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News from the SRA


        News From The SRA

      During August and September soccer season, when heat and humidity wears on everyone, the cool fall season temps seem so distantly removed.  But, as we are in the middle of fall season and enjoying milder temps, we know that the cold season games of November and December are just around the corner and the heat and humidity days of Aug/Sept so distantly removed.  It’s true as the saying “what goes around comes around” that as fall starts to wind down, our premier soccer event in Tennessee returns. The grand finale of the 2015 soccer year is TSSA’s State Championships!

When: Nov. 13-15, 2015
Where: Richard Siegel Park, Murfreesboro, TN
Boys Division 1: U14-U18*
Boys Division 2: U14-U18*
Boys Division 3: U14-U16

      TSSA’s State Championship Tournament is our highest level of youth soccer.  Games will be critical and here’s why:  

  • Only one team from each age category will be crowned TSSA champion.
  • Parents of players spend a substantial portion of time and discretionary income for their kids to play plus hotel and travel costs.
  • Coaches might have their positions on the line.

     Taking into account why this tournament is so critical to parents, players and coaches, it is equally important for us, as soccer officials, to place the same importance on these games and why we became a soccer official in the first place.

      Yes, some of us do it solely for the extra income. Some do it because soccer is so much “in their blood” that being a soccer official offers them the chance to be right in the middle of something exciting and constantly challenging. Others might do it for self-improvement and keeping fit.  However, there are some of you that continue as a soccer official to become the best official you can be out of pride and professionalism.

      It’s the pride and professionalism part that I’d like to place added emphasis and how that directly ties into our TSSA State Championship tournament.  All referees State 6 are required to attend and work a minimum number of games for their 2016 recertification. TSSA understands that we are all busy with family, work, college matches, etc.; however, TSSA wants to be totally accommodating as possible by offering to pay travel and hotel costs for soccer officials attending this event.  Unlike Regional’s, where soccer officials are not compensated game fees, TSSA pays all officials/assessors a game fee.  Basically I am asking our State 6 referees to volunteer their TIME.  Why?  Because as an upper level soccer official it is what separates you from the pack and should be for the one true reason you decided to become a State Referee …. It’s PROFESSIONALISM and the desire to improve your skills and contribute back to the program that really separates you from others.  Referees grade 7 are also critical to this tournament’s success and are highly encouraged to submit availability.

      Lastly, as a State Referee, you are being counted on by more than just your SRA.  It’s the players, coaches and parents that are counting on YOU to officiate their matches! You are our most experienced/trained officials and have the highest propensity to successfully officiate a match by accurately applying The Laws and following TSSA tournament rules.

  Best Wishes,



How do special-cases officials register for 2016?


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 (one of the three SOTNU events that were held) plus those who were excused from attending it,
  • referees who are expecting in-service-training credit for attending an SOTU event, the new online recertification class, or some other approved event,
  • instructors, and/or
  • assessors.

Please go to the following URL for more information and/or to register for 2016(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 2016. On the other hand, if you are planning a mid-year upgrade sometime in 2016, 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

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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.