Idaho Youth Soccer Association in partnership with Idaho Soccer Referee Committee (ISRC) and Idaho State Soccer Association (ISSA) Secures $167,545 Innovate to Grow Grant from US Soccer for Innovative Referee Recruitment and Retention Program
BOISE, ID — January 23, 2023 — The Idaho Youth Soccer Association (IYSA), in collaboration with the Idaho Soccer Referee Committee (ISRC) and the Idaho State Soccer Association (ISSA), are thrilled to announce the approval of a $167,545 Innovate to Grow grant from US Soccer for the Idaho Referee Recruitment and Retention Program. This groundbreaking initiative is a forward-thinking approach to tackling the crucial task of identifying, developing, and retaining referees within our state. It’s a positive step towards enhancing the skills of referees at all stages, showing a strong commitment to their growth and sustained excellence in officiating.
The Idaho Referee Recruitment and Retention Program comprises four key initiatives designed to elevate the skills, knowledge, and overall experience of referees throughout the state:
Tournament Referee Education Initiative: Enhancing the skills and knowledge of referees through targeted training during tournaments.
Young Referee Protection Initiative: Promoting a respectful environment for young referees to learn and grow, ensuring their protection.
Statewide Mentoring Initiative: Providing consistent mentoring to new referees across the state to increase retention.
Advanced Referee Development Initiative: Equipping referees with advanced skills and experience to officiate high-level competitive matches.
Craig Warner, Executive of the Idaho Youth Soccer Association, expressed his excitement about the program, stating,
“This approval from US Soccer marks a significant milestone for soccer in Idaho. The Idaho Referee Recruitment and Retention Program is not only a solution to our current referee situation but also a testament to the collaborative spirit within our soccer community. This grant is a game-changer for the development of referees and will undoubtedly elevate the quality of matches across the state.”
The approval of the grant underscores the commitment of US Soccer to invest in the growth and sustainability of youth soccer programs. This grant will directly benefit all kids and adults participating in soccer throughout the state, ensuring a more positive and enriching experience for both players and officials.
“IYSA, ISRC, and ISSA came together with an ambitious response to a common challenge, and we are grateful for the full support of US Soccer. This grant will enable us to implement initiatives that not only enhance the skills of referees but also create a nurturing environment for our young officials to thrive,” added Warner.
The Idaho Referee Recruitment and Retention Program is set to kick off this year and go through 2026. The program’s implementation is expected to have a lasting impact on the soccer community in Idaho, fostering a culture of excellence and respect.
For further information and updates on the Idaho Referee Recruitment and Retention Program, please stay tuned for the official press release to be shared with IYSA membership and news outlets in the coming days.
About Idaho Youth Soccer Association
The Idaho Youth Soccer Association (IYSA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to the development of youth soccer in Idaho. With a commitment to fostering a positive and inclusive soccer culture, IYSA provides opportunities for players, coaches, and referees to engage with the sport at all levels.
For media inquiries, please contact:
Director of Marketing and Communications
Idaho Youth Soccer Association