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August 28, 2007 > New referees tune-up for upcoming season

New referees tune-up for upcoming season

By Biff Jones

Newark Soccer Club (NSC) held its annual Newark Referee Classic (NRC) at Newark's Silliman Center Fields Saturday and Sunday, August 18-19. They have been holding this pre-season youth soccer tournament for over two decades.

Soccer enthusiasts, ages fourteen to unlimited, are eligible to become a United States
Soccer Federation (USSF) and FIBA grade eight referee after concluding eighteen hours of classes plus a three hour field session. Students can take the class at thirteen or younger but cannot referee a game until they have turned at least fourteen. The eighteen hours can be taken in any combination that is agreeable to the students and instructors such as two nine-hour sessions, three six-hour, nine two-hour or any other combination totaling eighteen hours. NSC held classes for the new referees participating in this tournament. Other soccer clubs also hold the same classes but do not necessarily have a pre-season tournament. A grade eight referee can move up to grade seven after one year, taking an eight hour class and passing a field assessment.

Grade four referees are USSF national class two referees and grade three are national class one refs. These referees are then positioned to become FIFA (Federation of International Football Associations) grade two and grade one referees. Grade two are the assistant referees (formerly called linesman) and grade one are the center referees. FIBA referees train to become AR or CR officials, they do not do both.

NRC consisted of four tournaments at the division three level of competition. There were both girl's and boy's under-12 and under-14 divisions. U-12 girls have a fill in team who play at the division four level because only five division three level teams registered. The other three divisions each had eight division four level teams divided into two, Orange (OF) and Black (BF), four team flights.

Bay Area teams participating were as follows: U-12 girls, OF-Newark Celtics, Danville Mustang Tornados, Castro Valley Earthquakes; BF-Union City Alliance FC Diamond Girls, Alameda Islanders, and Newark Knockouts (division four). U-12 boys, OF-Newark Arsenal, Dublin Storm, Castro Valley Chivas, Livermore Elite Clash; BF-Newark Earth- quakes, FC Fremont Rayos, Almaden Stealth, Union City Alliance FC Chivas. U-14 girls, OF-Newark Mayhem, San Bruno Panthers, Hayward Hot Shots, Livermore Elite Arsenal; BF-Danville Mustang Magic, San Ramon Blast, FC Fremont Storm, Sunnyvale Storm. U-14 boys, OF-FC Fremont Machines, West Contra Costa Alliance Dragons, NV Milpitas Thunder, Santa Cruz Flames; BF-Castro Valley United, Almaden Blast, Tracy, Walnut Creek Galacticos.

In the playoffs on Sunday, U-12 girls saw Earthquakes defeat Knockouts 3-0 in the consolation game for third and fourth place, and Diamond Girls defeat Tornados 6-0 in the championship game for first and second place. U-12 boys, consolation, Earthquakes 4, Arsenal 1; championship, Rayos 6, Storm 1. U-14 girls, consolation, Arsenal 3, Fremont Storm 2; championship, Mayhem vs. Magic in game of the day. U-14 Boys, consolation, Thunder 2, United 1; championship, Machines 5, Tracy 2.

After two long days of soccer, the last game of the day, U-14 girl's championship, was the best and longest game of the tournament. After full time, Newark Mayhem and Danville Mustang Magic had played to a 1-1 tie. The match would now go into extra-time with two, if necessary, ten minute sessions scheduled. Each ten minute session would be played to full time as no "Golden Goal" or sudden death goal would be used in this tournament. If the score was tied after the first session, a second session would be played to full time. If still tied after the second session, then penalty kicks (PK) would determine the winner.

With players, parents, coaches and referees ready to head home after the long week-end, the girls drug the game out almost as long as they could. Neither team scored in the first ten minutes of extra-time forcing another ten minutes. Finally with about a minute and a half of the second session to play, Melissa Jones of Mayhem launched a high shot from just outside the penalty box toward the Magic goal. The ball soared over the Danville goalie and just snuck in under the cross bar into the net. Newark had its go ahead goal and after another ninety seconds or so of play, the referee blew the final whistle to give the U-13 Mayhem team a 2-1 championship victory over their older U-14 counter-parts from Danville.

Congratulations to Roddy Lopez and his fellow NSC personnel for a well run tournament and the launching of a new set of young soccer referees. Special thanks also, to referee Bill Baker and Mayhem Coach Jesse Vieira for their input and to photographers Vieira and Don Jedlovec for the photos.

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