The Comox Valley United Soccer Club is facing a dire shortage of referees.
The club has seven adult refs — averaging about 60 years of age — and a limited number of youth officials. As such, the club has difficulty maintaining all soccer games played throughout the Valley.
The age gap between youth and adult refs is about 50 years — something the club is hoping to close. On average, the CVUSC hosts 12 competitive home games each weekend from September to April. The busy schedule means most refs need to officiate back-to-back games.
There is a further 20 weeks of house soccer in fall/spring that require 20-25 youth officials each weekend.
The CVUSC is hosting a referee clinic in April for youths, 12 years of age. There will be a second clinic in September for entry level youths, 14-plus to adult. The youngest officials make $15 to $20 for U9 to U12 games. The U13 and U14 levels are $30 per game, U15/U16 is $40 per game, and U17 to adult is $50 per game. The club supplies kit — shorts, shirt, socks, whistle and flags — to make referees visible on the pitch. Each year, the club awards six bursaries, each worth $500, to graduating students of SD71. Being a referee meets one of the criteria — giving back to the soccer community.