Free clinic offered

North Island Youth Soccer officials offer a free clinic on refereeing.

PORT McNEILL—North Island Youth Soccer officials invite all comers to take part in the rewarding experience of refereeing youth soccer games this spring, and are offering a free clinic to provide the know-how.

The clinic will be held Saturday, April 6 at Sunset Elementary School in Port McNeill, with sessions for mini-level play (10-under) from 9 a.m.-noon and for divisional play (U-12 and older) from 1-4 p.m. It will feature both classroom and on-field components; participants are asked to bring cleats for the outdoor portion.

“Not only do you get paid to referee, your decision is final,” said Scott Harris, local head referee. “But being a referee comes with some important responsibilities, and without the proper understanding of the rules of the game, refereeing may not be as an enjoyable experience as it could be.”

Harris will co-host the clinic with Stu Power, head referee of the Comox Valley Soccer Association.

This course is open to youth and coaches interested in learning the international FIFA – laws of the game. This referee refresher course will focus on those participants preparing to referee for the 2013 soccer season on the North Island. The minimum age to referee at the mini level (U-8) is 12 years old. Younger players who are interested in becoming referees in the future are encouraged to come to the clinic also and learn the laws of the game.

Coaches are also invited to come to one of the sessions and listen in and learn what the rules are so they better understand the challenge referees have when making quick decisions during the flow of a game.

“If there are any adult referees who are interested in a refresher course we are short of referees at the U-18 level and would encourage you to come out,” said Harris. “We are working to build a pool of qualified referees on the North Island and hope to see the youth/adults of the North Island communities come out to this course.”

To register, email Harris at morhar18@hotmail.com. For more information, he can be reached at 250-949-7959.