Major League Soccer
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Positive effect of PRO referee program highlighted at CONCACAF Symposium

Oct 20, 2014

Brian Hall believes the positive effect of PRO's referee program was highlighted at the recent CONCACAF Referee Symposium in Costa Rica.

The event took place at the beginning of October and was focused on the non-technical side to refereeing, like player management.

Over 50 participants were in attendance, made up of a number of FIFA instructors and CONCACAF referees who work in the top divisions of their countries, including PRO representatives Armando Villarreal, Drew Fischer, Marcos De Oliveira, Mathieu Bourdeau, Karen Abt and Danielle Chesky.

“The Symposium highlighted all the fantastic benefits that PRO is giving our officials,” Hall, PRO's Matfh Official Development Manager, reflected to 

“They're very fortunate with the program structure and instruction from PRO and the United States Soccer Federation.

“Our officials represented the Organization very well and it was a great opportunity to see the educated questions that they were able to ask, and educated answers they were able to give when they were posed with questions regarding officiating at all levels. 

“When people think of PRO in other countries, they think of Mark Geiger. Mark is the face of PRO on the international scene, and deservedly so, but all the FIFA instructors and other referees were able to see the impact that PRO has had at levels below Mark Geiger.”

PRO's World Cup referee Geiger was invited to the Symposium as a guest speaker, as well as several other top-class officials including Marco Rodriguez of Mexico.

Geiger and Rodriguez participated in the classroom side of the event, with field sessions also taking place over the two a half days in Costa Rica.

Hall added: “It was pretty amazing because we had 10 World Cup referees as instructors, with 139 years of FIFA referee experience between them.

“We were fortunate that Mark Geiger was invited as a speaker and he gave a phenomenal presentation on what it takes to be a World Cup referee, and the key factors behind it.

“For the participants, the focus was to motivate them and give them the feel for what it takes to reach the top.

“The camaraderie at the event was fantastic, considering some of them had never met. You could see the relationships building as they had positive interactions between themselves.

“Getting to know referees from other nations in CONCACAF will be very useful if the officials make it to the top.”

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