It Is Easy to Have High School Soccer Referees

(Editor’s note: Rather than paying trained officials to referee soccer at CIF-Southern Section schools, athletic directors are told to find anyone they can to officiate high school soccer.)High school referees have finished classes, taken the tests and are certified to referee high school soccer matches.

Unfortunately, the CIF-Southern Section does not want to pay an additional $17 for a junior varsity referee and has threatened to sanction any school that will.

By comparison, for a club soccer match of 8-year-olds, with a sixty-minute game (two 30-minute halves), a referee is paid $66 – and the field is small, usually one-third the size of a regular soccer field.

A high school JV game at Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, Crossroads, Loyola, Windwood pays $61 for a 70-minute game (two thirty-five-minute halves), on a full field.

JV refs are asking to be compensated $77. Varsity refs, which play an 80-minute game (two 40-minute halves) are asking for $88 (currently they make $75).

By comparison, high school football refs make $123 for the head referee and $122 for other refs on a varsity game.  Boy’s lacrosse varsity refs are making $96.

Schools are unclear what to do because they are worried about sanctions that CIF could institute if a school paid a soccer ref an extra $13 for a varsity game.

Now schools are reaching out to refs, individually.

This editor received a message from Costa Mesa in Manhattan Beach reminding me that the seniors were not able to play because of Covid, that it was important that kids have a season and wanted to know if I could ref some games.

I am ready, but it is the principle. Why should I make less at a high school game than refing 8-year-olds?

The high school season is being held in jeopardy by the CIF Southern Section Commissioner Mike West. All he needs to do is to allow schools to pay a few extra dollars, and the refs are ready to go.

One ref who lives in Pacific Palisades has crafted the following response—and feel free to send it to your child’s school and to other parents:

We’d all like to have a season, but the way that CIF-SS has treated the soccer officials over the past 18 months is pretty contemptible.

Instead of trying to recruit potential scab officials, I would encourage you to use your efforts to get CIF-SS to come to the table with the SCSOA leadership and come to an equitable agreement on fees.

To be frank, CIF-SS works for you and the rest of the member schools.  They are trying to hide behind their “process” and “bylaws” to say they can’t negotiate.  You, the member schools, can empower them to negotiate.  Ultimately, they work for you, not the other way around.

As an independent contractor I will wait until the leadership of our SCSOA unit has verification from your school’s upper administration verifying a more reasonable game fee will be paid to all soccer referees, I (nor do I think the vast majority of my soccer referee colleagues) will NOT referee at yours or any other Southern Section school at the rates CIF-SS has currently dictated.



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One Response to It Is Easy to Have High School Soccer Referees

  1. Jonny Joseph says:

    High school soccer referees deserve the respect and appreciation for giving of their time and effort (upwards of 3 miles per game) so that high school student athletes can enjoy the safe, fair and fun competitive environment that properly trained officials offer. The discrimination that appears evident against the sport with the most high school participants is disappointing. It is now time for schools to demonstrate how much they care fir their student-athletes. I hope they care enough.

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