Teal Shirt Campaign
Decrease Harassment Increase Retention
Provide More Support Create a Better Calgary Soccer Culture
What's Going On?
The pause of play generated by COVID-19 shutdowns has forced many referees to leave the sport they love and find work in different fields. Recognizing that referees are an integral part of the soccer experience, CMSA has launched the Teal Shirt Campaign to ensure that the recruitment and initial training of all referees is done with the upmost care as an aid in referee retention.
You are always expected to be respectful to referees, especially first years. In order for youth soccer in Calgary to staff and retain the necessary number of referees needed for all league games, we need a complete buy in from all of our members. This requires a total encompassing community effort. This is a continuous process, and will require consistent attention for years to come.
First year referee's deserve to be protected, supported and mentored as they progress on their officiating journey. To help support our first year referees, CMSA is launching an initiative called the Teal Shirt Campaign.
What We Are Doing
Starting this outdoor season, CMSA now supplies all newly graduated referees with a Teal Shirt to wear on match day as a reminder to all participants that these match officials are new to officiating and are still learning. This campaign is designed to decrease harassment and by doing so, increase the retention of youth soccer referees. It is important that referees want to continue with officiating and have the resources that they need to progress effectively. The goal is to resist the need of teams and spectators to challenge the first-year referee calls, and in turn, make the playing environment for all participants a more enjoyable place to be.
To provide additional support, all newly graduated referees will be paired with a mentor referee to help aid in match officiating and conflict resolution. CMSA hopes this contributes to a better Calgary soccer culture through better behavior from parents, spectators, coaches, managers, and players.
Referees need to feel like they are in a safe space in order to effectively grow, learn and progress. In order to grow the sport of soccer in our city, we must ensure all member groups feel respected and valued. The Teal Shirt garners respect from observers and ensures that all treat our new referees with care and respect.
We appreciate our referees.