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Heartland Soccer Referee Development Program

The Heartland Soccer Association creates advantage for its member clubs by providing the highest levels of competition, access to the best fields, and making investments in bringing you better prepared Referees. Heartland is committed to delivering an ecosystem that expands these keys to a more successful soccer experience. More teams mean better competition. The higher level of play develops stronger players who are led by some of the best and most knowledgeable coaches in the area. Heartland has access to some of the finest fields in the country further increasing the level of play. With the Referee Development Program Heartland is committing to developing higher quality Referees. Heartland is delivering a complete soccer ecosystem.

Referee Development Program Mission: To create an environment and process where all Referees can further develop their knowledge and skills to contribute to a safe, fair and enjoyable soccer experience for our teams.

The Referee Development Program is designed to develop our young and new Referees (ages 12 – 18) by providing increased levels of training and multiple levels of on-field mentoring. Currently, Heartland Soccer uses over 1,300 referees to manage your league and tournament matches.

Each season, the Referee Development Program team and our mentors work with the Referees on the field and trains them in Monthly Continuing Education Meetings. The staff works with the Referees to develop their skills, to get them to perform at a higher and more consistent level, and to train them so they can better enforce the Laws of the Game. The goal of these programs is to provide your players safer and fairer matches. The Referee Development Program manages two primary programs: Peer Mentoring and Monthly Continuing Education Meetings.

Referee Development Program

Mentoring Referees at Heartland starts after the completion of the Referee Certification process. The Peer Mentoring Program recognizes that Referees need to develop basic and advanced skills to address the different requirements of the level of matches to which they are assigned. The Mentoring Program contains different stages to better build the skills Referees need to officiate at different levels of competition.

Peer Mentoring:

Referees make quick decisions based on what they see on the field, manage multiple players, need to remain unbiased, and deal with the emotions of the sidelines. This is a big responsibility for any official, but especially for new Referees. To help these Referees be more successful, the Referee Development Program staff recruits and trains mentors to assist new Referees to build effective habits and skills to help them to deliver the safe and fair matches that the players, coaches, and fans demand.

The Mentors are selected based on experience, performance, and completion of Mentor Training.

Key Performance Indicators provide a foundation for our new Referees.  We are focusing on the following skills for your Referees:

Referees Assistant Referees
Appearance Appearance
Hustle/Work Rate Getting to the Goal Line
Calling Fouls/Enforcing the Laws of the Game Positioning with the 2nd Last Defender for Offside Decisions
Signals/Mechanics Signals/Mechanics


How it works

The Assignor identifies the newer Referees to the Mentoring team. Mentors are then assigned to observe these Referees. The Mentors will watch one full half of a match. The Mentor’s ratings and comments are then shared with the Referee.

The goal of the Mentoring Program for newer Referees is to improve performance and to aid in Referee retention.
The mentoring reports will be used for:

Monthly Continuing Education Meetings

When you arrive at a soccer complex, the first thing you notice is coordinated uniforms of the teams. When you look closer, you might be impressed with the skill level of the players across all age groups. The players did not just read a book on soccer or look at some videos online. They are being coached by people who have studied the strategies and tactics of soccer and many times have experience as players.

This coaching expertise and skill development are driving the game of soccer at a pace that challenges all levels of Referees. In response, the Heartland Referee Development Program offers your Referees an opportunity to meet with their peers, share notes, learn strategies and tactics from Referee Mentors and staff, and have fun.

The USSF defines the Certification/ Recertification Standards for Referees. This process focuses on the Laws of the Game. To deliver a better qualified Referee for Heartland Soccer Association, the Referee Development Program hosts monthly education meetings to review practical topics based on situations in Heartland matches. This additional continuing education is in above and beyond to the USSF requirements. Referees who participate are showing an interest in getting better.

Heartland Soccer Association is an ecosystem that includes the players, coaches, parents/fans/ spectators, clubs, and Referees. It is important to understand our young referees are learning and developing much like the youth players on the field. To help them develop and stay engaged so they become more experienced, we have created a Code of Conduct for referees, coaches, and players.

2016 Referee Meeting Dates

Referees of all ages and experience levels are encouraged to attend Heartland’s Monthly Continuing Education Meetings! Join us to learn tips and tricks for ARs and Referees, fun games, vital information, and fabulous prizes! Parents are always welcome

Monday March 7th 7-8:30 PM
Monday April 4th 7-8:30 PM
Monday May 9th 7-8:30 PM
Monday August 8th 7-8:30 PM
Monday September 12 7-8:30 PM
Monday October 10 7-8:30 PM
Monday November 14 (End of the Year Party 7-8:30 PM

Meetings will be held at the “Steve D. Scheels” Training Center in the northwest corner of the second floor of the Scheels Sporting Goods store located at 6503 West 135th St, Overland Park, KS 66223

Heartland Soccer Association © 2017
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