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Referee Strength


A league can manage its referee assignments very effectively using the method of specifying the strength of a referee. This is particularly true of large leagues that have many referees.

The basic concept is that each game has a Difficulty Rating assigned to it based on the play characteristics of the division (gender, age group, and play level) or, if the division has not set the respective play characteristic, the characteristic of the home team or away team. Referees, on the other hand, have a Strength Rating, based on the same system, that is assigned either by the referee or the referee coordinator. As long as a referee’s Strength Rating is equal to or greater than the Difficulty Rating of the game, then the referee is considered to be within the comfort zone (see diagram below).

A Referee can specify his or her comfort level in terms the play characteristics. This will generate a Strength Rating that is visible to the referee coordinator who can use this information when assigning the referee to a game.

The referee coordinator can also set the strength of an individual referee in the same manner. The league's Strength Rating overrides the referee’s own Strength Rating when offering or making assignments.

A Referee can only self-assign or request a game (see Referee Request/Confirm &Self-Assignment) that is within his or her comfort level. Note that the system by default looks at any information entered by the referee coordinator, and if information has not been supplied, then looks at the information supplied by the referee. If neither has enteed information, the referee will be assumed to be suitable for all games and positions.


The referee Strength Rating system, and the Difficulty Rating system, are associated with the league Play Characteristics. The type of play characteristics that are available for the league to use are Gender, Age Group, and Play Level. There are default settings for the relative difficulties for the characteristics in each group. For example, for Age Groups the difficulty is essentially the age (e.g., "U-9 "has a rating of 9 and "U-10" a rating of 10). For Gender, "Girls" has a relative difficulty rating of 0 and "Boys" a rating of +3. For Play Levels "Rec" has a rating of 0 and "Comp" a rating of +3.

So a division that is classified as U-12 Boys Rec will have a difficulty rating of 12 + 3 + 0 = 15.

A Referee that selects U-12 Boys Rec as his or her comfort level will also have a Strength Rating of 15. Any game on the schedule that has a Difficulty Rating of 15 or less will be available to this referee to self-assign or request.

There is also a possible adjustment to the Difficulty Rating based on the referee position in a game. The league can set "Difficulty Offsets" for asst. ref. 1 or asst. ref. 2 positions relative to the referee position, if desired. This is done by the League Administrator by going to: Manage League > Modify League Referee Settings or by the Referee Coordinator by going to League Referee Settings .

A Referee coordinator assigning a referee will see a Relative Strength Rating next to the referee. A positive number indicates the referee is within the comfort zone. A negative number indicates the referee is beyond the comfort zone. Of course, the referee coordinator can assign the referee regardless of the Relative Strength Rating.

For a referee with a Strength Rating of 12 being assigned to a game with Difficulty Rating 10, the Relative Strength Rating is +2. If the game has a Difficulty Rating of 15, then the Relative Strength Rating is –3.

If the league has chosen which play characteristics it uses, a League Administrator can modify the relative difficulty settings for each play characteristic as desired. This is done by going to: Manage League > Edit League Play Characteristics. On that page, the Admin can specify which characteristics the league wants to use and, for each selected characteristic, change the default relative difficulty as desired.

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