About The NISOA Instruction Program

Todd Abraham

Todd Abraham, NISOA Senior Director of Instruction

A multilayered program that provides training to all levels of NISOA members is the goal of the instruction program.  The core element is the local clinician who provides training at local chapter meetings, rules interpretation at the local level and more.  Without a strong local program the overall instruction program can not be a success.

To assist the local clinicians there is a core of National Clinicians who prepare lesson plans and audio visual material that is made available to the local level upon request.  One of the long range plans of the overall instruction program is to have these plans and visual aides available on a server so that the local clinician has easy access to up-to-date relevant materials.  All lesson plans are prepared by utilizing the NISOA model of instruction.  National Clinicians are also responsible for preparing articles for publication in the NISOA Newsletter and Referee Magazine.

With the advent of new software, the National Instruction staff are currently exploring the feasibility of using software that will allow clipping game tapes in a simplified fashion and using these clips as instructional tools.  Clips could be posted on the web site with narrative prepared by the Director of Instruction.  These clips can be viewed by any referee that has an interest in improving their skills.  The clips can also be easily combined to produce a DVD of play situations and narrative information.  This type of system would replace the current DVD that is prepared every other year on critical incidents.  The current DVD has proven very successful and is well received when shown.  This would be an enhancement to the overall program.

Annual materials prepared by the instruction program include the Rules Comparison Guide and the Preseason Guide, NCAA rules changes DVD and the NHSF rules changes video.  The Rules Comparison Guide is prepared by a National Clinician and provides a detailed comparison of the rules differences between the NCAA Rule Book, the National High School Federation Rule Book and the FIFA Laws of the Game.  This provides referees that work in multiple organizations a concise listing in three column format of the differences in the games they officiate.  This document is distributed to all members and placed on the web site.  The Preseason Guide highlights important rule changes, articles on areas that have been identified by the assessment survey as needing improvement, fitness tips and more.  This sixteen page document is prepared in the spring and published in cooperation with Referee Magazine so that it has a very professional appearance.  The guide is provided to all NISOA members and also placed on the NISOA web site.  The NCAA and NHSF rules changes DVD’s are prepared through a grant with the respective organizations.  These items are prepared in a TV studio and professionally edited.  They are distributed to each chapter, all college coaches and high school state associations.

During the spring of each year, Director of Instruction works with assignors, chapter contacts and regional representatives to conduct a series of regional clinics in various parts of the country.  These are one or two day sessions that provide a variety of training for the attendees.  The curriculum is somewhat standardized and relates to the assessment survey results and focuses on areas that need improvement.  Individualized topics are also included in the agenda to meet the local needs and issues.

The instruction program staff also works closely with the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA).  Each January, instructional staff present a variety of workshops at the annual NSCAA convention.  Topics are primarily presented on items that would be of interest to coaches at various levels of the game.  National Instructors also give presentations at NSCAA coaching academies that are held throughout the country.  These presentations are standardized so that all academy attendees receive the same information.

The National Referee program conducts a certification and recertification program every other year.  The instructional materials provided are prepared by National Clinicians that serve on the National Referee training team.  These materials are at a more advanced level so that those in attendance will receive new and relevant information.