View Full Version : Garber proposes Int'l referee program

05-19-2009, 02:28 PM
Garber addresses refereeing in the league, and proposes bringing in international referees to train MLS referees!

Moving forward, there are other areas we will discuss with U.S. Soccer and the CSA to address the continued improvement of our officiating program. A few examples include:
More full-time referees. It was a bold statement by U.S. Soccer when they hired four full-time referees in 2007. Since then we have added two more teams and we will add three more by 2011 with Philadelphia, Vancouver and Portland. We would need to add four more full-time referees by 2011 just to maintain the percentage of games officiated by full-time referees when the program was started. It would be smart to continue to increase the number of full-time referees as we expand.
Better working conditions for younger referees. There are 150,000 registered referees in the U.S., but many quit due to sideline abuse, lack of a pro career path and poor compensation. We need to provide more incentives for younger referees to develop and desire a career as a professional referee.
International referee program. This program would feature international referees working with U.S. and Canadian officials in MLS and SUM games. We had a similar program years ago and it is a subject that we will revisit with the USSF and CSA.


It can't come too soon.

05-19-2009, 02:42 PM
I fully support the better working conditions one. I know our Club has about a 40% turnover in young officials (working games from U8-U12) and the majority cite "abuse" by players, parents and coaches as their number 1 reason for not returning.

Some of these kids are just 13 years old.

We had our first parent meeting to kick off our season and I made sure that they know what a "zero tolerance" policy on abuse of officials was all about.

It's one thing for fans to go off on an adult official in a professional match. It's another for a parent to go off on a teenager in a youth game. The latter absolutely needs to get out of the game.

05-19-2009, 02:47 PM
I'm going to become a referee, and take it upon my self to balance out the calling ...for TFC

The Kingpin
05-19-2009, 02:49 PM

Fort York Redcoat
05-19-2009, 03:12 PM
Yes keep it up. Change faster.

05-20-2009, 01:19 AM
Step in the right direction, but again I think the league is over-thinking what should be a very simple solution. All we have to do is offer more money and better contracts for more experienced referees and ensure they are held accountable for maintaining fairness, impartiality, and competence.

Simple as that. It's good that we're going to invest in more full-time refs, though if they are not of the calibre we need urgently in MLS, it will be more money wasted.