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Mission Statement:    The OSA Referee Development Program

To prepare and certify referees for the club, district, regional and provincial levels of the game". To this end, the training and support provided to referee leaders such as Club Head Referees, District Referee Coordinators, Instructors and Assessors is an ongoing program activity intended to enable these leaders to assist with training and developing referees in communities across the Province.

Development Tools for Personal Referee Development

Basic Premises

  • You want to referee and want to become a better referee.
  • You are willing to spend time and effort to get better.


Scoping Your Goals

  • Be as specific as possible.
  • Be realistic.
  • Considering your background, available time and finances, age, and the effort you are willing to expend.

  • Developing Your Plan

  • Set your goals to a master time line.
  • Determine the prerequisites needed to attain your goals.
  • Set the prerequisites on the master time line.
  • Every time changes are made to the master time line, review all tasks / activities to make sure everything can be accomplished according to the new master time line.

Picking Your Tools to Work With

  • There are many aids for becoming a better referee; some tools are better suited for different personalities. Try as many as you can and use that work best for you.·   

Tools to Improve Your Refereeing
  • Learn the rules
  • Study the written rules often
  • Read the Laws of the Game (cover to cover) the day before every tournament you referee at or referee clinic you attend, in addition to intense study of small sections on a regular and frequent basis.
  • Attend as many referee clinics as possible to learn the standard interpretations of the Rules;
  • Discuss the rules and their interpretation in great detail with different people whose opinions you trust;
  • Quantify and document all valuable information you gather at clinics/discussions and file in an orderly manner for future review (and review regularly);
  • Attend Referee Development Clinics, Seminars, etc.;
  • If you must be selective about the clinics and seminars you attend, match the level of the seminar to your level of development to obtain maximum benefit.

Referee often

  • You must referee often to perfect and maintain your refereeing skills
  • Concentrate on events that require refereeing near the skill level you have attained
  • Get feedback!!! Refereeing without feedback provides limited benefit to your referee development. Feedback can be comments from officials you trust or having someone tape your performance for later review.

Review of video of your refereeing 

  • Have someone video your game.
  • Review the video as soon as practical after the event
  • Critique yourself - look at your movement, posture, positioning, etc. as well as review of the fouls assessed
  • Review the tapes with a referee you have confidence in. Let him/her provide a critique and discuss the action as the tape is watched again.
  • To gage your progress, occasionally review older tapes of your past refereeing and make comparisons with your current refereeing


  • Work with someone of greater expertise who will provide you guidance, critique and encouragement as well as serving as a role model for you.
  • To be effective, mentoring requires the dedication of individuals, teacher and student alike.

The mentor should:

  • Develop with the referee a plan and schedule for the skill improvement
  • Review in detail the progress being made by the student and compare it to the plan


The referee should:

  • Utilize as many of the above mentioned tools for improvement as possible
  • Coordinate his/her schedule/activities with the mentor's schedule so that both will be able to attend as many activities together as possible
  • Accept all critiques in a positive manner and document them for later review


Study Groups

  • Defined as groups of referees (of approximately the same certification and experience level) who travel similar tournament/clinic circuits and who band together providing many of the same benefits as the mentor program without having the teacher/student relationship.
  • Open discussion in great detail is encourage.
  • Intense critiques are possible with resulting discussion leading to enhanced understanding of rules interpretations and common thought process.
  • The group should continually seek guidance from other higher level officials to gage their activities and assure they do not go off on a tangent.


Miscellaneous additional tools

  • There may very well be many other valuable tools not mentioned above that can help you develop your refereeing skills. Make use of the ones most effective for you.
  • Minimize negative impact on competitors, coaches, spectators and the sport as you develop your refereeing skills. You can do this by study and scoping your participation to gain the maximum experience at lower level activities before jumping ahead to very important competitions.


Continuous Improvement

  • Continually strive to improve your refereeing performance. Do not become complacent when you reach any of your goals, but instead set new goals and if age or some other obstacle blocks higher certification levels; there are still personal performance goals you can set for yourself outside of certification and the like.
  • The better referee you become, the harder it will be to see improvement in your performance - Guard against Backsliding. 




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