Advanced Referee Camp

May 20, 2019

Calgary, AB - On the weekend of May 18-19, 2019, the Calgary and District Soccer Referees

Association (CDSRA) hosted the first Advanced Referee Camp at Mount Royal University


Soccer referees of all ages and all abilities from across the province of Alberta were invited to

participate in this event, that was hopefully the first of many to come.

The purpose of the event was to bring in some of the top referee instructors from across Canada

to help in the development of soccer referees in Alberta.

The camp had a variety of topics that were covered for the referees in attendance. FIFA Referee

Instructor Michelle Pye of Vancouver taught three 90 minute sessions over the weekend. She

brought the unique perspective of a FIFA referee to the group. She also taught about game

management, which included topics such as body language, personality, being dynamic, and how

to set the tone of the game as a referee.

David O’Neill (Alberta Soccer Association Referee Development Officer and National

Instructor) and Richard Sansregret (National Instructor and CDSRA representative) taught

lessons on topics such as: offside and teamwork, free zone, transition, counter attack, penalty

area dynamism, along with a session on reading the game and positioning.

Dr. Laurie Fisher (biomechanical kinesiologist and massage therapist) also taught a session for

the referees on the best current practices in stretching, warming up and cooling down before and

after a game. Dr. Fisher is a well-respected professional in Calgary who has done much work

with soccer referees over the past few years to help them meet their physical potential.

The final instructor for the weekend was FIFA referee Dave Gantar of Edmonton. Dave Gantar

came to instruct the officials about goal setting. His key message was that there are many ways

to shorten the distance to a person’s goals by taking the time to process where you are and how

you can realistically develop your skills through visioning your path.

Michelle’s husband, National Referee Alain Ruch, refereed the CPL soccer game between

Cavalry FC and FC Edmonton on Saturday night at Spruce Meadows. On Sunday morning there

was a debrief session that Michelle Pye led with the other instructors, to discuss some of the key

moments and referee decisions of the game with the officials at the camp. The game was live

streamed for the group to watch at MRU on Saturday afternoon.

The weekend was a massive success with 29 referees paid in attendance. There was a financial

cost of $125 per person to attend, along with the cost of giving up two days on the May long


The immediate feedback from the officials in attendance has been superb.

“The Advanced Referee Camp was by far the best two-day camp I have ever attended. The

diverse topics and engagement of the students were outstanding. I cannot wait for next year.

Every referee should find this absolutely invaluable,” said Sebastian Richters, 26, from Calgary.

Nik Rasula, a 62-year-old regional referee said; “I attended the ARC as I strive to live a life of

continuous improvement in all aspects. The weekend was a great experience. To be involved

with discussion on plays controversial and those less so, was great. Getting input from

experiences gleaned by FIFA referees Michelle Pye and Dave Gantar was invaluable.”

With the great success of the camp this year, the CDSRA will consider hosting another one next

year. The focus for the camp is for all referees, assessors and instructors to learn as much about

the game as they can for their various roles in soccer today. Look for information about the next

camp in the winter of 2019

Article Author: Steve Papp