Greetings, Florida Referee Academy staff and friends:
 
Yesterday, at the FSR Administrators' meeting, there was information provided and some discussion regarding the role of the "Referee Club Trainer" (CRT), which is an idea that FYSA is promoting as a way of helping to improve young referee development at the local club (including recreational) level.  One of my friends, yesterday, suggested to me that there may have been some confusion in my presentation about how the DRAs can be of assistance, in supporting this idea.  So, for clarification, let me briefly address 1) the CRT idea itself; and 2) how we in FSR can assist.
 
1.  The Club Referee Trainer:
     Basically, the idea is for a local (recreational, or competitive/travel) club to make their own arrangements for someone to come in and  work with their refs, especially the young ones.  Offering support and mentoring to age 13 and 14 year-old refs is critical to their development, and helpful to their retention in the program.  Working with them early, means that when they get old enough to upgrade from Grade 8 to 7, they'll be much better; more prepared; and much more motivated to continue with their refereeing career.
      *  The key is to provide mentoring for any and all referees in the club program who wish to have it, but to focus on developing at least a small core (hopefully, a group of 3-4 females and 3-4 male) referees, who can work togeter; build some comradery and mutual support for each other.  This is essential for long-term success.  Individuals will come and go, but the group dynamic is most important to help the kids maintain interest and enthusiasm.
      *  What ARRANGEMENT each club makes is TOTALLY FLEXIBLE.  If a volunteer (maybe qualitied or not) is already occasionally working with the refs, that can continue. That person would just be included with any additional training from the (new) CRT, and would become a "partner" in the effort.
          The arrangement with the CRT(s) can be with an individual, or more than one individual at the same time, and might last only for the immediate (several weeks) season; to be renewed if the club wishes.  In the case of Lance and Christina's arrangement with the Royal Palm Club, they together met with the Club officers, and negotiationed about expectations and reimbursement.  In that situation, reimbursement  was $20/hour (to include travel costs), for about five hours on any given Saturday.  Christina and Lance took turns showing up, according to their personal schedule availability.  Each of them kept an informal ("roaming assessment" type format) report of who they observed and worked with, and provided a copy to each other, so both were kept aware of what was going on. 
           Depending on how much the club wishes to invest, this can be done more or less frequently.
           WHO the clubs  wish to work with is flexible.  In the case of Lance and Christina, both of whom are young, State-grade, Academy referees, they both proved to be highly popular and good role models with the young club referees they were working with.  But, an older referee would do; as would anyone else who is a good role model with good communication and  soccer refereeing skills.
 
2.  How FSR can help:
     DRAs and other FSR staff (instructors, assessors, other referees) have information about what kind of club programs are going on in their respective areas.  They are probably aware of programs where there is a group of several young referees who work there on a regular basis.  They have contacts and relationships with persons in the club who run the program (officers and administrators), or have good knowledge of  and relationships with the participating referees  or those who work with them (assignors).
          * FSR staff can help introduce the CRT idea to club officers and assignors.  They can meet with them formally or informally to talk about it; can offer information (the Academy Area Director can provide a powerpoint presentation); can point to examples of success where it has happened (see attachment, which is an article that appeared in the FYSA "Touchline" this past Spring issue).
          * FSR staff can help put the club in touch with the Academy Area Director, who can provide additional information, such as names of local referees who may be in the Academy, and be available as mentors, etc.
          * FSR staff (DRAs; instructors and assessors) might be recruited by the club to help provide additional training on different occasions (formally or informally).
          * For local club tournament events, Academy Area Directors are available to discuss how a group of Academy mentors,  and Academy candidates and referees might be brought in to participate in the tournament.
 
And, so forth, etc., etc. 
The arrangments and range of participation and support can be WHATEVER the persons involved wish for it to be.    
 
If further clarification or more information is desired, please get back to me.
 
Thanks for all your help.
 
John David McGee
State Director Referee Academy