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Match Officials Club Spotlight - Featuring: Oakville Soccer Club

By Staff, 05/06/19, 11:45AM EDT


Dave Harris, Executive Director at Oakville, shares why they have invested in a match officials development program at their club

Play. Inspire. Unite. 

Organizations across Ontario are investing in the development of their match officials. 

For some that means including the match officials in their strategic plans, in others it means developing full scale development pathways for match officials to work towards. 

The Match Official Club spotlight takes a look at the clubs and academies who are investing in the development of match officials and their reasons for doing it. 

This week features a look at Oakville Soccer Club with Dave Harris, their Executive Director.

What is your motivation to have a match official’s development program in your club?

The Oakville Soccer Club believes that a strong Match Official Development Program is crucial to the overall success of the Club. 

A strong Match Officials program ensures that our players in all programs from Youth to Adult receive the finest in officiating during each and every game. 

Why is it important for your club to have a strong match officials development plan?

A strong match officials development plan provides a pathway for the Club to ensure that its match officials are properly developed to the highest level. 

This ensures that we not only support and educate but also retain our officials from an early age to those which can potentially represent the Oakville Soccer Club at the highest levels of the game. 

Is it important for your club, to support the upgrading and moving the match officials to higher level leagues?

It is the belief of the Oakville Soccer Club that further education and development cannot occur without the upgrading of officials to higher level leagues. 

Match Officials who move into the Ontario Player Development League (OPDL) are shown to develop much faster than those who are not subjected to high-caliber play. 

The launch of the new CPL provides a goal for the high performance Official strive for. 

OSC greatly values the opportunity for its officials to move up to higher level leagues and become much more proficient in their skill sets.

Do you believe that a strong match officials development program helps your club with player development?

The Oakville Soccer Club believes that a strong Match Officials Development Program definitely assists in the goal of improving the Club’s player development. 

From strong officials come strong players who, when properly officiated, are given every opportunity to perform at the highest level possible.

Is it important for your club to have a strong mentorship program?

OSC believes that it is crucial for the Club to have a high-level mentorship program which develops both young and experienced match officials both through educational as well as technical opportunities.  

Due to the various technical programs in line with LTPD being delivered at OSC, the program ensures that all levels of Match Officials have opportunities to develop and be mentored in a controlled environment.

The ability for Match Officials to be mentored by their own peers better sets them up for success down the road. 

The Club firmly believes that this strong mentorship program sets the bar for increased retention rates for all officials.

Do you believe that Ontario Soccer is on the right track with the Long-Term Officials Development?

Ontario Soccer has done a tremendous job in developing Match Officials within the province. 

Their developmental model is becoming the standard by which other provinces are measuring the development of their own Match Officials. 

The research and focus on ensuring that they hear what their members are saying has set Ontario Soccer apart from others.

Describe your club’s communication with Ontario Soccer match official department?

The Oakville Soccer Club is proud of our relationship with Ontario Soccer’s Referee Department. 

In the past, we have been happy to work with Ontario Soccer to host youth mentorship opportunities as well as to be part of developing match officials from throughout the region. 

Please add anything about your club success with Match Officials Development

Retention of young Officials has always been a challenge to Clubs over the years.

Our experience has been that the implementation of a clearly defined development pathway combined with ongoing mentoring/coaching can significantly improve retention rates. This benefits all levels of the game.

For more information on Ontario Soccer Match Official programming, please contact Nicky Pearson.