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In It For The Long Term - Featuring: Niagara Soccer Association

By Staff, 01/23/18, 12:30PM EST


Lou Braida, District Referee Coordinator of Niagara Soccer Association, answered a few key questions about NSA and their development program

Play. Inspire. Unite.

As a component of Long Term Match Official Development (LTOD) delivery across the province, Districts receive a District Development Fee. 

This total fee amount ranges from District to District, depending on number of registered Match Officials.  As part of LTOD compliance, District Associations had to provide Ontario Soccer with a District Development Plan, and a mid-way report on how they had utilized this fee.

The fee could not be used to replace existing District Match Officials Development budget, nor to buy clothing, or food.  

It had to be used to create LTOD specific programming to enhance the current programming.

The Niagara Soccer Association, led by District Referee Coordinator Lou Braida, have already started on their LTOD Development program, and are marching ahead with their plans by encouraging youth referees to attend their education sessions and by hosting on field sessions in 2018 with youth referees using our youth teams. 

Lou Braida answered a few key questions about NSA and their Development program.

How did you decide where you would have the most impact with the District Development Fee?

Our District has a Match Official Development Focus team, led by the District Referee Coordinator with Canada Soccer Instructors, Club Head Referees, and assignors as members where we regularly review ideas, programs, issues etc.

We reviewed the LTOD initiative and shared Ontario Soccer Match Official survey results, and then worked collaboratively to decide how we would best use the District Development Fee keeping the LTOD vision at the core of our plans.

How do you think the overall LTOD program will benefit your District?

Our District is no different than any other area of Ontario, in that we need to continuously find the path that retains youth Match Officials until they can develop and be successful in the District pool.

The LTOD program establishes concrete criteria and pathways for development and promotion – removing any real or perceived arbitrary components to selection for promotion and receiving higher level game assignments.

Therefore, supporting LTOD in our District directly impacts and improves the chances of retaining Match Officials and they are more likely to work at being promoted knowing the exact requirements.

What component of Development do you think is the least delivered/most wanted in your District?

Our Match Official Development Focus team recognized that Practical Training would be the most wanted component of LTOD in our District.

How has the feedback and support received from Ontario Soccer assisted you in LTOD development?

The feedback we receive from Ontario Soccer, specifically sharing their survey results, has been invaluable in assisting and directing our work on developing LTOD plans.

Those shared survey results ‘take the guesswork’ out of the perceptions we may have and allows us to focus on and target the real issues that Match Officials believe are barriers to success.

What are your plans for the future? 

Our 2018 LTOD Plans incorporate hosting 4 Practical Training sessions that include both in-class and on-field training conducted by our Canada Soccer Instructors and by using the District Development Fee at no cost to the attending Match Official from our District.