2012 NISOA NRP Assessment Study Report

NISOA NRP Assessment Study Report

By John Hagenstein

NISOA NRP Assessment Study Chair


As part of the NISOA National Referee Program, all National Referees and National Referee Candidates are required to be assessed each year in order to maintain or receive their National Referee badges. Also, as part of the NISOA Assessment Program, all Regional and National Assessors who have assessed a National Referee or NR Candidate are instructed to send these assessments to the Referee who is being assessed, to the NISOA Director of Assessment, their Regional Area Representative, their Chapter Assessment Coordinator and to the Assessment Study Chair within 7-10 days of the assessment. These assessments, when reviewed, can provide feedback on their capability while providing the official with areas of improvement and suggestions to improve their overall abilities. Also, these assessments are used to assist assignors as to what level of game these referees may or may not be capable of officiating in regard to NCAA Soccer games.

As the NISOA Study Chair, I was to be sent these NRP assessments and was asked to produce a report with substantiating evidence on the status of our National Referee Program and the 303 National Referees. This year, there were almost 400 assessments that were sent to me for analysis. As every National Referee and Candidate knows, they must pass a minimum of 2-3 assessments per year to retain their certification. This would mean that I should have received a minimum of 600+ assessments this year. The Director of Assessment, Gary Huber, in numerous NRP Clinics this year, will address this deficiency.

The report submitted provided a summary of the scores that the officials received in their assessments. In addition, it was also broken down into two areas of review, Referee Improvement and Critical Rules Applications. Here are the general findings from these assessments.


For those familiar with the format of the NRP Assessment form, besides 25 areas that they are judged on, there are also 6 areas for scoring. Each has it’s own maximum score that should total 100 points. The results for 2012 are listed below by category, total score possible and the average over all assessments.

Category Maximum Score Average Score %
Professionalism 6 points max. 5.7 points 96.6%
Mechanics 15 points max. 8.8 points 58.7%
Foul Recognition 25 points max. 21.6 points 86.4%
Misconduct 20 points max. 15.9 points 79.5%
Game Management 30 points max. 25.4 points 84.7%
Difficulty of Match 4 points max. 3.1 points 77.5%
TOTAL 100 points max. 80.5 points 80.5%

As you can see, our National Referees and NRP Candidates scored an average of 80.5 points out of a possible of 100 which is considered above average. (The lowest total scores awarded was a 59 and the highest a 98). This would appear to say that our top officials perform well overall. Looking at the 6 category averages, when you factor in that most games were ranked as generally competitive (77.5%) by the Assessors, we see that Mechanics produced the lowest score of 58.7%. This doesn’t seem to be an area of great concern, according to our Assessors but our total average of 80.5% is lower than the score from 2011 of 83.7 with a significant drop in the score for Mechanics. When comparing the results from 2012 vs. 2011, we see that Assessors gave an average score of 5.7 out of 6 in 2012 versus 5.6 in 2011 for Professionalism, 8.8 versus 12.5 out of 15 for Mechanics, 21.6 versus 16.64 out of 25 for Foul Recognition, 15.9 versus 16.3 out of 20 for Misconduct and 25.4 versus 25.5 out of 30 for Game Management . All in all, except for these 2 categories of weakening Mechanics and improving Foul Recognition, numbers generally stayed the same. In the global view, we see these numbers and believe, although there are some significant changes in 2 categories, that the NRP has remained consistent and is doing well.


Looking through the individual assessments, a few areas stand out where we suggest need more attention and improvement. They are broken down into two primary areas, Referee Performance and Critical Rules Applications. Listed below are the points of focus in each.

Referee Performance

1. Positioning-Keeping dynamic play between the Center and AR’s and not turning their back to the AR’s.

2. Staying out of passing lanes and getting wider for better angles.

3. Proper clock management-knowing when and when not to stop the clock.

4. Managing the technical area/coaches dissent properly, DISSENT concerns.

5. Foul recognition – foul consistency and foul location management.

6. Fitness – Many officials are not fit enough to work top-quality games.

Besides addressing Referee Performance, another area of concern is centered around what we will call Critical Rules Applications. This involves officials not knowing the rules, not understanding the differences between NCAA and USSF rules and restarts, their application and the reasons for the difference. The top five areas that need attention in this area are:

Critical Rules Applications

1. Proper application of drop ball or IFK when foul is called in PA with or without goalkeeper in possession.

2. Correct application of substitution rules when injuries and/or blood occur with or without sanctions.

3. Post-season feedback-understand Kicks from the Mark rules, I.E. who can take kicks and who cannot.

4. Injury concerns – proper stoppage mechanics and management

5. Uniform issues – keepers not wearing proper uniforms, socks, numbers required, etc.

NISOA and the National Referee Program will be addressing these things this coming year at both the local chapter meetings as well as at the National Referee Camps. The NISOA Assessment Program, led by Gary Huber, will be addressing the feedback issues with the NRP Assessors, as well.

In conclusion, although this is a report for the NISOA National Program it also holds true for all NISOA officials working college soccer games. Take a moment to look back over your own assessments and see if these results ring true for you. We trust if they are, you are working on them. And if you haven’t been assessed in a while, maybe you should look at getting one this year. All in all, as NISOA certified officials, we owe it to the coaches and players, as well as, to our fellow referees and to ourselves to be the best we can be and the best way to improve is through assessment.