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Christina Unkel's CONCACAF Women’s U17 Championship blog

November 12, 2013

By Christina Unkel in Montego Bay, Jamaica

It was an honor to be assigned to the U17 CONCACAF Women’s Championships and I was excited to represent the USA at this prestigious event, which took place in Jamaica from October 30 to November 9.

The tournament was instructed and run by Brian Hall, former CONCACAF Director of Referees, Peter Prendergast, CONCACAF and FIFA Referee Instructor, Alfredo Whitaker, CONCACAF Referee Instructor and CFU Head of Refereeing, and Alan Brown, CONCACAF Fitness Referee Trainer.

I received the assignment as the center referee for the opening match between Mexico and Haiti on October 30th. As it was my first CONCACAF tournament, I certainly appreciated the gesture and belief in my skills to set the tone for the event in the first game.

I was fortunate to be the only official to receive a second center referee assignment during group play. It was an important match between hosts Jamaica, and Mexico. This game was not only important because it featured the host country, but the winner of the match determined who was seeded first and second in their group.

The match had a lot of excitement and was attended by over 5,000 passionate Jamaicans, including the President of the Jamaica Football Federation, Captain Horace Burrell, which made for a great atmosphere.

During group play I also acted as a fourth official for the Mexico versus El Salvador match.

Every day, while in Jamaica, all officials received field training, classroom instruction, game review, in-depth mentoring, and instruction on the Laws of the Game.

The day I wasn’t in action, I attended two matches in the evening. We came together to review the games the next morning.

Additionally, we individually and collectively trained with Alan Brown, who regularly works with CONCACAF's World Cup candidates.

Attending the tournament as an assigned official was a proud moment for me. It was an invaluable learning experience and a fantastic introduction to a new style of officiating. I look forward to any future assignments and opportunities that may be presented to me in the future.

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