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Skylands Soccer Club

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Nov, 2023

NJYS Pilots Its Recreation Referee Program Breeana Cassidy, NJ Youth Soccer

New Jersey Youth Soccer recently launched its Recreation Referee Program in four member clubs over the course of the fall season. The clubs that participated this fall were Freehold Soccer League, Scotch Plains Fanwood Soccer Club, Rahway Youth Soccer Association and Clark Soccer Club. Each of the clubs hosted their own program, which incorporated Respect, Positivity, Experience and Laws of the Game to reduce information overload for young aspiring referees.

“Our Recreation Referee Program gives the opportunity to the kids participating in each club to start a path to refereeing,” said Bree Cassidy, NJYS Grant Program Manager. “This program reduces the information to helps kids learn the basics of refereeing in small-sided games within their club.”

The developing referees in the NJYS Recreation Referee Program learned the basic mechanics related to officiating and applicable laws of the game, uniform and equipment, as well as ongoing education. The program aims to minimize barriers to help these developing referees start a pathway to officiating.

“We are so delighted to be partnering with NJYS on this Program. With the support of this program, we have already seen a few of our Junior Referees complete their Grassroots Licensing this season, and we have several others in the pipeline,” said Matt Rosenthal, President of Scotch Plains Fanwood Soccer Club. “Perhaps most importantly, this has given us the opportunity to further our ‘Respect the Referee’ efforts across our coaches, players and families as well as we have made significant efforts - through yellow ‘Minor Referee’ wristbands, signage on our fields, and social media and email communications - to bring attention to the role of the referee on the field, and the need for all of us to treat them with respect!”

The Recreation Referee Program is also sponsoring young referees to become US Soccer Grassroots Referees and join the competitive referee pool. Further, the program taking place in each club is tackling sideline misconduct and misbehavior with its Respect The Refs and Positivity Campaign to promote cornerstone values. NJ Youth Soccer is also pleased to confirm that the Recreation Referee Program will continue to take place with participating clubs during the spring.

To contact New Jersey Youth Soccer, please email[email protected]. Also make sure to follow us on social media: @NJYouthSoccer
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