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Referees flip coin ahead of kick off

Match official training expands for 2024

By League1 Ontario staff, 01/11/24, 4:00AM EST

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A dozen training sessions have been planned across London and Toronto to help officials prepare for the 2024 season.

Referees flip coin at start of game

The first 2024 training session for League1 Ontario match officials is taking place on Sunday, January 14 and kicks off a two-month development program across London and Greater Toronto Area.

The program returns after an extremely popular 2023 preseason training schedule, which ran for five weeks at the York University soccer dome. This year sees the addition of BMO Field as a training venue and six sessions will take place at both facilities, concluding in late March.

The training will provide match officials with the opportunity to learn and develop from experienced referee coaches, with each session including one hour of practical drills and two hours of classroom-based theory and activities.

Former FIFA official Tony Camacho is orchestrating the program as part of his role to support officials move through the soccer ranks.

“It’s extremely exciting to know that L1ON is once again willing to make a large investment in match officials’ training,” he said. “In 2023 we could accommodate 60 officials on the first come, first serve, acceptance basis, and we will double that number this year with the two venues, making travel easier and allowing for more participants.

“This presented a positive challenge for me to double the number of qualified instructors to assist me with this program, and I would like to thank the seven instructors that have committed to the 2024 training.

“This will be a very exciting season with promotion and relegation, and every decision made by the officials will be closely scrutinized by the participants. We’re excited to further develop, and challenge, our officials to improve on the L1ON field and give them the platform they need to step up through their own career pathway.”

Matthew Braithwaite, Managing Director of League1 Ontario, added: “The popularity of the sessions last year shows just how much referees are keen to improve their game, and potentially turn their passion into a professional career. 

“Expanding training this preseason will also develop cohesion and introduce officials to new colleagues and role models. This will continue to benefit officials in 2024 and beyond, and hopefully encourage more officials to aspire to join our group.”

Fourth Official holding up subs board