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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.
Matt McCready, Elgin Middlesex Soccer Association (EMSA) District Referee Coordinator, answered a few questions about EMSA's LTOD efforts.
In the EMSA district, we have many well established development practices, thanks to the strong leadership of the previous District Referee Coordinators and EMSA referee councils. Based on the feedback of the membership and the oversight of the current EMSA Referee Council, we identified that the funding could be best used to deliver and develop two new programs.
The first of these is a Mentorship program, our newer members and recent entry level grads have been asking for this type of programming. The funding will be used to host a mentorship clinic and develop a program to allow both mentors and participants to flourish.
The second program will be a revamp and resuscitation of a fitness program. The funding will allow us to establish structure and consistency in the delivery of the program as well as acquire equipment for training sessions.
EMSA match officials can expect to see more consistent and robust programming as well as a larger presence throughout the season at events and matches.
The district officials will benefit through an increase in district hosted education sessions, increasing from 6 to 10; a new mentorship program and more hands on practical training.
There is definitely a desire for practical and hands-on training on the field or in a gym. We had done this in the past but it can be cost prohibitive. The District Development Fee will allow for more interactive, participative and practical training sessions.
The LTOD program has allowed us to validate and formalize many of the programs that were currently in place in the EMSA District.
It has provided more focus and resources to the district and encouraged/highlighted every match officials to the possible development pathways.
In the 2018 season, the EMSA district intends to host two LTOD Development Days where match officials will be able to attend in-class and on-field training with some top mentors and instructors.
Events like this and the current programming will help us develop a large and strong base to our match officials pyramid. The ultimate goal is a happy healthy and returning match official.