Play. Inspire. Unite.
A five-year strategic initiative, the Long Term Official Development (LTOD) program is now an integral part of what Ontario Soccer delivers.
LTOD will provide a standards-based education and development program, through strong leadership, inclusivity and support.
As part of that, the In It For The Long Term series puts a focus on the match officials who are dedicated to their role and are taking their development seriously.
This week, In It For The Long Term speaks with Twayne Anderson, a district-level match official.
I first became a match official to get some summer income, as I was still playing competitive soccer and didn’t have time, nor the interest of getting another summer job. So, I decided to take the course with a teammate and shortly afterwards started doing some house league games for my club. As I got more comfortable, I started of enjoying the games, so, of course, one thing turned into the next and I soon started doing more competitive games and eventually started taking things more seriously year-by-year.
OPDL has been a huge help improving my performance as a match official due to the systematic way the league is setup.
From arrival times, to mentors and athletic therapists, the list can go on. They are all there making sure your job becomes much easier but also done to the standard that has been set.
OPDL has also exposed me to many match officials and Ontario Soccer staff that I would have never met and in turn helped me grow very quickly as a match official by providing new channels that I was completely unaware of prior to OPDL.
Most of my developmental support has been coming from more experienced match officials. Whether that be during, or post game, just giving out pointers and answering questions.
Second, would be assessments, which are more like a test as I would find out what did right or wrong post match.
And lastly the mentorship program has also been very useful to me, keeping me in check technically and also making sure my officiating is on par with the game.
All of these combined have definitely helped me reach a few of my goals the past two seasons as a match official.
Ironically, I was asked this question recently and I really didn’t have a solid answer but the sky is the limit - whether it is becoming a national referee, or something else.
But for now I’m just focused on my short term goals which is to become a regional referee.
I believe I’m taking the appropriate steps by keeping my fitness up, educating myself and taking advice throughout this season.
I’ve gotten the chance to work with many referees, from all three programs - national, provincial and regional - on some high level games, which has definitely given me much to look forward too.
Being a young referee, I believe the Long Term Match Official Development (LTOD) program will benefit me the most and help me advance as a Match official.
The LTOD will be able to provide proper recognition for someone like myself, who plans to go on to the talented stream and allow for a much more smooth and quick transition going up in levels as a Match Official.
And with anything in life when providing the appropriate educational tools and support available it just makes things easier, especially for upcoming match officials to understand how they achieve certain goals.
If you want to learn more about LTOD and what it could mean for your development as a match official, visit the LTOD section on the Ontario Soccer website.
District-Level Match Official