Iowa Soccer Association Iowa Referee Committee
Organizations form strategic partnership as foundation to take on referee shortage
DES MOINES, Iowa (April 6, 2023) – Iowa Soccer and the Iowa Referee Committee (IRC) have inked a formal agreement aimed at increasing the number of referees in Iowa. The IRC is U.S. Soccer’s designated organization in Iowa to lead referee programming, while Iowa Soccer is U.S. Soccer’s governing membership body for youth and adult soccer with programming that includes scheduling thousands of games each season.
Between 2018 and 2022 the number of certified soccer referees in Iowa decreased by 46%. It is no longer guaranteed that youth or adult matches will have enough, or any, referees. The absence of officiating has an impact on the game experience for all involved – players, coaches, and supporters.
Through specific programming, that includes addressing participants’ behavior during games, the strategic alliance will leverage the strengths of both organizations to achieve the goals to recruit, retain, train, and support referees, ultimately increasing the number of certified referees in Iowa and improving the game experience for all involved.
“Our member youth clubs and adult leagues across the state see the referee shortage as one of the most urgent problems impacting the experience their players and families have. This partnership will allow two strong organizations to work together to turn the trend around. We are excited to get to work to offer innovative and creative solutions that will directly impact the referee experience, as well as the experiences of everyone involved in the game in our state” said Dan Cataldi, CEO of Iowa Soccer.
Rob Sorey, the State Referee Administrator for the IRC added, “as our players grow and continue to get better, the only way to continue this development is to develop all other factors in the equation. This includes our referees. We all have a role to play in the development of soccer and we have been losing referees at an alarming rate, especially post-covid. This relationship will help bring us all together on the same page working toward a common goal.”
Stay tuned: In late-April we will announce an historic financial investment by Iowa Soccer and the IRC and share program details, including how to get involved.
About Iowa Soccer – Iowa Soccer is US Soccer’s state-level governing body for youth and adult soccer in Iowa. Our mission is to provide soccer opportunities as we aspire to make soccer the sport of choice in our state. We embrace collaboration, strong member relations, innovative thinking, and technology to drive the growth of our sport as we serve our growing membership. #IowaSoccer #Pathways #Opportunities - For more information visit iowasoccer.org.
About the Iowa Referee Committee – The Iowa Referee Committee is a 501c3 organization that is authorized by the United States Soccer Federation to recruit, train, certify, and develop soccer referees in the state of Iowa. It is run entirely by volunteers and led by the State Referee Administrator in accordance with US Soccer policies and bylaws.