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Norwalk Soccer Club - Norwalk, Iowa

Referee System

The System and the Shortage
NSC has heard from parents/coaches about lack of referees for some of their games. Unfortunately this is a Central Iowa problem. There is a shortage of several hundred referees in Central Iowa. This is a summary of how the referee assignment works.


This online assigning system is used by the majority of the clubs in Central Iowa. These licensed referees are put into a database system along with all the game dates. Early each week the games for that weekend are released for the referees to self-assign games. Typically, the older ages are filled first, as they are more of a challenge and fast paced for the referees and these games have a higher pay rate. The younger age groups (U8-U10) typically are filled last or not at all. On a typical weekend there are still dozens of games that have no referee on Friday night or early Saturday morning. Some of those are filled at the last minute by referees adding more games.


Any time there is a tournament, that poses a challenge to filling the regular season games. Many referees will choose tournament games, as they are slightly shorter, are scheduled very tight with back to back to back schedule. Tournaments are an efficient use of their time and they get paid the same or better than regular season games. With that said, this is why it is difficult to get referees for some of our games.

The busy schedules of people and the lack of desire to to be criticized by parents/spectators are just a couple of the reasons why it is hard to retain and recruit new referees. As spectators, we need to be respectful of the referee and not complain loudly on every missed call.


Norwalk Soccer Club is always looking for more referees. If you are interested in becoming a licensed referee, please visit www.iowareferees.org   It is the policy of NSC to individually reimburse NSC affiliated and USSF certified referees annual re-certification fees.

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Norwalk Soccer Club

PO Box 431 
Norwalk, Iowa 50211

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