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Read articles about Iowa soccer referees in the news, Recertification & Registration, State Cup / President’s Cup, Midwest Regionals, Youth Nationals, et al.; catch up with RSS Feeds; review e-Mail archives of SDI-IA Bulletins and seasonal communications; subscribe to our e-Mail distribution list, and more.

Registration for 2022 is OPEN!

The Iowa Referee Committee (IRC) Registrar, Tyler Turner, has OPENED the 2022 Recertification & Registration Window with US Soccer for all Iowa Referees, Assessors, Assignors, and Instructors. US Soccer's 2022 registration year began on July 1, 2021. Go to the Recertification & Registration page for instructions on how to register for 2022.

Regional Referee Certification Requirements


An important reminder for those referees looking to upgrade from a Grassroots Referee to a Regional Referee. The criteria below, as established by US Soccer, are the only criteria which can be used when upgrading from a Grassroots Referee to a Regional Referee. This information can be found in the Learning Center under the RESOURCES tab. These criteria read as follows:


Please take note of the game counts required to begin the upgrade process. A spreadsheet detailing the games must be provided to the SDA and approved before you begin requesting upgrade assessments. Your game log should include the following information: Date of Game, Teams Involved, Final Score, Game Location, Name of Assignor. The IRC also recommends obtaining a Developmental Assessment within 3 months of beginning the upgrade process to gauge referee competence. This will allow the referee the best opportunity to be successful in the upgrade process.

Remember, all of the criteria (other than the game count) posted by US Soccer must be started and completed in the July 1 to June 30 window to be valid for the following year registration.

If you have any questions, please e-Mail the State Director of Assessment (SDA), Lance Mesman, or call 515-423-6013.

RSS Feeds


Stay current with the latest soccer referee news feeds from Feedspot.

RSS Feeds from the Professional Referee Organization (PRO) include news articles, interviews, MLS and international assignments for PRO referees, Inside Video Review, The Definitive Angle, … .

The Dutch Referee Blog feed features challenging weekly Laws of the Game Quizzes, Interviews, Case Studies, Refereeing Assistance Programme (RAP) downloads, ...

Other news sources include FIFA Referees News, reddit, RefChat, and Law 5 | The Referee.


Blogs, Podcasts, News, YouTube videos, and RSS feeds from one place.

US Soccer Referee Program


The US Soccer Referee Program site posts the latest Administration, Assessment, Fitness Testing, and Instruction information available for download from the Resource Center.


Iowa Delegation – 2021 Midwest Regionals

- by Kevin Stapleford, State Youth Referee Administrator (SYRA)


On June 25-30, 14 referees and 3 referee coaches attended the US Youth Soccer Midwest Regional Championships in St. Louis, MO. Group play took place Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday with a day off provided for the players and referees on Wednesday. The semifinals and finals were held Thursday and Friday.

The referees and referee coaches battled through humidity, thunderstorms and mosquitoes while representing Iowa with great success.

Eight of the referees and all 3 referee coaches received semifinal assignments. Charles Woodcock, Esad Omanovich, Nikki Schuppan, and Braxton Williams received finals assignments. Referee coaches Shane Smith and Lance Mesman also received finals assignments.

Because of their superior performances throughout the week, Charles Woodcock and Esad Omanovich were selected to officiate the USYS National Tournament in July. (Esad also represented Iowa in 2019).


2021 Midwest Regionals Delegation

Congratulations to all the referees and referee coaches who represented Iowa so well and brought great pride to the Iowa referee community.

Iowa Delegation – 2021 Region 2 Presidents Cup

- by Phil Watson, Head of Delegation

The 2021 US Youth Soccer Midwest Presidents Cup was held in West Chester, OH, June 17-21 at the Voice of America (VOA) MetroPark Athletic Complex. The 14 states that comprise the Midwest Region each sent a delegation of selected referees and referee coaches.

For the second year running, I was selected as the Iowa Head of Delegation (HOD), responsible for the logistics and support of the Iowa referee team.

The delegation members were: Phil Watson (HOD), Lou Agocs (COVID Captain), Jim Albertson (Mentor), Kelly Dunbar (Mentor), Esad Omanovic (Mentor), Beaux Blanchard, Jeff Blanchard, Mary Blanchard, Jonathan Hill, Aaron Iehl, Robert Kerwood, Ben Lloyd, Jeromy Metier, Haris Mujic, Blaise Rothwell, Matt Ryder, Nikki Schuppan, Rich Voyek, Braxton Williams. (Blake Read was selected, but unable to attend due to COVID issues.)


2021 Midwest Region Presidents Cup Delegation

If you would like to be considered for the 2022 Presidents Cup Tournament, please contact the State Youth Referee Administrator (SYRA), Kevin Stapleford.

The Iowa Delegation had an outstanding tournament with 10 of the 13 receiving assignments for the Semifinals or Finals.

Jonathan Hill was a Fourth Official on the 13U Boys Semifinal, refereed the 19U Boys Final and was selected to represent Iowa at the National Championships. He performed well on his Referee assignments, but it was his excellent performances as AR that put him on the radar. Matt Ryder was AR1 on the 13U Boys Final. Nikki Schuppan was AR1 on the 15U Girls Final.

In addition, the Referee Coach/Mentors all had Semifinal assignments with Jim Albertson and Phil Watson receiving Final assignments.

Special mentions go to:

Lou Agocs for being the perfect roommate and handling many administrative tasks in addition to his mentor role.

Jim Albertson for spending his time with us and helping another generation of referees. Having Jim around not only gave us a great mentor, but his long list of connections enabled him to represent all Iowa referees.

Kelly Dunbar for having knee surgery on Monday and leaving for the tournament on Wednesday. Although on crutches throughout, she never complained and carried out her duties, not just on the games, but being a great sounding board for the team.

Esad Omanovic took the opportunity to network and talk to as many people as he could for the benefit of Iowa referees.

Blaise Rothwell gave up an assignment as Referee so that Beaux Blanchard could be the Referee for one of the KFTMs.

Beaux Blanchard became our team mascot through his outstanding performances as AR.

The weather had a great impact on the tournament schedule. On the second day, a thunderstorm caused an hour’s delay. Overnight, there was a tornado warning and heavy rain. All the scheduled games for the third day were cancelled. Only one game was played Saturday and KFTM were held to determine which teams went through. There were 8 KFTM at a time on the two turf fields – Jim, Lou, Esad, and myself were there to observe and support. Each team took 11 kicks so all the players on a team could kick. Ties stood as this was the third day of group play.

The Semifinals and Finals were all played on Sunday – 8:00 a.m. ‘til 9:30 p.m. KOs. The Semifinals were played at three venues – nearly all turf. The Finals were all at VOA on the two turf fields.

I was proud of the entire delegation for staying at the complex to support Jonathan on his 19U Boys Final. I bet we were the ONLY delegation to support our referees like this. The camaraderie built during the tournament showed just how close this group became.

The tournament administration had a few problems with the Zoom meetings and timings; but, given the way the tournament schedule was thrown up in the air, they did a phenomenal job.

Due to the changes in the tournament schedule, the Delegation Dinner planned for Sunday evening was replaced by a Delegation Breakfast on Monday morning which was very appreciated by the team.

Thank you to the Iowa Referee Committee (IRC) for the support of our delegation!

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