Mason Friman and Cameron Grant consider their answers to a quiz held as part of the free soccer referee clinic held Saturday at Sunset Elementary School.

Mason Friman and Cameron Grant consider their answers to a quiz held as part of the free soccer referee clinic held Saturday at Sunset Elementary School.

Ref hopefuls hard at it

PORT McNEILL—More than two dozen young referee hopefuls took advantage of a free clinic Saturday

PORT McNEILL—More than two dozen young referee hopefuls took advantage of a free clinic Saturday at Sunset Elementary School, and many of them put their newfound skills to work the following day as the 2012 North Island Youth Soccer season kicked off.

Saturday’s clinic, sponsored by NIYS and organized by Scott and Dianne Harris of Port Hardy, featured sanctioned BC Soccer referee instructor Stu Power of Comox. Power, a friend of Scott Harris’s father in the valley, was appearing in his fifth referee clinic on the North Island.

The clinic drew 27 youths age 12 and over for a morning session on refereeing “mini” soccer games, for players 10-under. Seven of the prospective officials, 14 or older, remained for the afternoon session on the rules for divisional, or competitive play.

The clinics featured both classroom instruction and on-field components. On the field, Power used game situations to show referees how to position themselves properly on the field, use hand signals and when to blow their whistles.

Inside, students were explained rules and completed a quiz given at the end of the clinic.

Snacks were provided by North Island Youth Soccer during the clinic, and lunch was included for those who remained for the afternoon divisional clinic.

As the clinic wrapped up, participants were given final instructions on how to be prepared for their first games the next day, including appropriate clothing and necessary tools like a whistle and watch.

The season opened Sunday for all age groups, with games in Port Hardy and Port McNeill. The first tournament of the spring is the annual Port McNeill Mud Bowl, scheduled for May 5-6.