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SOTN News from the SRA

Welcome to the The Soccer Officials of Tennessee (SOT) website!

        Is spring weather ever going arrive?  I’d bet that most soccer officials across the state have experienced cabin fever with so many games cancelled because of wet, snowy or icy weather conditions. In the west part of TN, Mike Rose Soccer Complex started 2015 spring season for youth and adult soccer almost 5 weeks ago and have played less than one week because of field conditions.  Reports are similar across all six districts in TN. Referee assignors are going crazy with reschedules and all.

      Speaking of field conditions but on a different note, in late February I had the opportunity to visit my youngest son, Drew, in Beijing, China for two weeks.  Speaking fluent Chinese, he was able to show me a part of China that the average tourist never gets to experience. What amazed me the most, besides the sites and cuisine, was the passion for soccer, and the ability of human beings to adapt and find a way to make soccer work whatever their environs offered.   In Beijing, the second largest city in the world at 25 million people with very limited options for inner city kids to have a playing surface, I saw six u/12 age players improvise a playing surface in a tiny area squeezed between two street food vendors and a corner farmers market next to a major street with vehicular traffic you would not believe (no telling what the liability exposure was but then again, China does not have the same legal system that we have in the US).   In the outskirts of Suzhou, a mid-size city of 5 mill and 800 miles from Beijing in the remote south of China, playing surface was more available but fielding a full squad wasn’t as I could not but laugh at the sight of 4 young girls passing a worn soccer ball with a rooster and three hens frantically trying to chase the ball!

       I share the above stories only to show how really fortunate we are in Tennessee (and the US) to be able to offer our youth/adult players, as well as soccer officials, real soccer fields (in most instances), nice uniforms and equipment as well as organization in the form of TSSA and SOTN.  I guess a little rain and snow is a minor inconvenience in comparison to what I witnessed in China and playing field conditions that are much more than a minor inconvenience.

     On the domestic front pertaining to soccer events in Tennessee, our 2015 intermediate and advance referee training will be something new and exciting, not to mention convenient.  Last year’s advance training was at Father Ryan HS using an all-day “collage curriculum” classroom format.  We will continue to use that type format but in alternating years.  So, this year, instead of one site, one venue, we will be offering our intermediate/advanced training (for certain referee grades/grade maintenance) a “travelling” clinic facilitated by SOTN University.   Details are still in the formative stages (should be finalized in late April) but I can announce that there will be three events, one each in the west/middle/east, instructors will be a combination of TN National Referee’s, respected high level instructors, referees and assessors from outside TN.  Being sensitive to NCAA assignments in the fall, I will be taking into account dates that hopefully will to not conflict with most of the upper grade referees schedules.

      For those of you who are wanting to “whistle” adult amateur games this fall 2015 and are not grade 7 and or have not taken a modified fitness test, please contact your DRA immediately!! …. Advise him that you want to start or continue “whistling” adult games and he will get you qualified to do so.

    Lastly, as I sit here typing this latest update of SOTN news while in Chicago, O’Hare International Airport waiting for my flight back to Memphis after attending the annual SRA workshop, I am excited with more info for you that will be forthcoming in next month’s “news from the SRA”, that will benefit the assignor/referee relationship, referee/assessor Region III selections as well as ODP referee selections.


Remain professional and SMILE!



Mike Candebat

SRA Tennessee

How do special-cases officials register for 2015?


Special cases are officials who will not recertify by taking a run-of-the-mill recert clinic. Special cases typically include officials who satisfy any of the following:

  • referees grade 6, 7, 15 & 16,
  • referees who attended the advanced clinic (plus those who were excused from attending it),
  • referees who are expecting in-service-training credit for attending an SOT University,
  • instructors, and/or
  • assessors.

Please go to the following URL for more information and/or to register for 2015 (that is, to pay your registration fee(s), to complete your 'paperwork,' and to take the appropriate refresher exam).


Note: If you are a referee who will be upgrading (instead of recertifying) for 2015, do not follow the special-cases instructions for your referee registration. Instead, follow the instructions you have or will have received from Brady regarding how to register as a referee for 2015. On the other hand, if you are planning a mid-year upgrade sometime in 2015, follow the special-cases instructions given at the above URL.


Walt Heatherly

Walt Heatherly has been selected as the Region III Youth Referee of the YEAR!

  • The Youngest Referee grade 7 in TN History
  • The Youngest Referee grade 6 in TN History
  • The Youngest ever from TN to attend Region III tournament - 14 Years Old
  • Selected to attend Region III tournament 4 Years in a row
  • Selected by Region III to represent Region III at the National Tournament as one of the Best Referees in Region III
  • Selected as Tennessee Youth Referee of the Year

Walt has become a staple in TN Soccer, he represents the State of Tennessee, his parents and himself with dignity.  He is the first referee on an assignors list when they have difficult games to assign.  His maturity on the pitch belie his true age - great work Walt! 

Upcoming Events

  • May
  • 15
State Division 3 Tournament
  • All Day Event Ical_event_icon
  • Moss Wright Soccer Park, Goodlettsville, TN
  • May 15-17

  • Tag(s): Home 
  • May
  • 16
  • All Day Event Ical_event_icon
  • Williamson County Soccer Association - Franklin, TN
  • May 16-17

  • Tag(s): Home 
  • May
  • 29
State Division 1 & 2 Tournament
  • All Day Event Ical_event_icon
  • Richard Siegel Park, Murfreesboro, TN
  • May 29-31

  • Tag(s): Home 


Who Must take the FIFA Sprint and Interval test (Test will be offered at the advanced clinic on July 26, 2014).

  • All Grade 6 Referees who wish to recertify for 2015 at current or higher grade.

Grade 7 referees' (Or grade 8's in the upgrade program) who wish to receive priority assignments in adult matches will have a new fitness test available in multiple locations this fall.

What will happen to Grade 5 Referees on Jan 2015?

  • SOT will recertify all grade 5's as State Referee Grade 6 on Jan 1, 2015
  • Any Grade 5's entering the USSF program for Nationals will be also processed by USSF and upgraded back to a grade 5 in USSF system.