The Ontario Soccer Match Officials Development Program is pleased to announce the start of an exciting new training opportunity for Ontario Match Officials as part of the Long Term Officials Development (LTOD) program, which was introduced in January 2017.
Starting in April 2017, three groups have committed to providing practical field training time at no charge for Match Officials in the Southwestern Ontario area. Pickering Soccer Club, Oakville Soccer Club and Hamilton District Soccer Association (HamDSA) are the first groups to step forward.
Nicky Pearson, Ontario Soccer Manager of Match Officials Development, recognizes that this is a very important step in creating stronger development partnerships with member clubs and districts.
“Players get to practice and coaches get to practice. Match Officials have an expectation to be perfect with no practice, with the only practice they receive being during the game," Pearson said. "Through this initiative, field time, which is rarely available for Match Officials due to game bookings, now becomes an accessible component of Match Official Development.”
John Gibson, President of HamDSA, said he is looking forward to participating in this new program.
“We have instituted an in-depth program for player development. It is equally important to develop, educate, recruit and retain Match Officials to match the pace of player development," Gibson said.
The first event was held at the Pickering SC soccer dome on April 5.
The first session took place on April 5 at Pickering S.C. with great results.
Matt Greenwood, Executive Director of Pickering Soccer Club looks at LTOD as a collaborative effort.
“We know the Ontario Soccer LTOD program will be a great success as it starts to support Match Officials on and off the field. Coaches and Players get to hone their craft week in and week out in training sessions but Match officials typically only get to develop during a game," Greenwood said. "By offering this collaborative approach everyone learns and we're particularly happy to see that this learning was extended to parents too. This should make the game more positive for everyone."
Ramin Mohammadi, Pickering SC Director of Soccer Development saw it as a great night out for all.
“Once again thank you to Ontario Soccer for a fantastic event last night. What a great experience for all of us coaches, parents and players to observe what officials go through to develop themselves for games.”
Ontario Soccer thanks HamDSA, Pickering S.C. and Oakville S.C. for supporting this LTOD Initiative and hopes to expand to other clubs and facilities across the province.
If you are interested in having your club, district or facility involved for 2018, please contact the Match Officials Program.