The You Are The Ref team have just had the pleasure of being involved with referees in Phoenix and Tucson, Arizona.

With the sun beaming down and temperatures in the 30s, it was great to see match officials of all ages put in a great deal of effort to control a myriad of games. The YATR team were able to watch performances and then offer one-to-one advice. Recognition of foul challenges, tempo management and carding technique were just some of the subjects discussed.

Mark Halsey and Roger Dilkes were able to conduct some on-field sessions in Phoenix and Tucson concentrating mainly on movement and positioning which were well received. A great deal of physical effort was put in to ensure that the movement along with decision/making techniques would be carried into their future games by the referees. Whistle technique and other communication skills were highlighted and discussed.

Those referees in attendance were a delight to coach and we all derived a great deal of pleasure watching them officiate in In the Arizona State Youth Association tournament. We also delivered a workshop with Mark Halsey giving his special motivation talk to another group of officials in the Arizona State Youth Association offices.

The person who pulled this together was one of those special people in the refereeing family, Todd A. Sergi, the Arizona State Youth Referee Administrator, who clearly was bringing  his business and undoubted organisational skills to help all referees in the state.

On the drive in the golf buggy to the soccer fields he showed us a photograph of a rattlesnake and stopped at a particular point in the road.  Needless to say, there was a quick  “drive on” shout from Mark Halsey.

I had the opportunity in one of the games to see two of Todd’s children. Thirteen-year-old Marshall was a star running the line and demonstrating flagging techniques that were textbook in application. Marshall clearly has talent. I do hope that he will continue his participation in soccer.

We also had a visit from our great friend and supporter of You Are The Ref Arturo Angeles from CalSouth whose skills we were delighted to draw on. We continue to showcase our specialist knowledge and receive encouragement wherever YATR puts in an appearance.