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