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 Joshua Heuving, a Grade 8 regional upgrade from EMSA District.
I decided to start refereeing when I turned 14 for a local private house league just to make a few dollars while enjoying the sport I loved. Once I turned 18 I decided to move over to the Ontario Soccer referee stream, as I really enjoyed refereeing and wanted to bring it to the next level.
Unfortunately London did not have a local OPDL team this season so I did not get the chance to officiate any this year.
But I look forward to getting the chance to officiate in the OPDL next season as two local clubs have been added to the league.
Once I entered the Ontario Soccer stream, I was lucky to receive lots of support from local assigners Carlos Miranda, Traci Cummings, Art Pieterman and Tom Partalis. These assigners have given me many games around the EMSA district to help me develop as a referee. I was given the opportunity to officiate games of all levels from youth to senior and district level games to provincial.
With the development from my district I was fortunate to be invited to officiate in both League1 Ontario and the North American Indigenous Games (NAIG) this season. Both of these occasions have helped me develop exponentially as a match official over the season. With both the on and off field training provided it has assisted me in adding many different aspects to my game.
With the League1, NAIG and local game experiences I have gained over the season, I was fortunate to receive many high level games. This season I got the opportunity to officiate the Girls U-18 Ontario Cup final, U-19 Boys NAIG Final and attend the U-15 Boys National Championships in Calgary.
Match officials from U-15 Nationals in Calgary
I would like to continue help developing both myself and other match officials that I officiate with to help grow the game. Personally I would love to make it as high as I can make it as a match official. For me to get to the next level, I have to continue taking the opportunities and feedback I receive to continue developing into a better match official.
I see LTOD helping me advance as a match official by giving me the proper support and training to get me to the next level. LTOD will also give all match officials improved education, fitness training and assessments to not only make us better officials but help improve the game.
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.
Grade 8 - Regional upgrade | EMSA District