A young group of individuals attended the three-day Northern Mariana Islands Football Association Referee Course Fall 2019 at the NMI Soccer Training Center in Koblerville.
The course ran from Sept. 7 to 9 with NMIFA Referee Committee deputy chair Ruselle Zapanta and member Angie Ito facilitating the seminar that drew 26 individuals. The two facilitators discussed introduction to basic refereeing, rules changes, and the responsibilities and duties of the officials, and conducted drills (signals and officiating games) in the first two days of the course, while the last day was spent for review and written test.
“It was a young group of participants, but it was great to see their excitement and eagerness to referee a match and learn the rules or laws of the game they much enjoy playing,” Zapanta said.
“They were only given a small sample and introduction on the demands and experiences of a soccer referee or assistant referee. Something as simple as blowing a whistle proved to be a challenge for some, but was fun. I hope they all recognize the vital role they play in our programs. The quality of soccer in the NMI is steadily on the rise, the game is evolving and our match officials must stay up-to-date and keep up for everyone’s enjoyment and success,” he added.
Sebastien Manabat, one of the course participants, said he liked the many discussions involved in the course.
“We talked about decision making and the different options on how to manage a game,” Manabat said.
Ito said Manabat and majority of the participants were very proactive during their discussion.
“They have a lot of questions and during our practical sessions, they showed enjoyment and earnest understanding of how the referees and assistant referees work,” she said.
Joining Manabat on the participant list were Lilian Podziewski, Marinel Falalimpa, Irish Pagarao, Davy Laxa, Mia Carreon, Rinto Takahashi, Katherine Magat, Sharmaine Francisco, Stephanie Flores, Miles Timmons, Nicole Lumbad, Ezekiel and John Canape, Jeremiah Diaz, Mary Kay Alferos, Merrick and Marcus Toves, Gabriel Arkoh Jr., Miles Borja, Kirt Andon, Jim Maniago, Chad Escaner, Jerald Aquino, Bryant Dy, and R.J. Narvaez.