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Canada Soccer takes leadership role in IFAB Laws of the Game updates

Posted on 15 March 2019 in Referees

Canada Soccer is leading the way in adopting international norms as well as continuing to develop professionals for international and domestic opportunities.With the release of the revisions to Laws of the Games for 2019/20 and Canada Soccer has secured permission from The IFAB to implement the revi More

Canada Soccer hosts 2019 National Referee Camp

Posted on 22 February 2019 in Referees

Canada Soccer will host 56 referees at a pre-season camp in Bradenton, Florida, from 22-24 February. The camp is an annual milestone for National Referees as Canada Soccer prepares to kick off the professional season which, in 2019, will include Canadian Premier League matches for the first time. Am More

Decorated Canada Soccer Referee Joe Fletcher retires from active duty

Posted on 14 January 2019 in Referees

After a storied 25-year career as a respected FIFA and Canada Soccer Assistant Referee, Niagara native Joe Fletcher will no longer be visible on the touchline. Fletcher received his National Badge in 2005 and joined the FIFA List of Assistant Referees in 2007. He was the recipient of the Ray Morgan More

Seventeen Canadian Match Officials named to FIFA International Referees List

Posted on 2 January 2019 in Referees

Canada Soccer has placed 17 of its match officials to the FIFA International Referee List in 2019. With veteran referees Joe Fletcher and Daniel Belleau retiring from International duty, two new appointees round out the match officials named. They include Referee Myriam Marcotte, and Assistant Refer More

Canada Soccer referees complete Concacaf’s Program of Referee Excellence

Posted on 18 November 2018 in Referees

BC Soccer’s Carly Shaw-Maclaren and Ontario Soccer’s Filip Dujic were part of Concacaf’s Program of Referee Excellence (PORE) graduation ceremonies on 16 November in Bradenton, Florida.The two recently completed the second of two three-week sessions in which they received intensive More

Young Canadian referees participate in Concacaf program at Under-20 Championship

Posted on 7 November 2018 in Referees

Canadian referees Carly Shaw-Maclaren from British Columbia and Filip Dujic from Ontario attended the Concacaf Under-20 Championship in Bradenton, Florida. Their attendance is the second part of the Concacaf Program of Referee Excellence (PORE) which gives them an opportunity to be part of the refer More

Canada Soccer’s Joe Fletcher prepares for 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™

Posted on 30 May 2018 in Referees

In the four years since receiving his first appointment to a FIFA World Cup™, Canada Soccer Assistant Referee Joe Fletcher has been busy. Fletcher, who was appointed to the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™, returns to the competition after a successful cycle that included appointments to the More

Two young Canadian match officials selected to Concacaf’s referee development program

Posted on 10 April 2018 in Referees

Canada Soccer is proud to have two budding match officials attend the Program of Referee Excellence (PORE), a partnership between Concacaf and the Federación Mexicana de Fútbol Asociación (FEMEXFUT). Carly Shaw-MacLaren and Filip Dujic will attend two three-week sessions beginni More

Twenty-five Canada Soccer Referee Assessors complete annual camp in Vaughan, ON

Posted on 20 March 2018 in Referees

Canada Soccer held its annual Referee Assessors camp in Vaughan, ON 17-20 March. With an emphasis on promoting practical refereeing in the game, Canada Soccer’s Manager, Referees, Isaac Raymond said the clinic is vital to providing guidance to the assessors who are trusted with the responsibil More

Canada Soccer completes National Referee Camp in Ottawa

Posted on 6 March 2018 in Referees

Canada Soccer held its National Referee Camp in Ottawa 16-18 February 2018. In addition to fitness testing, and classroom instruction to prepare the group for the upcoming season, referees received technical instruction and direction for refereeing in Canada's top leagues in 2018. In ad More

Canada Soccer completes its National Referees List

Posted on 13 December 2017 in Referees

Canada Soccer has named 25 match officials to its 2018 National Referees List. They will join the 17 previously named to the FIFA International Referees List at a camp in Ottawa in February 2018 where they will receive competency training and fitness testing before being confirmed to the list for th More

Seventeen Canadian Match Officials named to FIFA International Referees List

Posted on 5 December 2017 in Referees

Canada Soccer is pleased to announce the appointment of 17 of its match officials to the FIFA International Referee List including five new additions for 2018. There are 12 returning match officials and one retirement for the upcoming season. In addition, Canada Soccer places three candidates for th More

Canadian referees prepare for a busy 2018

Posted on 30 October 2017 in Referees

Canadian FIFA Referee Carol Anne Chenard and FIFA Assistant Referees Marie-Han Gagnon-Chretien and Chantal Boudreau attended the CONCACAF Women's Elite Course in San José, Costa Rica from October 19-22. The focus during this course was on physical fitness and technical training involving ses More

Fletcher appointed for pivotal World Cup Qualifier

Posted on 27 October 2017 in Referees

Canadian FIFA List Assistant Referee Joe Fletcher has been named to the officiating crew for the pivotal inter-confederation playoff match More

Lifelong learning key to Canada Soccer Referee Instructors

Posted on 25 October 2017 in Referees

A group of Canada Soccer’s top referee instructors and assessors recently attended courses intended to provide them with the tools to educate our nation’s top officials. In September at the FIFA Futuro III Course in Montego Bay, Jamaica six Canadians joined more than 30 technical instru More

Canada Games provides young match officials a proving ground

Posted on 9 August 2017 in Referees

Eighteen young female match officials were selected to officiate the tournament More

Canada Soccer completes National Referee Assessor Clinic

Posted on 24 March 2017 in Referees

Canada Soccer’s National Referee Assessor Clinic was held March 17-19 in Toronto More

Three retiring international referees honoured during National Referees Camp

Posted on 14 February 2017 in Referees

Canada Soccer held its annual National Referee Camp in Toronto 10-12 Feb More

Professional Referee Organization Hires Howard Webb to Manage Video Assistant Referee Operations

Posted on 7 February 2017 in Referees

Webb to oversee development, assessment, and assignment of Video Assistant Referees for PRO MLS to implement Video Assistant Referee testing in select preseason matches beginning Friday More

MLS to Continue Video Assistant Referee Testing in Select Preseason Matches

Posted on 6 February 2017 in Referees

Major League Soccer and the Professional Referee Organization (PRO) today announced that live, in-game testing of video assistance for referees is being conducted during select MLS preseason matches. More

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Canada Soccer is leading the way in adopting international norms as well as continuing to develop professionals for international and domestic opportunities.

With the release of the revisions to Laws of the Games for 2019/20 and Canada Soccer has secured permission from The IFAB to implement the revised Laws for the start of the 2019 Canada Soccer Canadian Championship and the 2019 Canadian Premier League.

Isaac Raymond, Canada Soccer Referee Manager, provides an insight on what this means, what fans can expect to see that is different, and how Canada Soccer’s National List of Referees and NextGen referees will apply the law amendments from the opening games of the CPL season.

“The purpose of the changes is to enhance the look of the game,” Raymond said. “The Laws had a comprehensive rewrite in 2016, and these latest changes build on them to further enhance the game.”

Continuing on from the 2019 National Referee Pre-season Camp these changes will be rolled out to the national program in preparation for the kick-off to the Canadian Premier League and Canadian Championship seasons. For Provincial and local leagues, the laws will come into effect at the start of the 2020 season.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What will happen when a substitute takes place?


Traditionally we have seen a player come over to the half way line and cross with an oncoming substitute. To stop a player who is being substituted from ‘wasting’ time by leaving slowly at the halfway line (which is not a Law requirement) the player must now leave the field at the nearest point unless the referee indicates otherwise.

What about cards to the occupants of the technical area?

Previously, when a member of the coaching staff behaves irresponsibly the referee has either warned or sent off from the offender and it was often not clear to spectators who has been warned. Now, the referee will show a yellow card to warn that person, or a red card to send them from the technical area. Where an offender cannot be identified the Head Coach or senior coach present will receive the sanction.

What now constitutes as a handball?


The law more clearly defines when an offence of handball is committed. For example, the law now clearly states that if a ball touches an arm when above the shoulder it is a handball offence.

What happens when the ball hits a referee?

If the referee gets in the way of the ball and creates an attack for the opposing team, the referee can now stop the play and restart with a dropped ball.

What is going to happen with attacking players who cause problems in the defensive ‘wall’?

If there are at least three defenders in the defensive wall then all attacking players cannot be within one metre of the wall. If a player is, after the free-kick has been taken then the play stops and the ball is awarded to the opposing team.

What goalkeeper Law changes were made?


For goal kicks or free kicks within a team’s own penalty area the ball is in play as soon as it is kicked and no longer has to leave the penalty area to be in play.

What is the dropped ball procedure?

The referee will drop the ball back to the last team who had possession when the play was stopped, eliminating contested dropped balls.
 

Canada Soccer will host 56 referees at a pre-season camp in Bradenton, Florida, from 22-24 February. The camp is an annual milestone for National Referees as Canada Soccer prepares to kick off the professional season which, in 2019, will include Canadian Premier League matches for the first time. Amongst the participants this year will be 18 NextGen referees.

“The expansion of the professional soccer landscape in Canada will provide expanded opportunities for those select referees who are charged with managing the game,” said Peter Montopoli, Canada Soccer General Secretary. “With the addition of over 100 professional games to the calendar in 2019, development and appointment opportunities for the best young referee talent has also grown and Canada Soccer is pleased to be able to lead this expansion.”

The Canada Soccer camp will include fitness testing, theoretical, and technical instruction over the three days. The camp will also include sessions from FIFA instructors Michelle Pye and Peter Prendergast (Jamaica) along with National Instructors Bob Sawtell, Amato De Luca, Daniel Belleau, Jose Branco and Kuizan Weekes.

Canada Soccer is responsible for the development and training of match officials for amateur and professional competitions in Canada. In partnership with our Provincial and Territorial Associations and sanctioned professional leagues, Canada Soccer provides development and training opportunities to advance to the national list of referees and nominations to the FIFA list.
 

After a storied 25-year career as a respected FIFA and Canada Soccer Assistant Referee, Niagara native Joe Fletcher will no longer be visible on the touchline. Fletcher received his National Badge in 2005 and joined the FIFA List of Assistant Referees in 2007. He was the recipient of the Ray Morgan Memorial Award in 2012 and received the Canada Soccer International Achievement Award in 2015.

Fletcher successfully completed appointments to the 2014 and 2018 editions of the FIFA World Cup™, the 2011 and 2013 Concacaf Gold Cups, the 2008 and 2017 Concacaf Champions League Finals, the FIFA U-20 World Cup Canada 2007 and the FIFA U-20 World Cup Colombia 2011, the 2012 Olympic Games, the FIFA Club World Cup 2013, the 2016 Copa America, the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup, the 2011, 2015 and 2018 Canadian Championship Finals, the 2014 and 2016 MLS Cup Finals plus countless professional matches.

“Joe Fletcher has been a leading figure amongst Canada Soccer referees for more than a decade, successfully, and flawlessly accepting appointments each time he’s called on every continent,” said Canada Soccer’s Manager, Referees Isaac Raymond. “After 25 years, we’re proud to work with Joe as he transitions into a mentorship role, bringing his thirst for knowledge and drive to developing the next generation of Canadian referees.”

Fletcher, for his part, is most proud of his standing amongst the group of men and women who carry the whistle. “For me, the respect of my fellow officials is the single thing I hold most dearly,” Fletcher said. “Referees have told me that they wanted me on their biggest and most important assignments, and there is no greater compliment than that for an assistant referee.”

As for next steps, Fletcher has no plans to walk away from the game and is scheduled to participate in Canada Soccer’s National Referee Camp in Bradenton, Florida in February as an instructor. “If I can help guide the next generation to improve, show them the work that is required, and one day see others at future Men's & Women's World Cups, that will be rewarding.”
 

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