Standing on the Shoulders of Giants – Part 2

Published on January 30, 2017


By: John Van de Vaarst – National Clinician

The December 2016, article focused on three individuals that had a major impact on NISOA. Dr. Raymond Bernabei, who served as Executive Director for many years, Mario Donnangelo, Associate Executive Director for many years, and C. Frank Jewell who held several positions and worked tirelessly for NISOA. Part two of this article will focus on two other individuals and list many others who have made NISOA what it is today – the organization of choice for intercollegiate soccer officiating.

Many individuals believe that Robert Sumpter is one of the most brilliant minds when it comes to soccer officiating, rules interpretation and publication of soccer articles. As an active referee, Bob officiated at the top levels including the NCAA Division I finals and the North American Soccer League (NASL). He was highly respected by players and coaches alike and was always sought after to officiate the quality and competitive games. From 1989 – 1995, Bob served as the Director of the National Referee Program. He laid the foundation for the NRP and built an outstanding cadre of top officials. During his tenure as Director of Instruction, Bob developed the NISOA model of instruction, which is still used today. By conducting a needs analysis (collecting data on referee problems), developing a lesson plan, presenting the plan, testing the results and conducting another analysis allows the clinicians to work on problem areas and determine if the teaching was successful in improving the quality of the referees. Bob ensured that all the clinicians that were certified by NISOA fully understood the model and knew how to prepare a lesson plan and supporting visual aids. Bob also served as the National Rules Interpreter for NISOA and advisor to the NCAA Rules Committee. For several years, Bob served as Materials Development Chairperson and was instrumental in creating and updating the NISOA Manual. Bob worked with Frank Jewell and John Van de Vaarst in developing a formal mentor program that was sent to all chapters so that they could establish a local mentor program. When the NISOA web site was updated, Bob initiated the instruction portion by having monthly articles published in three areas, intercollegiate, interscholastic, and nuts-and-bolts. These articles focused on rules, officiating techniques and other important material. Bob was recognized by NISOA by having the Robert Sumpter Excellence in Teaching Award created in his honor.

Charlie Lee never held a national office within NISOA. However, he personally did more for the organization then many others. Charlie was an active referee for 46 years at all levels. He especially enjoyed interscholastic soccer officiating and worked very closely with the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association on various officiating matters. He also worked at the state finals as a referee coordinator. For many years, Charlie served on the National Junior College National Championship Committee and assigned all officials for the men’s and women’s tournament. In addition, Charlie would attend every game during the tournament and was always available to the committee and officials. Charlie’s greatest passion was working with new officials and helping them develop to their highest potential. As an assignor, Charlie would assign in a manner that gave officials an opportunity to challenge their skills and work at higher levels. For many years, Charlie attended the Elizabethtown Camp and served as the Coordinator of Assessments. He assigned all the campers to games, coordinated who was serving as an observer at the game and personally observed games and provided detailed feedback. NISOA participated in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America Convention and had an exhibit booth in the exhibit hall. Charlie would ship the booth, set it up and take it down at the end of the convention. In addition, he willingly spent numerous hours working at the booth and talking to anyone who stopped by about NISOA and soccer officiating. When the National Soccer Hall of Fame was being created, Charlie was asked to gather materials for the bakers case that was part of the NISOA exhibit. Charlie not only obtained material but updated the case on a regular basis. At the local level, Charlie served as the Secretary/treasurer for ISOA-NJ for numerous years. He was recognized by NISOA when the Charlie Lee Junior College Coach’s Award of Merit was established.

There are many others who donated numerous hours to help NISOA grow. The following is a short summary of many of these individuals and their accomplishments:

Larry Starner — worked with Mario Donnangelo to establish the Elizabethtown Training Academy and served as camp administrator.

Gil Lopez – Although Gil never officiated, he served as the grievance and ethics chairperson for NISOA for an extended period of time.

Bill Fortin- served as an officer and president for NISOA, camp administrator for many years, and Area Coordinator for Region I.

Don Wilbur- served as Director of Instruction and helped establish a highly professional cadre of national clinicians. He also worked for the NCAA post season assignor and ensured NISOA was represented on tournament games.

George Noujaim – As Director of the National Referee Program, George created the National Referee Academy system. He also spent numerous hours reviewing game video to locate critical match situations that are used at the academies.

Ken Andres – for many years served as counsel to NISOA and initiated the concept of an annual critical incident video that was made available to all chapters for local clinics, international exchange representative with Russia, and officer.

Don Dennison – served as curriculum coordinator for the Elizabethtown Training Academy. Don also created the Rules Difference Guide and card that he continues to update on an annual basis.

George Faragallah – took the concept of a formal assessment program and made it a reality for NISOA.

Dave Steiner – assistant camp director, exhibit booth staff, sales, new member packets and more.

Joe Miller – camp director, NCAA post season assignor, audit team, regional representative chairperson, NSCAA attendee and officer.

The above names reflect a small number of individuals who have donated countless hours to NISOA. These individuals have and continue to work diligently to make NISOA what it is today.

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