On Sunday, March 21, 2021, long time Maryland State Referee Administrator, Greg Watson passed away from COVID-19-related complications.
Greg was a friend & mentor for many of us, as well as a dedicated & passionate member of the Maryland referee community for decades. Over the years, he personally and positively impacted the lives of countless individuals and played an important role in the career development of thousands of referees. The Maryland Referee Program has lost one of its true heroes. Greg will be sorely missed.
In order to receive your 2021 Grassroots Referee badge, you must complete the required online lessons. This year, Maryland is offering 3 varying sets of lessons, depending on your experience level.
If you were just certified as a new Grassroots Referee for 2020, you should register for the clinic entitled “Referee-Grassroots Recert (New)”. If you are in this category, you will be emailed a Clinic Code, which you will need to register.
If your original referee badge was for 2019 (you have already recertified one time to obtain your 2020 badge), you should register for the clinic entitled “Referee-Grassroots Recert (Intermediate)”. If you are in this category, you will be emailed a Clinic Code, which you will need to register.
If your original referee badge was dated prior to 2019 (you have recertified two or more times), you should register for the clinic entitled “Referee-Grassroots Recert (Experienced)”.
Some of the lessons are the same in all 3, but not all. Once you have successfully completed all of the online lessons, your 2021 badge will be mailed to you. If you have any questions, please contact Andrew Watkins, SDI or Greg Watson, SRA.
We hope this notice finds you and your family in good health during these challenging times. As you know, up to this point there have been no soccer league activities taking place because of health concerns. It appears U.S. Soccer, USYS, MSYSA, MSSA, and some local associations are now working on guidelines toward safely reopening. Your Maryland State Referee Committee (SRC) has recently put out a document for referees outlining suggestions how to safely manage any games they choose to accept.
Since there have been no games for quite some time, we realize most referees have had no income whatsoever to help offset any expenses incurred as a referee. To that end, in an effort to assist all referees as much as possible, U.S. Soccer and the Maryland SRC have agreed to extend all 2020 registrations into and through 2021 as outlined below:
All officials (Referees, Assessors, Instructors, Assignors) who are registered for 2020 will automatically have their 2020 current registration extended through December 31, 2021. This will be an extension to all of your licenses currently held.
Before you can receive a 2021 badge, you will be required to complete online lessons within the OMS system. Online lessons will include, at minimum, a review of the 2021 Law Changes and Clarifications, SafeSport Training (if applicable), and U.S. Soccer’s Introduction to Safe and Healthy Playing Environment Training. Other online lessons may also be required and a background check (for 18 and older) is mandatory. There will be a small charge for these. The fees for assessments and field evaluations will remain the same as they have been.
2021 badges will be distributed at 3-hour training sessions. The dates, locations, and times of these sessions will be announced as soon as they are confirmed. There will be no additional fee for these sessions.
Anyone desiring to become a new Grassroots Referee for 2021 as well as any referee whose previous certifications have expired (prior to 2020), will follow the normal certification procedures and will pay the normal registration fees (and clinic fees, if applicable).
We hope extending your current 2020 registrations through 2021 will help you both monetarily and emotionally and will help reinforce our commitment to you. As more specific information is available, we will pass it along. Please check the Maryland Referee web site (www.marylandreferees.com) for the most current updates.
By the way, NOW would be a good time to start training (SAFELY!) for the upcoming season.
The Maryland State Referee Committee (SRC) suggests the following guidelines for refereeing outdoor soccer games this year once games are allowed. Always follow the State of Maryland and local health department orders. This is not legal or medical advice. For your own protection and the protection of your family on your return home, understand the healthcare advice and apply it to your personal health and family circumstances.
Referees do not have any additional responsibilities or authority under the COVID-19 related return to play guidelines from USYS, MSYSA, MSSA, or US Soccer. Referees should check the Rules of Competition for the league(s) they are officiating. If the Referee has any questions, they should contact their Assignor for clarification. At the field, refer questions to coaches or league administrators.
Stay healthy. Please accept games within your stamina and skill levels. For many reasons, related and unrelated to COVID-19, there are fewer referees this season.
Assigners may have a tougher year. Nonetheless, please turn back the game if you are sick.
Take and use hand sanitizer. Take a mask. Use the mask in crowds before and after the game.
Set your bags, chairs, and drinks at least six feet apart from your crew members, the spectators, and the teams. Do not set up between the teams or near the water.
Do not shake hands or bump fists with players, coaches, spectators, or other referees. This year, smile, nod, wish them a good game, applaud, or wave. SIX FEET.
If necessary, remind spectators to stay at least 10 feet behind the touchlines.
If needed, locate and mark the technical areas. The benches should be at least 10 feet behind the touchline. Call the coach’s attention to the marks and explain the special COVID-19 need for the coaches and players to remain more than six feet from the AR.
Remind coaches and players at the beginning of the match to follow the rules of the competition about social distancing in team areas and at goal celebrations.
Check teams in and conduct the coin toss per local competition rules as usual. REMEMBER SIX FEET.
Keep explanations simple and short. Evaluate possible injuries, show cards, and explain from MORE THAN SIX FEET.
Seldom do referee evaluations of injuries or other discussions with players, fans, or coaches take more than a few moments. Keep them as short as possible.
Apply the Laws, Rules of the Competition, and common sense with more social distance than in the past.