Junior Referee Keeps Players in Line


Junior Pasquale De Luca refereeing boys soccer on Nov. 18.

Jared Moisey and Michael Mehrdadi

After years of playing soccer, junior Pasquale De Luca is experiencing the sport from a new perspective as a referee.

De Luca has been raised to play soccer since he was four years old so when he found a way to experience soccer in a brand new way he didn’t hesitate to start refereeing.

There are different soccer referee tiers that go in grades, grade 1 being a top level Fifa referee and grade 9 being a recreational referee, most referees begin with a grade 8 which allows one to referee competitive games.

After a three week class including field practice, online courses, and a written exam De Luca attained his grade 8 license in 2016 “It was very easy even though other people said it would be difficult, it’s not too difficult in all honesty” and (fueled by the desire for money) started his referee career.

Although with all new things, De Luca wasn’t confident from the beginning “I was nervous for the first week or so but then I kept refereeing and now I would say I’m really good.”

Over his two year experience as a referee for competitive and recreational games with a focus on U19 and U14 games he has had a number of extreme encounters on the field with players and parents alike.

“I was refereeing and I messed up on a call and the coach just starts screaming at me and I told her to calm down but she kept going and I ended up kicking her off the field still screaming and she couldn’t go to games or practices for a month,” said De Luca.

“One of my first U19 games I refereed I was an AR and saw a kid foul another player so I raised my flag and the kid started freaking out and kicking the ground then he walked up to me and told me if I didn’t take that call back he would punch me and by this time the center referee was already holding the red card behind him and his coach grabbed him off the field while he tried to come at me,” said De Luca.

“I’ve had some intense experiences refereeing, it may seem scary but overall it is a great part time job where you choose your own hours and get paid a pretty good amount. I enjoy refereeing a lot and grinding for that 401k.”