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Ontario Soccer recently managed a Long Term Match Officials Development (LTOD) Development Project at the 2017 North American Indigenous Games (NAIG).
Ontario Soccer is proud of the officials and what they achieved, who often operating outside of their comfort zone. They were mentored, then assessed over the 6.5 days and each day demonstrated improvement.
As part of the LTOD rollout, these events are crucial to identifying talent, fine-tuning Ontario's mentoring program and offering additional development opportunities to officials.
The LTOD leadership team included Tony Camacho, Director of Officials; Nicky Pearson, Manager of Match Officials Development and 12 mentors and assessors.
Camacho remarked how impressed he was with the group of match officials.
“Based on the grade and the ages of the match officials I was not sure what to expect, however after the first day of the competition I knew we had a good group of MO for this tournament," said Camacho. "From their participation in the nightly education sessions; to the taking in of the information given to them by the mentors and assessors and making adjustments the next day to improve their performances, it was impressive."
Eight months ago, Ontario Soccer reached out to Districts for names, and set some criteria for final selection including fitness, mentor reports and input from DRCs. In total, 26 officials started the tournament and each represented their Districts and Ontario Soccer extremely well.
Today, Ontario Soccer leaders were so impressed with this group that they have invited nine of the Match Officials to join League1 Ontario as Assistant Referees for the remainder of the 2017 season.
The Ontario Soccer Match Officials Development program is continuing to operate more LTOD projects like this.
They also invite any members of Ontario Soccer who witness officiating talent on the field to complete a short survey, which helps to identify match officials for future development opportunities.