- About PRO
Name: Bill Dittmar
Date of Birth: 04/15/1965
Professional Debut: DC United vs Tampa Bay Mutiny – MLS - 10/10/1996
MLS Playoff quarterfinal and semifinal – 1996
NCAA Men's Final Four - 2010, 2011, 2012
Real Madrid vs. Everton – 2013
MLS All Star match - 2013
Portland Timbers vs. Seattle Sounders - 2013 MLS Playoff Western Conference semifinal
Sporting Kansas City vs. Real Salt Lake - MLS Cup Final 2013
How did you get into officiating?
One of my first mentors, Bob Cummings, invited me to start refereeing NCAA soccer the year after I finished playing college ball. I also refereed USSF and first became a USSF National Referee in 1997.
What was the biggest challenge you faced while progressing through the ranks to become an official?
I think that the biggest challenge we all face while progressing through the ranks is trying to maintain the balance between the demands of our family life, our business life and our careers as professional officials. I would not have been able to do what I've done without the incredible support from my wife Heidi, along with the rest of my family.
Who has had the biggest influence on your career and why?
There are so many people. One thing I am sure of is that we never get anywhere by ourselves and I must say thank you to all those who cared enough to help build me into a better official and a better person. Your journey as an official is made up of thousands of speckles of wisdom you gain from others you meet along the way. I think the most important determining factor of the level of one's success relates directly to all those you have shared these great experiences with on and off the field.
What has been the highlight of your career so far?
Refereeing in front of my whole family plus 78,004 fans in Giants Stadium for a match between Manchester United and Juventus in 2004. The MLS All Star game was also incredible.
What advice would you pass on to an aspiring official?
Base your officiating success not on what games you get or how you compare to others, but on how you make the most of the countless opportunities you have to build relationships with wonderful people. The most important quality you can have as an official is a 'serving heart' combined with a love and passion to be around the game. Try to serve the needs of others before your own, keep your own ego in check and you will have a wonderful career.