How do I sign up to attend Section Expo?

I have had some emails/calls about how to get people signed up for Section Expo. The information and cost and hotel information are available at:

While the actual sign up page is at:

Again, I hope your regions send as many referees as possible to network with other regions/areas and to learn about the changes to the referee program and the Law of the Game.

See you there!

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Winter 2015/2016 Update

I have been working hard on getting things ready for the Section Expo for the Referee side. Remember the Section Expo is February 19-21 2016, at the Chicago Marriot Downtown Magnificent Mile
540 North Michigan Ave. Classes have been picked, instructors assigned, and rosters being prepared. There will be a referee instructor course offered on Friday morning, as well as a chance for new and current instructors to be evaluated
Saturday. YOU MUST LET ME KNOW YOU NEED AN EVAULATION AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. I suggest sending as many volunteer referees as you can, there are classes for both new and veteran referees. A mailing from National will come out and give you a list of classes being offered, and the Sportsperson of the Year Award given out by the Section, from those submitted by the referees.

The following emails have hit my mailbox, and I pass both forward to you with no comment, but to let you know as much as I know.

Dear Commission Member,

One of the primary objectives of AYSO’s new strategic plan and the strategic planning process is to respectfully maximize the precious volunteer time of all involved in an effort to move the Organization forward.

To guide us toward this goal of the most effective utilization of volunteer time, expertise and to maximize volunteers’ contributions to support the Organization, the National Board of Directors has voted to implement changing the current Commission’s structure to project/task specific task forces.

The newly established task forces will operate on a project by project basis and will be very project specific. This will lead to periodic meetings and updates, with specific completion dates and deliverables or findings. Each task force will be established through National Staff with a lead volunteer. Key volunteers, with experience or specific career specialties that relate to the project will be recruited. Each task force will operate on one key project at a time and then disperse. Upon highlighting a new project, a new task force will be established based on the project needs. The first series of task forces will be formed beginning in the coming weeks.

This approach to providing support to AYSO will be more respectful of the time for all involved. It will also broaden the involvement and engagement of volunteers with the necessary skills and time available to assist. We thank you for all that you have contributed to our great Organization and look forward to your continued service in securing AYSO’s strong future.


Mark Stewart
AYSO National President


Date: 20 November 2015
To: AYSO Section Directors and Staffs, Commission Chairs
From: AYSO National Referee Commission
Subject: Dissolution of the National Referee Commission
Dear Friends,
As you have already heard, the National Board of Directors has elected to dissolve the National Referee Commission. The Commission’s name has changed several times over the decades, but those who served on it have always had the same objective: to advance the goals of those who founded AYSO and its National Referee Program (NRP). The Commission is now gone and the foundational products of the NRP that the Commission managed – manuals, forms, lesson plans, Law exams, Expo workshops, online training – are now the responsibility of the National Office, along with projects recently begun by the Commission including online testing, season kickoff/refresher programs, mentoring enhancements, and new delivery methods for Regional and U-8 training.
We are surprised by this move and somewhat confused by the stated reasons in Mark Stewart’s announcement: the advantages of a highly-effective team that has worked together over time versus an ad hoc team are well known, and time spent working on the NRP has never been an issue for Commission subject matter experts. The only issues we have experienced involve communication and responsiveness problems with the National Office over the past few years. We have tried to cope with changes made unilaterally by the National Office to processes that have always worked well between the volunteer Commission and the paid staff at the National Office. A good deal of the time and energy we normally put into program development have instead been spent dealing with these issues. It’s our understanding that we aren’t the only Commission to have experienced this.
We thank all of you for your input, help, and support over the years and for working hard to keep the program going strong within your Sections. We’d also once again like to express our thanks to Debbie Dakouzlian who, until her recent departure from the National Office, worked tirelessly to try and get the right things done in spite of many hurdles.
We will continue being referees, instructors and assessors, and we’ll continue to watch and hope for good things to come from the National Office. Any future NRP issues or requests for program enhancements should be directed to Tom Bobadilla until you hear otherwise from the National Office or NBOD. Feel free to pass this letter along to your Areas and Regions as you deem appropriate.
Sincerely, Jim Gregory, Chair Jerry Anderson
Karen Butler Mike Fitzpatrick
Steve Jacobs Roy Levin
Brett Price Gregg Solomon

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Section 8 invites you to a Super Camp

Section 8 which will be with us at the Section Expo in February in Chicago, has kindly opened up various trainings to Section 6. A Super Camp will be held in Wayland Michigan which is about 2.5 hours from Chicago. Included below is the information that is needed. Contact Josh if you have questions about the courses. Remember, Section Expo is in Chicago this year and I hope to see many of you there.

Tim Orosz, Section Referee Administrator, Section 6
American Youth Soccer Organization
Serving Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Kansas, North and South Dakota
H 773 539 7356
Cell 773 547 3811
FAX 773 539 3577

Subject: Section 8/B+J Roadshow

Hi Tim:

I wanted to pass this along to you to see if you would be interested in passing this along to your volunteers. We are trying to put together a training camp in Southwest Michigan and thought you may have some people from section 6 interested if they are looking for courses.

If you know of anyone or want to pass it along to the NE parts of your section, I’d appreciate it.


Hello all:

Areas B and J are hosting a combined training “supercamp” on January 22-24, 2016 in Wayland, MI. This will be an excellent opportunity for those on the west side of the state to obtain their desired trainings and courses and get to meet others from our areas.

Currently planned courses include:
• U12 Coach
• Intermediate Coach
• Advanced Coach
• Regional Referee
• Intermediate Referee
• Advanced Referee
• Management Instructor
We are also considering any other courses that there is a need for. If you have been looking for a course, now is your chance! Let us know what you are looking for and we can get it added for you if there is enough interest!

Lunch would be provided on Saturday and Sunday for those joining us. The cost of the courses are TBD but will be as minimal as we can keep them, and the higher the participation the better!

Lastly, if there is anyone interested in instructing a course or needing an evaluation as an instructor, this is a great opportunity for that as well!

Please pass this along to your regions and if there are any questions, please reach out to me via phone or email listed below. We would love to know what interest and who would be attending as soon as you can let us know.

Thank you, look forward to hearing from everyone soon!
Josh Abts

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Referee Assessor and Referee Instructor Training

David Keller and Pat Mullane have agreed to offer a Referee Assessor course on Thursday, October 29th.  It will be held at 4507 N. Ravenswood, Suite 101 in Chicago (an easy distance from the “L” line for anyone coming from the Loop: two blocks from the Montrose stop on the Brown Line).  The class is being offered on a weekday night (to keep the weekends free during soccer season), and it’s being offered before the end of the fall season (to allow aspiring assessors to gain on-field experience before the season ends).
I’d like to urge you to get the word out to those whom you think would benefit from the class:  would you please look at your referee roster, identify likely candidates, and urge them to sign up for (and attend) the course?  It promises to be an informative evening, led by two outstanding instructors who have a wealth of information to share.  And they’ll be providing pizza.
To be certified as an assessor, a referee must be an Advanced Referee, but if you have Intermediate referees who are on their way towards earning the Advanced badge, consider urging them to attend the course as well.  (They can attend now and receive assessor certification after they have their Advanced badge.)
It’s worth the while of all RRAs and ARAs to encourage attendance at the class:  referees who attend the class will return to their regions with new skills and with a new approach to helping other referees.  Having assessors readily available smooths the upgrade process, and referee with an assessor certification under his or her belt can be an invaluable addition to your Region’s or Area’s mentoring programs.   Mentors inspire new referees to improve, and mentoring is key to retaining referees.
If you have any questions, feel free to contact Karen Butler or David Keller.

If your region has a Referee Instructor that needs the evaluation done, or your Region needs a referee Instructor, make plans to have the Instructor Candidate attend the Section Expo 19-21 February 2016 at the Marriott downtown Chicago.  If attending the Introduction to Instruction and Referee instructor Course, and the Candidate meets the requirements [Intermediate referee or Advanced Referee and has completed the Introduction to Instruction Course] the courses will start early Friday the 19th in the morning.  If your Referee Instructor needs the evaluation for the referee course or Intermediate Course, or the Advanced Referee Instructor Evaluation,  they will be done on Saturday the 20th.  A section of each course will be assigned to teach in front of either a class if we get enough interest, or experienced Instructors.  Since assignments will have to be issued before the weekend, we will conduct the evaluations as a first come first served for those instructors that send me an email telling me they will be attending.  So, the region should pick up the cost of the expo, as the instructors can attend the other courses at expo when not presenting.  Obviously the sooner they contact me, the better.

Hope your season is going well.  As always, we are here to help you out.  Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

Tim Orosz, Section Referee Administrator, Section 6
American Youth Soccer Organization
Serving Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Kansas, North and South Dakota

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Pre-season information

Just a few reminders for the referees out there. Some regions have started and some start in a week. The reminders:

1. Fields should be inspected after every game. This includes the goals which MUST be anchored into the ground. For those in Illinois, it is THE LAW.
(430 ILCS 145/) Movable Soccer Goal Safety Act (aka Zach’s Law).

For those not in Illinois, it is a good rule to follow. Too many children have been killed by a goal tipping over, and a sandbag or two isn’t going to hold it. If the goals are not secured, secure them or DON’T play the match.

2. Player jewelry is NOT to be worn. This includes string bracelets and especially earrings. Tape or a Band-Aid covering the earring is NOT acceptable. The hole will not close in an hour, or just have the player play the first half so it is only 30 minutes. Anyone who was at last year’s expo may have talked to the physician who told of having to remove posts surgically from the skull. Tape and a Band-Aid will not protect the player, and it is in the FIFA Law Book that jewelry is not to be worn. [Medical alert and religious exceptions are allowed]

Section Expo will be in Chicago this coming February. If you are a Referee Instructor, and need your evaluation done, we will be doing it on the 20th at the Expo. More information once everything is locked down, but we will be doing the evaluations. Each time slot is 60 minutes, so we have a limited amount we can fit in, so it will be reserved. How to reserve a slot? Email me and I will write you in. I will let you know your time slot to teach once things are locked down.

Almost done, this should be passed to ALL your referees. This is a higher level test given to the Pro referees on offside. Requires a computer, as it is a web site. Have paper and pencil ready, 25 examples and you call offside or not. No, this doesn’t reflect on you and only you will know your score. I will admit missing 2, and I have 21 years of experience at all levels. Just a great way to test yourself and get you ready for the season.

I will also post this at where I also post all this information that is passed down.

Last, a reminder that I will continue to visit regions unannounced. The reason for unannounced is to see how things are going, offer suggestions without getting everyone nervous about coming to the region. I watch, and will mentor or even referee if you are short when I visit. I have been doing this for years, and it is a great way for me to see how things are going without putting pressure on anyone. Look forward to seeing you soon.

Also Tom Severin has accepted the position of Section Director of Referee instruction. Bill Cooper who has been in the position for years will continue to help out by teaching at different locations including expo. Many thanks for all the years of service to Bill, and Congratulations to Tom on his new position!

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Referee Training and Soccer Jamboree in Hayward Wisonsin

I have had a lot of emails concerning Referee Classes today. Instead of trying to send out tons of emails, I am sending this email out, with a reminder that you can look in under courses to see what classes are pending. Classes are scheduled well in advance, and the instructors are busy getting things lined up for what they have accepted. I highly recommend you look over the list and contact the instructor as soon as possible if you need to get referees trained. Special note, Kansas and Nebraska are having training, for those regions new to Section 6. Peter, I would contact Elmhurst or Oak Park right away, as they are the closest to you for classes, Deanna, let me know what class you would like to co-instruct, and I will contact the instructor. I’d suggest one with David Keller since he is so close to you, but short notice for your schedule. David, Deanna needs the Basic Course for her evaluation, but Tom and I both saw her teach at an Intermediate Class, so will allow you to do a companion course to get her evaluation done.

Also, Hayward Wisconsin is looking for referees for September 12, for an all day jamboree and need referees for U12 and U14 games. I know this is opening day for almost all the regions, but please pass this on to all your referees and lets see what we can do to help them out. Hayward is far Northwest Wisconsin, so those regions in Wisconsin and Minnesota are the best ones to help them out.

201504295 6/N/0875 08/30/15 Basic Referee Online Companion Course Approved Severin, Thomas Scottsbluff NE

201504075 6/D/0418 08/30/15 U-8 Official Approved Stern, Jeffrey Chicago IL

201503348 6/F/0399 08/30/15 U-8-to-Basic Referee Upgrade Course Approved HANSEL, SUSAN Elmhurst IL

201503193 6/D/0418 08/30/15 Basic Referee Online Companion Course Approved Stern, Jeffrey Chicago IL

201502914 6/F/0399 08/30/15 U-8 Official Approved HANSEL, SUSAN Elmhurst IL

201502913 6/F/0399 08/30/15 Basic Referee Course Approved MURRAY, MARK Elmhurst IL

201504328 6/A/0163 08/29/15 U-8-to-Basic Referee Upgrade Course Approved Frice, Wells Lake Bluff IL

201504294 6/N/0875 08/29/15 Basic Referee Course Approved Severin, Thomas Scottsbluff NE

201504094 6/U/0000 08/29/15 U-8 Official Approved Gormanson, Edward Wichita KS

201504093 6/U/0000 08/29/15 Basic Referee Course Approved Kaul, Randy Wichita KS

201504070 6/D/0362 08/29/15 Basic Referee Online Companion Course Approved Heinzen, William Glenview IL

201503192 6/D/0418 08/29/15 Basic Referee Online Companion Course Approved Mullane, Patrick Chicago IL

201504092 6/U/0000 08/28/15 Intermediate Referee Course Approved Roberts, Darryl Wichita KS

201504082 6/D/0362 08/23/15 Basic Referee Online Companion Course Approved Severin, Thomas Glenview IL

201503347 6/F/0399 08/23/15 U-8-to-Basic Referee Upgrade Course Approved MURRAY, MARK Elmhurst IL

201503346 6/F/0399 08/23/15 U-8 Official Approved MURRAY, MARK Elmhurst IL

201503345 6/F/0399 08/23/15 Basic Referee Course Approved MURRAY, MARK Elmhurst IL

201502576 6/F/0697 08/23/15 Basic Referee Course Approved Shalla, Kevin Oak Park IL

201504081 6/D/0362 08/22/15 Basic Referee Online Companion Course Approved Severin, Thomas Glenview IL

201504074 6/D/0418 08/22/15 U-8 Official Approved Keller, David Chicago IL

201503712 6/A/0428 08/22/15 Basic Referee Course Approved Foreman, Brian Round Lake Beach IL

201503344 6/F/0399 08/22/15 U-8 Official Approved MURRAY, MARK Elmhurst IL

201503194 6/D/0418 08/22/15 Basic Referee Online Companion Course Approved Keller, David Chicago IL

201502663 6/F/0399 08/22/15 Intermediate Referee Course Approved HANSEL, SUSAN Elmhurst IL

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Referee Skin Care and the wearing of hats

AYSO, as a member of USSF, follows the guidelines for referee apparel and usage. There has been a change in policy for the wearing of hats. Please see the below article, or go to :

New Recommendations for Referee Skin Care
NEWS Jul 18, 2015 1

As part of U.S. Soccer’s commitment to health and safety, our medical and referee experts have prepared the following recommendations for the referee community and incorporated them into our referee education materials.
In the interest of health and safety, U.S. Soccer recommends that match officials practice the following skin care guidelines:

• Consider wearing sunscreen daily on areas of exposed skin.
• Apply skin protection factor (SPF) of 30 or greater 15 minutes prior to being exposed to the sun.
• At a minimum, reapply every 2 hours or more frequently if sweating extensively.
• Take advantage of halftime to reapply.
• Consider wearing long sleeves (or UV protective clothing) if applicable during high sun exposure periods.
• Periodically (once a year) review exposed skin for any changes or growths and consult your doctor or dermatologist.
• Caps may be worn so long as the cap does not endanger the safety of the official or the players.
• The cap should be consistent with the referee uniform and not conflict with the uniform colors worn by either team.
• The cap may not bear any commercial marks or logos.

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