Soccer refereeing delivers skills, good pay

Charisse Woods, who has been a soccer referee since she was 12, enjoys refereeing and credits it with helping her acquire several skills.  - Photo contributed
Charisse Woods, who has been a soccer referee since she was 12, enjoys refereeing and credits it with helping her acquire several skills.
— image credit: Photo contributed

Soccer is the world’s most played, most popular sport.

Salmon Arm fits the trend, with more than 1,100 young people playing ‘the beautiful game’ last season, not to mention all the adults who participate in various leagues.

While coaches and players are key to the game, so is another group. Referees.

Charisse Woods, 19, has been a referee since she was 12. She enjoys it, has developed skill from it and would recommend it to others.

“I enjoy refereeing soccer because it is a very different view of the game... It gives me the opportunity to see all kinds of different styles of playing the game, as well as different skill levels. Each level of soccer has its perks for the referee and each is very different,” she says.

Woods has gained a lot of skills from refereeing, the main one, confidence in herself. Another is not caring too much  what people think of her.

“They may call me the worst referee ever to my face, and I can smile back and say to myself, ‘Thanks, I think I’m amazing.’ Most of all it’s the ability to realize soccer is a game, everything is in the moment, and what people may say is not what they mean. Things may get heated, words may be said, but at the end of the day I’m out there to be fair and just to both teams so that everyone can have a safe, fun game.”

And she highly recommends everyone becomes a referee – from players to parents – in order to either create confidence or learn the rules of the game.

“If we all know the rules of the game there will be less angst on the side lines and on the field. We won’t have those shy little girls crying on the side lines because the adults behind her are giving her such a hard time. At the end of the day, soccer is a game played for fun, good-sportsmanship and some friendly competition. If we are all better informed and respectful of each other, we can all watch that shy little girl have the confidence to be herself.”

Peter Weicker will begin his sixth season of refereeing this year. He, too, enjoys it, particularly the aspect of running the game and making sure it’s safe and under control. Plus, he’s pleased with the wages.

“The money is nice – very, very nice. They reward us well for our time.”

He’s also pleased referee-in-chief Robert Hargreaves has returned.

“One thing I’m very glad about, our coordinator from a couple of years ago is back and had his job reinstated. That’s very nice.”

Hargreaves, meanwhile, welcomes new and returning referees, noting the job “gives them management skills, communication skills, gives them self-confidence or grows their self-confidence if they’ve already got it.”

A referee course for people 14 and older is coming up on March 23-25, while a course for those as young as 12 goes April 1. For more information, email 2012-03-15


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