule we agreed to the following clinics for the spring:


Grade 9 Certification Clinic

Haddam Killingworth High School

Higganum, CT

March 1, 3, 8 and 10

6-8:30 PM

Contact:  Shelly Cumpstone


Grade 8 Certification Clinic

Essex Elementary School

Centerbrook, CT

March 7, 9, 14, 16, 21, 23 and 28

6-8:30 PM

Contact:  Sandra Meinsen  767-0309


Grade 9 Certification Clinic

Colchester Public Library

Colchester, CT

March 15, 17, 22 and 24

6-8:30 PM

Contact:  Joe Schomaker 537-4387

Sign up at:


Grade 9 Certification Clinic

Ledyard High School

Ledyard, CT

April 4, 6, 11 and 13

6-8:30 PM

Contact:  David Reim  464-9788


  • A couple of items regarding the minimum age for clinics have arisen since the meeting and its best to summarize them here:


      • If any clinic coordinator has doubts about the age of the registrant he/she can ask for proof of age using a birth certificate or a copy of one as sufficient proof.
      • The minimum age to register for the Grade 8 clinic is 14 years of age by April 30
      • The minimum age to register for the Grade 9 clinic is 12 years of age by April 30 or 11 years of age by April 30 if accompanied by an adult buddy.


  • The state policy describing the minimum age, game assignments and other clinic information is attached to this e-mail.
  • Chris inquired with the CSRP regarding the requirements for Upgrades from Grade 9 to Grade 8.  All is apparently not what it seems if you just rely on state policy memo that is attached.  Here’s how a Grade 9 referee can upgrade to a Grade 8 referee (the first three must be met):
      • The Grade 9 referee must officiate for a minimum of one year at that Grade
      • The Grade 9 referee must be at least 13 years of age.
      • The Grade 9 referee must take the 8-9 bridge course and pass the Grade 8 certification exam with a 75% score.
      • OR
      • The Grade 9 referee can take the Grade 8 certification clinic when they turn 14 and pass the Grade 8 certification exam with a 75% score (without having to wait for one year)
  • Chris reconfirmed the age and indeed it is 13.  According to the SDI the assumption is that the year of officiating recreation level matches and serving as an AR in travel matches is sufficient experience to be considered for an upgrade. 
  • Referee Pool For SE District:  Tom Scagliarini was not present but Chris made the pitch regarding the identification and encouragement of referees to take the next step and throw their hat into the pool for consideration of State level assignments here in the SE district.  These assignments are targeted towards the Premier league, the Connecticut Cup and the Open Cup.  Experience in these games provides two kinds of opportunities.  The first is to experience, first hand, a higher level of competition that will allow the referee to develop better officiating skills.  The second is the opportunity to be identified for higher level assignments in the state, namely the Connecticut Cup finals, Open Cup Finals, Region 1 events such as the Region 1 Open Cup finals and the Region 1 ODP tournaments.  Access to these high level assignments start by taking the first step in the district and signing up for matches that are posted on the SE website.
  • Some concern was expressed regarding the assignment of referees to state-level matches at the expense of being available for local district matches.  The best defense against this in the long term is to recruit more people into refereeing so we don’t face acute shortages during moments of need.  A short term solution, and an opportunity for referee development, is to share referees across clubs, particularly those promising referees who could use more experience.  The group debated ways to do this and the best way was to work with clubs that were adjacent to each other to minimize the amount travel.  As a courtesy, the Assignors should contact each other before reaching for referees outside their club.  To facilitate this attached to this e-mail is a list of Assignors for the various clubs.  We’d like to add those not current on the list to keep everyone up to date.  The list can be useful when you are short referees for a match.  We can use entries for Stonington, East Haddam, Montville, Preston, Groton, New London, and Salem.
  • Another thought to pass on to the DRA, currently Mike Long and assisted by Tom Scagliarini, was to assign referees regionally, at least for the AR roles.  This could minimize travel for referees who may not have ready access to transportation but could gain from these higher level assignments.
  • A point Tom wanted to make in his absence was that referee assignments were based on a number of factors, one which included experience in higher level matches.  It is simply not realistic to expect a center assignment if you’ve never done one.  The best way to step up is to serve in AR roles as well as in lower level or younger state-level matches as a referee.  One way to provide data is to institute an assessment/mentoring system that would provide Tom the data he needs to make a confident assignment.  More on this below.
  • Referee Upgrades and Statewide Assignments:  For all referees who are interested in upgrading from 8 to 7 or to higher grades, the CSRP is putting in place a facile web-based system that will permit referees to apply for upgrades.  This system should be finally in place sometime in the first half of 2005.  Requirements for upgrades, and all other referee administrative information, can be found on the website.  Statewide assignments are also available for referees in our area.  These include the aforementioned cups and regional tournaments as well as CSSA (Adult) referee assignments.  All referees who may be interested in these should contact Chris Sinko directly at
  • Referee Development-CT Referee Camp:  An excellent opportunity for referee development available for our youth referees is the CT Referee Camp.  Details can be found at the following website:  The information is a bit dated but the timing for 2005 should be the same.  Chris will happily write nominations for the referee camp this year.  All assignors should consider the information provided on the website and forward nominations to Chris for testimonials, etc.  The earlier the nomination, the better.  Chris could use the spring season to make a personal assessment of the nominee’s abilities.
  • Referee Mentoring/Educational Assessments:  The CSRP had started the development of an educational assessment program in 2004 but ran into a roadblock when USSF changed the minimum requirements for assessors.  All assessors must now be at Grade 7 before initially certifying.  In response to this the CSRP proposed a referee mentoring system that would be administered by the state.  This was debated at the CJSA Annual Meeting in Farmington, CT on January 29, 2005.  The outcome and details follow:
      • The purpose of the referee mentoring system is to provide referees at all levels advice, pointers, and support to aid in the development of the referee.
      • The CSRP will initially administer the program by providing educational support for prospective mentors as well as identifying common areas of focus for future referee instructional programs.
      • The program will operate locally with an Area Mentor Coordinator (AMC) serving as the central point of contact.  It is the responsibility of the ARA to nominate the AMC by February 15.  The AMC will maintain contact with mentors in the area and provide support as well as receive feedback from mentors regarding potential educational topics that could form new educational substrate for the Referee Instruction program in the state.
      • The AMC will work with local assignors in identifying potential mentors in the area who are willing to provide this important service to our referees.
      • The AMC, referees who would like to participate as mentors, assignors and any others who are interested in the program will be invited to a formal training program to be conducted within the district sometime in the late March/April time frame.  Tips, points of instruction, etc. will be provided to help referees who want to help others succeed will be provided.


Based on what was agreed to at this meeting here’s Chris’ take on it:  Anyone can volunteer to be the AMC if they chose to do so.  If you are interested or know someone who would like to serve in this important role please contact Chris before 2/15 and he will forward your name to the SRA for consideration.  In the mean time it is very important to identify referees who have experience and who may be interested in serving as a mentor to referees in your club.  Mentoring is another valuable approach to provide our referees with educational advice and support so please follow through on this.  Chris will contact each assignor individually for potential mentors within your club.


  • In Service Educational Clinic for the SE District:  An extra educational clinic will be provided by the CSRP for our district.  We agreed that this would be a good thing to support.  Chris will work with the CSRP in making arrangements.  Chris will need to work with one of the Assignors on logistics.  One concern expressed by Sandra Meinsen was coach and parent behavior and its negative effects on the referee.  The Lacrosse league works with an external provider of a service called “Positive Coaching Alliance” that emphasizes good behavior.  Chris will bring this point up at the next SECJSA meeting on February 9 and the next SRC meeting on March 1.  Since CJSA is well represented on the SRC we will have at least a captive audience for a few minutes on the topic.
  • Certification Interest/Opportunity:  As always there are opportunities to serve soccer in other ways.  We need Instructors, Assessors and Assignors.  All Assignors should look into their clubs and inquire if there are any people who might want to serve in these roles.  Assessor entry is now quite limited due to the Grade restriction but Instructor and Assignor do not have these restrictions.  If anyone is interested in serving soccer in different ways please have them contact Chris for more information.  Chris announced his intention to certify as an assessor in April and has been accepted by the SDA for the course.  If all works well, Chris should be able to provide assessments of referees in the district that could be used by assignors and the DRA to make more informed assignments for their matches.
  • 2005 Recertification Feedback:  Feedback was generally positive.  Having a clinic in Westbrook removed the “river” barrier that sometimes exists in our district.  The group agreed that decentralizing the recertification clinic location works best for the district and we will continue to do this for 2006 recertification.  One aspect that was brought up was organizing a recertification clinic in early January to enable college-age referees to certify before they go back to school.  For 2006 we will make sure that one recertification clinic occurs during the first week of January.
  • Next Meeting:  The group agreed that it was useful to have a meeting to talk about these administrative issues for referees.  We agreed that we will meet again in early August to set ourselves up for the fall season.


Respectfully submitted,


Chris Sinko