• Be your own boss
  • Flexible part-time hours
  • Work only when you want to work
  • No experience necessary
  • Training provided
  • Great situation for teenagers, retirees, and full-time workers looking to moonlight
  • Advancement opportunities
  • Healthy, fun outdoor work with kids
Interested?  If so, you are soccer referee material!
The Livermore soccer scene is thriving. Fusion SC's continuing expansion, along with the growth of community adult soccer leagues, has created a strong demand for referees throughout the spring and fall soccer seasons. Referees are in short supply, so there's plenty of work available, for ages 13 and up!

Ready to get started? The first step is to get trained, which involves:
  • 8-10 hours of self-paced on-line work
  • about 12 hours of classroom work over 3-4 weekday evenings
  • one three hour weekend on-field session
The training concludes with a test, and graduates are immediately eligible for referee work .... anywhere in the US!

Livermore referees earn from $20 to over $50 per game, depending on the competition level and field assignment (Center Referee or Assistant Referee). Referees are matched to games based on their age and ranking.
The  Livermore Referee Association (LRA) is a non-profit organization that co-ordinates referees for Livermore's youth and adult soccer leagues. 

LRA organizes referee training, assigns referees to games, and provides mentoring, educational resources, and ongoing support.

LRA was established in 2011. For more information visit www.livermorerefs.org/
The Prez

Gary Lazar is LRA's President. "We stress quality over quantity," he says. "We strive to provide excellent, extremely well-prepared referees. LRA probably does more training than any other association in the area."

Gary has been officiating soccer games for 17 years. "Refereeing is a great job. You set your own schedule, work as much or as little as you want, whatever day you want, throughout the year. And you get paid to exercise!" He also appreciates that refereeing gives him "the best seat in the house" for a sport that he still loves to watch, even after having worked thousands of matches.

Gary believes that soccer refereeing can be an especially valuable experience for youths. "Many kids do this as their first paid job. It gives them an opportunity to develop leadership and decision-making skills that that they will later apply in high school, college and their careers."

After retiring in 2016 from a Project Manager position with the City of San Francisco, Gary is hitting his stride as a soccer referee: Last year, he officiated 372 games, and this year's target is 450!

Brita Schormann "fell in love" with soccer watching her daughter Olivia play for the Livermore Youth Soccer League (later to become Fusion SC.) After Olivia stopped playing soccer four years ago, Brita found herself missing the game. To stay connected, she decided to become a referee, and is now one of the more active referees on the Livermore soccer circuit, working more than 100 games per year.

"With LRA, you'll never be in over your head," Brita says. "LRA mentors are always there to give you tips and encouragement. They will only place you in games that they know for sure you can handle." Brita adds that the monthly LRA meetings are "amazing. They go over basics and more advanced topics, requirements, and skills. LRA does whatever they can so that you are fully prepared, look your best, and do your best."

Brita, second from right, with colleagues

About 20 percent of LRA's referees are women. Brita says she has "never" experienced discrimination as a woman referee. "I've received only support. I get lots of comments like 'Oh my gosh it's so great to see females on the field!' And the little girls really like being reffed by a woman."

Despite an extremely demanding day job -- she manages a staff of over 20 for a private investigations firm -- refereeing remains a high priority in Brita's life. "It's my 'me time' and my chance to decompress," Brita says. "When I'm on the field, I can forget about everything else. It's so beautiful to watch the game being played. It's almost a privilege because I'm right in the middle of it."
Aaron with U7 son Dylan 
at 2016 Fusion World Cup

Like Brita, Aaron Moreno connected with soccer from the sidelines, watching his daughter play Fusion Rec from U10 through U16. In 2013, Aaron saw an LRA advertisement, took the training, and now averages about 20 games each month during the spring and fall seasons.

"The LRA training was very immersive, but not overwhelming," says Aaron, who works as a graphic designer for a technology startup. "We covered a lot of material in a short amount of time, but the instructors were extremely helpful and committed to every student's success."

LRA continues to support Aaron every step of the way. "Someone from LRA is always available by email or phone to answer questions and provide feedback, tips and pointers." Aaron especially enjoys the monthly meetings. "We go over specific game situations and what-if scenarios, and discuss what worked well and what could have been done better. It's a great learning environment."

Refereeing gives Aaron "an opportunity to improve my fitness and make some money. Plus I've loved picking up all of the nuances of tactical play. I have a natural eagerness to learn, and refereeing has opened up a whole new world about the game that you miss as a spectator."
The Kid

Branden Eddy is a fast climber in the world of soccer refereeing. Just 16 years old, Brandon has achieved the highest LRA ranking possible for his age: He is certified to referee games through U16 NPL. "Branden showed a lot of maturity, took it seriously, wanted to do better, asked a lot of questions, and hung out with older referees," notes LRA President Gary Lazar, explaining Branden's rapid rise.

Branden's success earned him an appointment as LRA Youth Referee Representative. In that capacity he serves as a liaison between the Association and referees aged 18 and under. Branden observes and mentors the youth referees, answers their questions, and helps them advance through the referee rankings. Branden is also the only youth referee to serve on LRA's Ranking Committee.

Branden played for Fusion SC for six years. He became a referee at age 13 to earn money to buy a car. He described his LRA training as "pretty cool" and "a lot of fun." Now a Granada High School junior, Branden works about 150 games per year, and will soon start refereeing in Livermore's adult leagues.

Branden's youthfulness does not affect his ability to maintain control of games. "I ignore most of what I hear," he says, referring to comments from the sidelines or stands. "And there's an old saying in refereeing: 'Ask, tell, remove.' I first ask them politely to knock it off. Then, I'll tell them more firmly. If that doesn't work, I order them to leave."

LRA has prepared him extremely well for those situations. "I know exactly what do to. We discuss that at nearly every meeting."

"Branden developed thick skin pretty quickly," adds Gary Lazar. "He understands soccer parents really well."

Branden is passionate about refereeing. "There's always something interesting, never a dull moment," he says. "The higher the playing level, the better it is. You have to be really alert, all the time. It's like an adrenaline rush."

Branden encourages other youths to consider becoming a soccer referee. "It's a lot of fun, and you make really good side money."
The next two LRA training sessions 
begin  Monday, July 17 and   Monday, September 11.
If you're not able to attend an LRA training session, you can get trained through any referee organization within the California North Referee Association (CNRA). 

Click here for CNRA training locations and dates.
For more information about LRA, visit www.livermorerefs.org/
Livermore Fusion SC | 925.443.7570 | www.fusionsc.org