NISOA hosted its 1st Annual Referee Summit on February 23, 2019 at the Lou Fusz Athletic Facility, located within Rams Park in St Louis, MO. A total of 139 attendees including 2 vendors, OSI and Relation Insurance, and 2 American Sign Language Interpreters were present to provide an inclusive educational experience for all in attendance. The Summit was separated into two sections; theoretical classroom session and practical field training session. Guest Speakers included not only some of top collegiate soccer officials in the country, but also throughout the world.
Keynote Speaker Kermit Quisenberry kicked off the theoretical classroom session by emphasizing the importance of the FIFA match considerations and how officials can utilize them in the college game to create a level of consistency in regard to decision-making throughout the country.
Next up was Ryan Cigich, NCAA Coordinator of Officials. Ryan reviewed the points of emphasis for the 2018/2019 season and educated the audience by providing clarity on the NCAA definition of a fight as well as the differences between a fight vs. violent behavior.
Following Ryan was Chris Penso and Corey Rockwell. Chris discussed the similarities & differences between the Professional level (1st/2nd/3rd division) and the collegiate level. Chris also provided advice on how to achieve success when concurrently officiating both levels. Corey followed with guidance and advice on referee positioning. Corey shared the positioning education he received at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia as well as the 2018 FIFA Club World Cup in U.A.E and how it relates to the modern collegiate game here in the USA.
Just before lunch, NISOA members in attendance were surprised when President Gary Huber and ECSR Board member Manuel Ortiz Jr. announced both NISOA and ECSR have arrived at a 3-year agreement to collaborate on education resources in the best interest of developing collegiate soccer referees.
After lunch, Ben Trevino discussed how the clock can be our friend or foe and how to successfully manage the clock when officiating the game at hand. Ben emphasized reading the game and using clues from coaches and players when managing the clock.
Finally, the theoretical session ended with Tori Penso and Lance VanHaitsma exploring the similarities and differences between the Men’s & Women’s collegiate game. Specifically, Tori and Lance went into detail on how to identify the verbal and nonverbal communication clues in each game.
Before the Summit concluded, the officials participated in an indoor practical session, requiring them to rotate through 6 stations, ranging from testing their cognitive ability by identify persistent infringement in a high-pressure situation to utilizing teamwork when needing help with fouls and misconduct in/around the penalty area. The U-18 Lou Fusz Boys soccer team provided game realistic situations that challenged the officials decision-making abilities.
Neverends Production Company was onsite recording all of the educational segments for the purpose of editing and providing NISOA members unable to attend the opportunity to obtain the exceptional educational information provided by the Keynote speaker and Summit clinicians. Excerpt videos from the event are available here.
After the Summit concluded, everyone involved was emailed an exit survey regarding their experience. 70% of the participants completed the exit survey with the results showing an overwhelming amount of positive feedback, success, and the desire by our members to attend future editions of the NISOA Referee Summit.
In closing, we would like to thank OSI for providing a welcome gift to all in attendance, Relation Insurance for taking the time to answer insurance coverage questions with attendees, Midwest Missouri ISOA local chapter leadership for assisting in logistics, Ryan Cigich for providing insight from the NCAA, the clinicians for the educational content and keeping the audience engaged and entertained throughout the Summit, the ASL translators for their energetic work ethic, Director of Video Instruction Mark Cahen for the college specific video clips used in the presentations, Neverends Production for filming the event so the rest of the NISOA members throughout the country can have access to the educational content, Lou Fusz Soccer Club for being an incredible host, the NISOA Executive Board supporting the endeavor and working tirelessly to establish the Summit as a cornerstone of our educational programs, and most importantly our members who sacrificed time away from family to become better collegiate soccer referees.
Information regarding the 2020 NISOA Summit date and location will be available in the near future.