Here are some ideas I wish could eventually (hopefully sooner than later) become reality in D-7.
- Every league will have a pre-season referee in-service to go over the following: Dress code, rules of play, required paperwork (filling out game cards, yellow cards and red cards properly and accurately).
- The current DYRA is willing to attend any and all of these meetings as time permits. League president and assignors need to strongly request attendance at these meetings to eliminate issues that come up during the season.
- All leagues should do their best to select at least one male and female Youth Referee of the Year. Each league should recognize at least one referee of each gender within their league and recognize them for their hard work and dedication to the sport and their home league. These individuals should receive Districtwide recognition in some way, either in a newsletter, via a certificate (t-shirt, flip coin, whatever) or on the D7 website. If leagues have more than one selection that would be OK as it will promote the program. They should however have some strict guidelines to meet. When everyone gets an award, the awards lose their meaning and value.
- Leagues should, either on their own or working in cooperation with other leagues, plan to recruit and hold Entry Level Referee Courses in order to train new officials.
- The Administration should not allow leagues to host Competitive games if they cannot provide a sufficient and dependable number of qualified officials to properly officiate the games scheduled at their sites. House leagues would be exempt from this requirement.
- The payment of officials, especially for the older age groups should reflect the demands of the positions. Center officials should, by the nature of their physical and mental demands, receive more financial compensation than the Assistant Referees. Currently, there is no incentive for officials, especially in the older age groups, to improve and sign up to work the center of an older age, high competitive level match since the pay is the same as that of the assistant referees.
- Referees who want to work those matches and be rewarded with more financial compensation should be expected to attend some higher level formal training before being assigned to those matches. The current DYRA would be available to help with that.
- As DYRA, I wrote a referee handbook which streamlines the D7 Playing Program Handbook. Most officials will not read the D7 Handbook (19 pages) as it is written. The hope was that the abridged 4 page version would be read and shared. It was sent to all the league assignors last season and it appears that no one bothered to open it after it was sent out.
- When tournaments are approved, there should be room for the more qualified referees in each league to be given the opportunity to show their ability by working these tournaments. Some good referees are not given a chance to show how good they are. Tournaments should be a showcase not just for the players but the officials as well.
- District 7 should have its own “One Day AGM” every year where district related discussions can be held and presentations made.