The first ever NISOA Practical Field Training Clinic hosted by the East Coast Conference at Mercy College in Dobbs Ferry, NY took place on July 17, 2019. Rockland Westchester ISOA provided logistical and promotional support for the event. 86 NISOA members ranging from new members to National Assessors, attended on a weeknight starting at 5:30pm and concluding by 8:30pm.

NISOA provided technical support with National Clinicians Kermit Quisenberry and Lance VanHaitsma traveling to the Big Apple from the Sunshine State. Both Kermit and Lance have extensive experience executing practical field training clinics on a local and national level. They provided technical education specific to refereeing collegiate soccer.

“The ECC is delighted to partner with NISOA to provide next level practical referee training. We look forward to collaborating with NISOA on future soccer referee development events. We recognize the importance of building this relationship, which is aimed at helping to identify new, qualified officials as well as focusing on continuing the development of our experienced officials who are so important to our soccer programs.” – Dr. Robert Dranoff, Commissioner, East Coast Conference.

Topics on the agenda were best practices for use of electronic communication devices, critical thinking for on-field problem resolution, use of the vanishing spray, managing the technical area, and focused training for video review as used in college soccer.

During the video review training session, officials were educated on the protocol from asking game site admin upon arrival to obtaining an in-depth knowledge of when and how video review shall be utilized. Then, officials were put through a rigorous exercise in which game-like situations were simulated that required them to practice the mechanics of initiating a review. Participants had a limited amount of time to watch the clip of the situation on a laptop computer at a table next to the field and then determine whether or not indisputable evidence existed to change the decision on the field or if the call on the field stood because of either inconclusive evidence or the original decision was correct. For all officials involved, this was their first experience being exposed to the video review procedure at the collegiate level.

“At the just recently concluded NISOA Practical Field Training Clinic, the area I found impactful to me was the use of video review which was conducted by clinician Lance VanHaitsma. I really appreciate this part of the training since it was the first time I actually part take in such training. I think the whole session was well put together from the concept to the procedure that is required for a video review. I know this is one area of my refereeing that would certainly improve as a college official. More eyes on the game will allow us to make the correct decision, this is what the video review option provide for us and should be used more often.” – Nykasie Liverpool – RWISOA member & Retired FIFA Assistant Referee from Guyana.

As the clinic was near conclusion, inclement weather in the area forced participants to move indoors where ECC Conference Assignor John Collins addressed the group with information ranging from specific conference expectations, the importance of professionalism when it comes to availability, and to always being ready for an opportunity.

“On behalf of the East Coast Conference and the MASO assigning group, I would like to thank NISOA, RWISOA, Lance and Kermit for collaborating with us to introduce the next level of practical field training to our soccer officials. I look forward to partnering with NISOA as our technical training partner as we plan future training events. I encourage other Conference Soccer Officiating Coordinators to utilize the resources that NISOA offers to drive their referee development initiatives.”- John Collins, East Coast Conference Soccer Coordinator of Officials.

The MASO assigning group was founded by NISOA members Mark Garcia (PA) and John Collins (CT) in 2013 with the purpose of identifying, developing and assigning college soccer referees for conferences in coordination with local NISOA chapters. Currently, MASO is responsible for assigning NISOA officials in eight Division II & Division III conferences throughout the East Coast.

“The game is complex and is always adapting. NISOA consistently offers us the chance to learn from experienced officials who help us adapt successfully with the game. At the summit and field training events we spent a lot of time on game management and developing a more complex understanding for how we can correctly interpret the college rules for every decision we make on the field. We were challenged to discuss the thought process behind our decisions. These experiences helped me drastically improve as an official over the last year and has given me more confidence going into the 2019 season.” – Edin Hadzovic – EPD PA ISOA Member & 2019 NISOA Summit Attendee.

“First, let me congratulate Richard, Lance, Kermit and John on putting such a great event last Wednesday, it was excellent. Please accept my personal thanks for inviting me to a fantastic Practical Training session. I am sure other attendees will be in touch to express their gratitude for the excellent training we received. As a former FIFA Referee, I can tell you this was a well-run and organized event and what a good way to start the 2019 season on such a positive note.” – Felipe Russi – NY Metro ISOA Member & Retired FIFA International Panel Referee from Colombia.

“Rockland Westchester – RWISOA reputation has evolved as the result of the commitment and hard work of all of our members. We have a great development & training program and it is largely due to NISOA’s technical assistance in developing training events like the Practical Training Session at Mercy College on July 17, 2019. Lance and Kermit are to be commended for the sharing of their resources and time to enhance educational opportunities for all NISOA referees. John Collins was instrumental in providing all attendees a clear message regarding expectations from the East Coast Conference.” – Richard Rodriguez, RWISOA President.

Thank you to our sponsors RefEdge and TorrX for providing vanishing spray and a smart ball pump to utilize and give away at the clinic. Special thank you to the East Coast Conference for partnering with NISOA and assisting in securing the facility as well as providing EMS on-site. NISOA will continue to use its resources to support our officials and conference assignors at all levels. For more inquiries on hosting a future NISOA Practical Field Training Clinic, please contact Lance VanHaitsma, NISOA Director of Operations by leaving a comment below.

Currently MASO coordinates officials for the following conferences:

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