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Referee News and Tips

10 Ways to be a Better Assessor

Assessors can have a positive impact on referees when they perform assessments. However, it is critical for assessors to develop a positive experience and connect well with the referees to ensure that your message is received. Evaluating and mentoring referees is a valuable process in the improvement of our referees, and our assessors have been trained to deliver valuable data. Below are 10 ways to become a better assessor:

  1. Arrive early to the game and introduce yourself to the referee team.
  2. Let the referees know that you're there to support them - develop teamwork among you and the referees.
  3. Evaluate the referees' performances based on the AYSO official criteria.
  4. Point out performances that demonstrated good skills and generated good results.
  5. During the debriefing step, listen to the referee to understand rather than to respond.
  6. Use compassion when you discuss areas for improvement.
  7. Provide honest feedback - what referees need to hear, not what they would like to hear.
  8. Identify no more than three top issues for improvement and related options.
  9. Ask provocative questions to generate awareness and get commitment.
    • "What was the reaction of #5 after you cautioned him?"
    • "Could you have used a different approach/technique to caution #5?"
    • "What did you see when several players went to the ground in the 38th minute?"
  10. Offer to follow up with and support the referees with their action plans for improvement.

  11. And as a bonus, here's an eleventh way you can become a better assessor after you complete each assessment:

  12. Share your assessor experiences with your peers and discuss the required skills to help bring consistency in the delivery of the assessment program.

The assessment process takes time and effort and it requires a good connection between the assessor and the referees. Thank you for helping us evaluate and mentor our referee community. Read the details of the assessment process in the National Referee Program Manual and the Referee Mentor Handbook which are available at Please contact Tom Bobadilla if you have additional questions or need more information.
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