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'A concrete, solution-driven plan': Iowa Soccer Association looks to less referee shortage

Referees are essential for sports, but the need for referees seems to keep increasing each year.

DES MOINES, Iowa — Between 2018 and 2022, the number of certified soccer referees in Iowa decreased by 46%. 

The Iowa Soccer Association is working to fix that.

The organization is investing over a quarter million dollars over the next two years through its new referee development program.

Part of the programming will include how to address participants' behavior during games. The program aims to recruit, retain, train, and support referees, which can ultimately lead to increasing the number of certified soccer referees in Iowa. 

"Investing in a concrete solution-driven plan, that looks long term and actually spending the money to do things, not just create plans, but create investment plans we believe is the best path to long term success," said CEO Dan Cataldi.

The program is slated to launch in the 2023-24 seasonal year and is free for Iowa Soccer members. Program applications will be available to member clubs later this spring. 

For more information about Iowa Soccer's Referee Development Program, click here.

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