Referee of the Year Luke Berry

How and why did you decide to become a referee? What attracted you to it?

Since I was very young, I’ve been fascinated by the behind-the-scenes nature of being a sports official. While in elementary school, I’d often volunteer to be the umpire of the recess kickball game, and I really enjoyed it. When I found out how it was possible for me to become a referee at my age, I signed up for the course immediately!

What do you enjoy most about refereeing?

I absolutely love every aspect of refereeing, but my favorite part is getting to meet referees who have more experience than I do. I got to officiate alongside a man who had refereed all over California, and he was able to share priceless information and knowledge when it comes to officiating at the highest levels of soccer. I’ve learned most of what I know about soccer refereeing from mentors, and I think that they’ve been a big part of my success.   

What changes would you like to see made in order to reverse the current trend of declining available referees?

There are countless different reasons for why the amount of referees are declining.  I believe that there are many people leaving the referee scene due to referee abuse. Every single weekend there are parents, coaches, and even players complaining about calls made. One of the main solutions to this could be encouraging players, coaches, and parents to read the Laws of the Game for themselves. This would allow everyone involved to have a better understanding of the game, and would result in growing the game of soccer.

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