The Idaho State Referee Committee welcomes our new District Referee Administrator for District 1, Leah Johnson.
Leah Johnson has been an active member of the youth soccer community in North Idaho, Moscow/Lewiston, and Eastern Washington, Pullman/Clarkston area for almost 20 years. She started out volunteering with area clubs and holding various board positions while her daughters played soccer. Thirteen years ago, she saw a need to build up the referee pool and to try to make a difference in the quality of referees that worked youth club games so she became a certified referee. She has actively worked as a certified referee for youth, high school, and college club games. She has attended local area tournaments, Hot Shot, Pend Oreille Cup, Palouse Cup as well as Idaho Director’s Cup and State Cup.
She was also instrumental in recruiting and scheduling entry-level certification courses in the area twice a year, even before becoming a certified referee. Two years ago she became an assignor and worked for local clubs with two goals: 1) pairing new referees with experienced referees to help improve the new referees’ skills during their first couple of years and 2) actively work on getting every club game covered with as close to a full referee crew as possible.
She also has worked tirelessly in an effort to improve communication and collaboration between referees and area youth clubs. She has used her knowledge of area leagues and youth soccer resources to provide information and education to local referees on changes or differences in rules between leagues. She continues to promote soccer referee education as a certified assessor and instructor.
As district referee administrator, her goal is to encourage North Idaho referee groups to hold continuing education trainings as often as possible, improve communication among referees, help connect area referees with state activities and information, and help increase the number of active referees in Idaho.