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Young Referees in Local Leagues

Through Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer and the Innovate to Grow Fund, Central Pennsylvania Youth Soccer League will have new, young referees in local leagues this season.

Last October, 26 teenagers from the Harrisburg and Mechanicsburg area completed an Intro to Refereeing Course which taught the basics of officiating to the group of 14 to 19-year old’s and prepared them to referee local intramural soccer tournaments.

Eagle F.C., Central Pennsylvania’s Premier Soccer Club, received a grant from Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer and moved the youths on to complete the Grassroots Referee program, which consists of two parts. Those in the class took one online section that is completed in the U.S. Soccer Learning Center, and one in-person section that is instructed by the State Referee Committee.

After enrolling in the online portion of the program in July, the 26 participants completed the field session on Sept. 19.

“Although we still have a shortage of referees, there has been an uptick in the number of classes and candidates,” Chief Executive Officer of Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer Chris Branscome said. “Thank you to all of the returning and especially to the new class who we’ll see on the fields this season.”

Throughout the online course, future referees go through a series of modules containing videos, quizzes and specialized content. Through the online course, referees will be able to focus on on-field learning at in-person Grassroots sessions.

Any referee looking to certify or re-certify will need to complete the Online Grassroots Referee course prior to attending the in-person course. The split of the online and in-person will allow states to focus on practical on-field learning during the in-person portion of the course.

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