ECNL Referee Development Seminar Held in Florida Between ECNL National Events
RICHMOND, VA (January 15, 2018) – The Boys and Girls Elite Clubs National League (ECNL) jointly held a Referee Development Seminar January 3rd and 4th in Sanford, Florida, featuring U.S. Soccer Director of Referee Development Rick Eddy, and four U.S. Soccer National Referee Coaches (Jozsef Michna, Barry Towbin, Dick Triche and Don Wilbur) as presenters. Sixty referees from 22 different states attended the seminar, with most of the referees also working both the Boys and Girls ECNL Florida National Events.
The ECNL works in conjunction with Officials Management Group (OMG) to assign and develop referees across the country, with Professional Referee Organization (PRO) and the US Soccer Referee Department providing development and education opportunities at ECNL National Events.
“The ECNL continues to invest more resources into referee development, showing the leagues’ commitment to officials,” said Dick Triche, the ECNL National Referee Director. “We have utilized Referee Coaches at all ECNL National Events for the past few years, and this seminar marks the first step in an expanded education program. We look forward to offering additional opportunities to share knowledge on and off the field, and to give officials the opportunity to improve the game for all to enjoy.”
Sessions at the Development Seminar included the latest information on offsides, foul recognition, positioning during dynamic play, managing players and managing the technical area. All of the sessions involved interactive participation using video clips, quizzes and group discussions.
While inclement weather forced some last minute adjustments for the planned field sessions, the instructors improvised and built a small field inside the meeting space to recreate on field situations and interactions.
The referees were able to take the materials and information they learned and apply them in a practical setting during the Girls ECNL Florida National Event the following weekend. The National Referee Coaches observed all of the referees during their games and provided feedback both during halftime and after competitions.
“The ECNL seminar was by far one of the best referee meetings I have ever attended. The directors put an emphasis on our participation, which I thoroughly enjoyed. We called it a ‘safe zone’ where everyone was heard and every opinion mattered.” Otto Leon, a referee based out of Virginia said about the seminar. “The takeaway for me is that officiating is not just blowing a whistle. It is the art of applying the laws of the game, and to give the players and the game itself the guidelines necessary to evolve.”
The ECNL looks forward to announcing future opportunities for referee development, continuing the league’s mission to raise standards for players, coaches and referees across the country.
About Girls Elite Clubs National League: The Girls Elite Clubs National League (Girls ECNL) was founded in 2009 to enhance the developmental experience of female youth soccer players in the United States through: (i) improving the competitive environment through creation of a true national competitive league; (ii) improving the process for identifying elite female soccer players through a systematic scouting and identification program based on national competitions; and (iii) improving the daily training environment at top female youth soccer clubs through developing best practices and training and organizational guidelines for its member clubs. The ECNL is sanctioned by US Club Soccer and is sponsored by Nike Soccer.