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The OPDL Spotlight Series - Match Official Development

By OSA News, 08/23/16, 5:15PM EDT


The OPDL is a development league for players, coaches and match officials. It is important for match officials to be included in this development pathway, and be introduced to the OPDL at the U13 level. The platform gives match officials the opportunity to participate in the first age group of the top youth provincial competition and for Ontario to scout and evaluate their performances.

What achievement(s) in OPDL are you most proud of?

We have scouted over 50 match officials over the past three years, and recently invited 12 to officiate at the Ontario Summer games. they were selected based on professionalism, performance and knowledge. These young officials would potentially not have been considered without the OPDL as we would have had a harder time seeing them in a competitive match environment. the centralized venues give us an outstanding opportunity to see these officials in action.

Why is this more effective environment for match officials to develop?

Within the OPDL environment, the coaches and the players are the strongest in the province and the competition level is an invaluable opportunity for the best match officials to showcase their abilities.

What is something people should know about the OPDL match official's development program?

A number of pro-active clubs and districts have been instrumental in the development of the match officials, and provide us with the names of those that they feel would contribute to, and gain more development from, the OPDL.

How is this working?

The first exposure to the OPDL for these developing match officials is as an assistant referee at the U13 level, then based on performance we either suggest they return to the regional and district leagues for further development, or we move them to the middle of the U13 game, then on the line of the U14 games and so on. We have returned over 40 officials back to their regional/district programs, and moved many more up to the next level at OPDL.

Contributor - Nicky Pearson

Nicky Pearson is the OSA Manager of Match Official Development.

She manages a program that consists of educating, assessing, assigning and working with 11,000 registered referees, National programs and events and the overall program development for official in Ontario.