LWYSA Referees
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Where to Referee during SummerPrintable

Where are the Games?
The weather is getting nicer and you want to get out there and referee at a game or two. You sign on to the LWYSA web site and find --- nothing! Does this mean there are no games needing referees? Nope. Here is a summary of where and how to sign up for games.
LWYSA Assigned Games
LWYSA assigns referees to recreational matches through U12 and some assistant referees for select games through U12. Matches played by older players are usually assigned by EKCSRA. Games occur as follows:
  • Fall -- The huge majority of LWYSA games are played beginning Labor Day. Sept-Nov are especially busy. We need a lot of referees for the Fall tournaments, which are played primarily in November. But, games are few and far between beginning the middle of November. During Fall, there are many games available for all skill levels of referee, including new referees.
  • Jan-Mar -- There are no recreational games played by younger players during this time. Depending on the number of LWYSA referees that are still active, LWYSA will sometimes do a limited number of assignments for the younger (through U12) premier teams. But in most cases those will be assigned by EKCSRA.
  • Apr-May -- LWYSA hosts its "Spring Training Program" (STP) during this time. This is an ideal time for new referees to practice their skills. In fact, we block experienced referees from even signing up for those games until the new refs have a chance. Play is very recreational, U10-U15 use assigned referees.
  • Jun-Aug -- Nothing is available for assignment by LWYSA. See information about "Tournaments" below.
EKCSRA Assigned Games
EKCSRA assigns referees to all levels of game, from young recreational, through highly competitive adult amateur games. They are the primary organization that assigns referees to U15+ games in the Eastside area. Note that EKCSRA (at www.ekcsra.org) is a different organization than LWYSA. If you want to work on those games, you must sign up at their website and follow their administrative procedures. LWYSA administrators cannot do that for you. Games occur as follows:

  • Youth Games -- Any time youth games are being played, EKCSRA will likely be assigning referees. This means year-round. Because they generally assign referees to older or more competitive games, new referees may find it more challenging to find games that are appropriate, though there will still be a fair number of games during which you can gain experience as an AR, BUT you may have to travel to other locations on the Eastside (such as Woodinville, Issaquah, or Bellevue) to do so.
  • Tournaments -- EKCSRA is the "assigning organization" for many tournaments, including the Crossfire tournaments during the summer. If you want to be a referee at those games, make sure you sign up on their web site and get your paperwork done AT LEAST ONE MONTH prior to any tournament you want to work. If you have not taken assignments for them before, you should also be prepared to send them a list of games you have worked and the name of your assignor. For LWYSA games, the assignor is Phil Mangum (mangum.phil@gmail.com). EKCSRA will use that input to determine what level of game you are permitted to work. You MUST get this done IN ADVANCE of tournaments. If you don't, by the time it is accomplished, all the games will have been assigned.
  • Adult Games -- Both Recreational and Competitive adult leagues play year-round - and EKCSRA could always use another referee for those games. It may be a little tough to get your first couple of assignments, but once you've done a couple and appear comfortable, there will be LOTS of work available for you.

Go to www.ekcsra.org-> and start the sign up process ASAP if you are interested in any of the above.
Tournaments
Throughout the year, but especially during summer, there are many tournaments being played. Large tournaments are ALWAYS grateful to have another referee. If you have a valid USSF license, you can find work, though you may need to travel. Some events in more remote locations will even provide you with a hotel room or gas money. However, you need to be aware that every one of these tournaments is different. They will have their own pay rates, their own pay policies (do they send you a check or hand you an envelope with cash, etc.), their own paperwork you may need to complete, and their own method of signing up for games (some you will use a web site. Some, you show up and they will only tell you at the field, one game at a time.)

The ONLY way you can figure out which tournaments are right for you is to do research - which may including internet searches, email, or phone calls. Here are some helpful (I hope) hints.

  • Internet: If you have played in a tournament, or had kids play in a tournament, do an internet search by the name of the tournament. Nowadays, most tournament have their own web site. When you find the web site, you are looking for the name and contact information for the "Referee Assignor".
  • Washington Youth Soccer: All WYS approved tournaments should be listed on the WYS web site (go Here)-> . Go there, and find the name and contact information for the "Referee Assignor".
  • Word of mouth: Yep, sometimes, the only way to find something is to talk to other referees and get them to tell you the name of the assignor, or how to sign up for tournaments they have worked. A great place to get this information is to go to EKCSRA chapter meetings.

Is the tournament right for you? It is a miserable experience to go to a tournament and find that you are over your head for almost all the games there. Similarly, if you are an advanced referee looking to take on a challenge, you probably don't want to sign up for the U7-U10 "Kickaround" (though those games can be really fun to work). So, when you look up a tournament, look closely at the level of play.

Words like "recreational" or "jamboree" generally mean that a newer referee will find assignments appropriate for them at the event. Words like "competitive" will usually mean a newer referee will be limited to AR positions - appropriate to their experience. They can be great growing opportunities to see how more experienced referees handle tougher games, but don't expect to be assigned to too many center referee positions if you are new. Words like "Premier", "Elite", or "Showcase" generally mean that there will be very few, if any, opportunities for new referees - and the selection of experienced referees may even be pretty restrictive. Be prepared to jump through hoops to get assignments at those tournaments. It is for you own protection. You really don't want to be assigned to a Showcase game if you've never worked Premier League games.

Finally, look at the age levels and game format. You will find everything from 3v3 U7 to competitive U19. Some events have very narrow age ranges, some are more wide open.

Once you have found an event that interests you, contact the assignor and find out if they need you (they may not if it is a smaller event or more of an "in house" event) and make sure you ask what paperwork they may want you to provide.

Have fun out there!!!

READ AND HEED! If you are working for an assignor, event, or organization for the first time, the assignor will likely ask you what kind of games you have worked and what games you are comfortable doing. BE HONEST! Do NOT exaggerate your game count or experience. If you do, it will be apparent pretty quickly. Assignors talk to each other and if you say "Oh, I've done dozens of U16 Premier games" - and the assignor finds that is inaccurate, you'll find your opportunities quickly dry up. The assignor WANTS you to work the highest level of game you can be successful at. If you have never worked a U16 game (or U12 or whatever), but feel you are ready... just say so. That way the assignor can SUPPORT you by assigning stronger ARs, or maybe even providing a mentor to provide tips along the way. They will also know which coaches to keep you away from! --Nuff said---