From March 2-4, Ontario Soccer hosted the 3rd summit for coaches, players and referees. This 2018 edition was another successful event and this time YATR had the opportunity to work with referees, teach and educate the match officials present at the event.

It kicked off on Friday night with an inspirational keynote speaker and social event.

Saturday morning at 9am we were in full swing in the classroom as I delivered a lecture on how to be the best referee: “Be your best”. It was my aim to provide multiple tips and advice through dynamic presentations.

The referees, administrators and instructors were very enthusiastic and interactive. They simply took in every minute and absorbed the information given like golden water. What a great group! A lot had to be said and was supported by anecdotes, videos and fun memories.

The second session was also very interesting involving a panel discussion with Antony Capotosto representing coaches, Cameroon Brooks representing players, Tony Camacho representing Ontario soccer and the administrative side of the game as well as myself who was of course representing the referee world.

The moderator Nicky Pearson was thrilled with the session and discussions. It was brilliant to bring all side of the game together for a fair and honest discussion.

The main topic was “How a match official affects the development, and experience of a player and a coach”. No need to say that few minutes into the beginning of the 2 hours sessions, everyone got involved!

Various opinions were stated with passion with all having the objectives of helping the game to get better! This is a step towards bridging the gap between the 3 pillars of a game – Coaches, Players and Match Officials. A very positive approach.

A few more sessions were held with an update of the laws of the game for the next season with clear information on how match officials shall apply all laws. Moreover, a FIFA fitness instructor helped the audience to fine tune their fitness and where to get all fitness tips and drills to be prepared for the games.

Following the panel discussion, we headed to the field for an exciting practical session. Time to loosen up the legs!

The objectives were clearly technical, so we maximized the time frame we had. Multiple groups were divided in dynamic exercises and rotated from one to another to get the knowledge and tips for various exercises. Their skills were tested.

Advice was given about offside decisions with video review, positioning and movement, decisions making, teamwork, flag technique, use of whistle and so on… What a great session!

We were very grateful for the great jobs done by the girl’s Toronto soccer team who provided a great challenge for the referees and help every drill to be well executed.

By having a combined weekend with coaches, players, referees and quality of keynote speakers, we believe everyone benefited from the exchange of knowledge and experience.

Meetings held separately with various associations helped them to understand the benefit of You Are the Ref Academy and the online tools we have. It was so well received with open minded people. All in all, what a fantastic weekend. Hope to see you all next year in London, Ontario for the next edition!

To access more tips and insight from Sonia, along with the rest of the You Are The Ref team, subscribe to the Academy here. You will find technical match coverage, scenario based e-learning, RefShow Extras, MLS Podcasts, webinars and fitness plans along with access to events at a reduced price.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here