PRS Referee Development Program
Just as Park Ridge Soccer (PRS) provides excellent development opportunities for recreational and club-level soccer players, we have a similar program for new referees. The referee program consists of the following elements:
- New officials may start as Assistant Referees (AR) for our club program when they are in 7th grade in the spring. The Illinois State Referee Committee (SRC) provides the training, and upon passing a 50-question written exam, the new official is registered as a USSF Grade 12 Assistant Referee.
- New officials may become House League referees when they are in 8th grade in the spring, with or without previous AR experience. Training is provided by PRS.
- We encourage our officials to obtain a USSF Grade 8 registration once they have a few years of experience. Training is provided by the SRC and the official must complete a 16-hour course and pass a 100-question test. As a Grade 8 Referee, the official may referee club-level games.
- Officials of all levels are subject to an annual continuing education requirement. Recertification requirements vary depending on the level of official, but all require passing a recertification exam.
PRS formed the PRS Mentoring Committee in 2000. The committee consists of experienced adult referees who donate their time to enhance the on-field experience of new officials. Mentors observe matches and correct errors, offer suggestions, and provide encouragement to young officials. The committee meets at the end of each season, evaluates all of the PRS officials, and makes decisions on who should be advanced to more challenging assignments. The committee also annually chooses a graduating high school senior, who has been in the program for at least four years, for the honor of PRS Referee of the Year.
Our House League Referee program also offers adults a good entry level into officiating. After one year in the program, adults are required to obtain a Grade 8 registration and to move on to club-level officiating. They are also encouraged to join the Mentoring Committee.
We believe we have one of the best, if not the best, referee development programs in the state. Officials from our program have advanced to high school, college, ODP, and amateur games and we look forward to the day when one of them officiates in an MLS or international-level game.
Referee Mentor Program Participants