New Refs: Getting Assigned To Matches

Assignments generally work one of two ways: each club uses the service of an individual assignor, typically as an independent contractor (rather than as a club employee), or there is a Referee Association responsible for assigning referees to matches across all (or most) clubs in a given area. There is no formula to determine which model is used in your area. You can ask your course instructor or the SRC in your state.

If your area uses the independent assignor model, you’ll need to contact the assignors at each club where you’d like to referee and ask to be added to their referee list.

Many independent assignors and Referee Associations use web based systems to manage their assignments. The two most popular systems in use are Game Officials and ArbiterOne. Both are free to referees, though both offer optional premium services for a small fee.

Tips for Building A Good Relationship with Your Assignor

Assignors have a very difficult job. They have to get the right referee crews assigned to the right games while taking into account the ability, preferences and availability of each referee. At some larger clubs, the number of games that have to be assigned each week are in the hundreds. Throw into the mix referees who get sick, don’t turn up, or who are late and you’ve got a series case for self-medication. These tips should help you get along with your assignor, who’s the closest person to a boss you’ll have as a ref.

The main point to remember is that your assignor probably handles a lot of referees.  So your goal, at least at first, is to avoid standing out for the wrong reasons.  This is fairly straightforward:

  • Accept your assignments quickly after you receive them
  • Don’t turn back assignments unless it is truly unavoidable (sickness, family emergency, etc.)
  • Show up on time (early) and ready to referee
  • Don’t be picky about your assignments; you’re likely to get a lot of U-littles for your first few assignments and maybe even for the duration of your first season.

A good relationship with your assignor will go a long way towards making your refereeing experience enjoyable and rewarding.


Continue Reading –> Preparing For Your First Match

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