OHIO'S CONCUSSION AWARENESS LAW
Ohio has passed a law, formerly House Bill 143, that requires all Coaches, Referees and league officials to undergo Concussion Awareness training every three years. This law applies to all youth sports including recreational, travel, indoor and premier soccer. The new law, ORC 3707.52, becomes effective April 26, 2013. As part of that law, the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) is required to produce a Concussion and head injury information sheet and also provide links to free training on concussion awareness. ODH has done that and the information may be found on their web site at http://www.healthyohioprogram.org/concussion.aspx.
The ODH has provided links to two separate free training programs. One is run by the National Federation of High Schools (NFHS) and the other by the National Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). I have taken both and strongly recommend that everyone take the NFHS program found at http://www.nfhslearn.com/electiveDetail.aspx?courseID=38000 for several reasons:
- I thought that it was done better even though it takes less time. (30 minutes vs. 40 minutes.)
- Anyone involved in OHSAA officiating will probably have to take this course.
- Many leagues are requiring this course because it provides a searchable data base to ensure that the person has actually completed the course and the certificate has the person’s name and certificate number on it. The CDC provides a blank certificate where the person’s name may be entered. This could very easily lead to forging of this document.
All leagues will be required to ensure that their officials have completed this course. The NFHS certificate may be printed or saved as a PDF so the referee can forward a copy to all of the leagues in which they work. Although assignors are not explicitly mentioned in the law, I strongly suggest that all assignors collect these certificates and not assign anyone that has not provided it.
Take 30 minutes NOW and get your certificate. BTW, even though there is no cost, you have to "order" the course on the NFHS web site and provide your name, address, e-mail and phone number.
Barry Brooks, SYRA
CHRIS PENSO NAMED TO THE FIFA PANEL
Effective January 4, 2013, Chris Penso has been approved by FIFA to the International List of referees. Mr. Penso is currently a full time referee hired by the MLS to do professional games. Chris started his officiating career in Ohio North but has lived in Florida for two years before moving to Cal South this last year. Chris and Juan Guzman of Cal South were named to the panel of seven referees from the United States. The complete list may be found at http://www.fifa.com/associations/association=usa/footballofficials/referees/peoplekind=ref.html. We all wish Chris the best of luck in his new endeavor.
TOM CHAPMAN ELECTED TO OHIO SOCCER HALL OF FAME
In August, at a ceremony at Crew Stadium, Tom Chapman was inducted into the Ohio Soccer Hall of Fame. This is a prestigious award granted to persons that have shown dedication to developing all aspects of soccer in the state of Ohio. Tom was elected based on his years as a referee and referee administrator. Congratulations go out to Tom on a well deserved honor.
Many officials ask how they can get assignments to the various leagues. We are proud to announce that the State League, Greater Akron Amateur Soccer Association (GAASA) and the OYSAN State cup are using Game officials to assign their games. North Coast Adult and Lake Erie Seniors will be using the system this summer and several other leagues are scheduled to use it in the fall. It is easy to certify yourself to officiate any of these leagues currently scheduled.
First step is to log onto ohnreferees.gameofficials.net with the same user ID and password that you used to register this year. (If you forgot your password or User ID then use the lost password function on the right side of the sign in screen.) Then click on Change Identity on the left and switch to Group 1155 OHN Assignments. You are now logged into the assigning system. (You may also use the same user ID and Password and log in on www.gameofficials.net to bypass this change identity step.)
Once on the system, go to My Preferences on the left. This will let you choose which leagues you wish to work. On the working area preference, Central is for State Cup games in the Center part of Ohio North (Akron, Canton, Cleveland, Mansfield) and Northwest references the games to be played in the Western side of the state which includes the preliminary rounds of the State Cup to be held at Pacesetter Park on June 1-3. GAASA-1 is assigned by Todd Jones and includes South and Central parts of Akron including Copley Rd. GAASA-2 is assigned by Jon Handwerk and includes the West side of Akron and Medina area. GAASA-3 is assigned by Jack Renkel Sr. and includes the East and North sides of Akron such as Portage County and Hudson areas.
You may also enter other preferences in the misc. preferences section to limit yourself to so many games per day, etc. BE SURE TO SAVE YOUR PREFERENCES WHEN YOU ARE FINISHED.
Next, go to my availability on the left. This is where you will enter the dates that you are available and for the areas you wish to work on those days. Be sure to enter all dates and times available and to update it if any change. REMEMBER THAT GO ASSUMES YOU ARE UNAVAILABLE UNLESS YOU INDICATE THE DATES YOU ARE AVAILABLE! Once you have chosen a league and indicated the dates you are available, you may also go to self-assign and indicate the games that you would like to do.
You may also indicate any specific game(s) that you may be interested in working. Go to Self Assign on the left. Expand the Game filters on the top to find the dates, locations, leagues, etc. that you are interested in viewing. Then click on reload. Now you may go to the list of games and indicate any that you wish to work. You will be limited to the number of games in a day that you can request so choose wisely. Remember that this is not a guarantee of the game but only a way to indicate to the assignor that you would like to do an individual game.
Games are currently being assigned so put in your preferences and availability as soon as possible.
There are tutorials on how to use the system on https://support.gameofficials.net/kb/category/help-for-officials or you may just click on Help Docs at the top of the game officials screen. To see a listing of all games go to http://www.gameofficials.net/public/schedules/schedule.cfm?group=1155 and choose the various leagues that you wish to see.
New referees should click on the Becoming a Referee page on the left to learn the registration procedures. New referees will receive half of their training online and the balance in an eight hour class to become grade 8 referees. Please read the entire section before starting your registration process.
Ohio North has instituted online training in conjunction with the in-class training for all referees. Re-certifying grade 8 and 9 referees must take their online training and the re-certification examination prior to taking the classroom portion. Read complete details on the Referee Registration page. Please make sure that you follow the instructions for the new registration procedure.
SPONSORING A NEW REFEREE CLINIC
Clinics for new referees are hosted by various organizations such as leagues, local referee associations, tournaments, etc. To request to host a new referee clinic the sponsor must provide a place to hold the clinic. New referee clinics are eight hours duration and that may be done all in one day or over several days. Sponsors assume all responsibility for the cost of the clinic including any fee for the facility and pay for the instructors. Sponsors may charge participants up to $25.00 each to cover these costs. Once you decide to host a clinic, go to the Forms and Publication page and download the sponsorship agreement. When this is completed, contact the District Director of Instruction (DDI) for the district in which you live to verify that the dates are acceptable. Links to the DDI's e-mail may be found on the Ohio North Districts page. The DDI will assign instructors to the clinic and the District Referee Administrator will provide the books and ensure that the participants are properly registered.
NEW USSF POSITION PAPERS - JANUARY 2012
USSoccer has issued two new position papers on January 6, 2012. Every Referee should read and become familiar with the information in these position papers. They may be found on the Forms and Publication Page or by clicking on the links below. There are also links to all USSF Position Papers and Directives on the Forms and Publication page.
Position Paper on Requirements for Injured Players.
Position Paper on Fourth Officials Standing or Sitting.
OFFICIATING OUTSIDE OHIO NORTH
Many officials like to travel to tournaments out of Ohio North. The USSoccer Administrative guide requires that you notify the SRA whenever you are going to travel outside our "State." (Remember that Ohio South that includes Columbus, Dayton and Cincinnatti are considered out of State.) Whenever you travel, send an e-mail to Tom Chapman at firstname.lastname@example.org that contains your name, grade, where you will be officiating and the dates that you will be traveling. If you live near the border of an adjacent state and regularly officiate there then just send an e-mail stating the league(s) and location where you will be officiating.
The State Referee Committee approved the following policy at the April 13, 2010 meeting that applies to all assignors:
Assignors are registered through Ohio North and not through any district, league or local referee association. Assignors must treat all registered officials equally. An assignor cannot discriminate against a registered referee because of race, religion, national origin, sex or membership in a local referee association. Age should only be a factor when the league mandates a minimum age difference between players and referees. Assignors cannot give preference in their assignments of referees based on the referee’s membership in a local referee association.
All registered assignors will be given a listing of all referees registered in Ohio North. Any assignor that implies or suggests, directly or indirectly, that membership in a referee association is a condition to getting an assignment is subject to discipline up to and including revocation of their assigning certification.
Per the Administrative handbook: Referees being assigned must have a current year registration on file with U.S. Soccer before being assigned to any games by U.S. Soccer personnel
Unauthorized disclosure of a list of registered referees
State Referee Administrators may furnish lists of referees only to state associations, registered assignors, affiliated leagues or tournaments for conducting their soccer related activities. These lists may not be made available to anyone else (including soccer related businesses) for a fee or free of charge. (2010 Administrative Handbook page 34.)
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