McCormic develops professionalism, gains good habits through officiating

McCormic develops professionalism, gains good habits through officiating

[November 20, 2020 – Harmon, Guam] The decision to become a soccer referee not only helped Andrew McCormic improve on the pitch, but also helped the 17-year-old develop good habits and character off the pitch.

“As a referee, you always have to be prepared and always have to be aware of what’s happening during matches, which also helped me with school and other aspects of my life,” McCormic said. “Also, as a referee, you always have to be certain when making decisions and be confident on the pitch, just like in everything else you do outside of the sport.”

McCormic started playing soccer with the Guam Shipyard Wolverines and later moved to play for the ASC Trust Islanders in the Triple J Auto Group Robbie Webber Youth League. He most recently played for the NAPA Rovers FC in the Budweiser Soccer League Amateur Division. After years of playing, he decided to try officiating near the end of his high school sophomore year.

In less than two years as a referee, his commitment to development and his dependability made him a prime candidate to be fast-tracked through Guam’s elite referee pathway. He featured as an Assistant Referee in the Bud Light Women’s Soccer League Premier Division, the highest level so far at which he has officiated. He has his sights set on ascending the elite referee pathway further and officiate in professional leagues like the MLS and ultimately obtain a FIFA badge to officiate in top-level international matches.

His experiences on the field and in courses made such an impact on his life, he chose to write about officiating for his college entrance essay when applying for acceptance into Springfield College in Springfield, Massachusetts, he said. The St. John’s School senior was accepted into the university for Fall 2021.

Although domestic leagues are at a standstill due to pandemic restrictions, McCormic stays involved in the sport through education courses like the recently concluded EAFF Referee Development Programme 2020 with instructor Charles Cheung from Hong Kong.

“Coming into these courses, it really helps out in gaining more knowledge and experience,” McCormic said. “I also try to meet new people in referee circles to network with, including some in the reffing community in the U.S., so when I go there for college, I can meet them in person and be able to continue gaining experience in the U.S.”

Theory sessions of the EAFF course were held virtually via Zoom and local instructors Kyle Legozzie, Shawn Spindel, Eladio Manansala, and Erlissa Delfin held practical sessions with participants at the Guam Football Association National Training Center Sunday evening.

“Educational courses are important for referees at all levels to stay current with trends in the sport and any updates to the Laws of the Game,” said Delfin, GFA Referees Administrator. “The courses also keep referees engaged in the sport, especially in these times that matches are not being played due to local pandemic restrictions. Particularly for this EAFF course, participants received a high level of instruction from international instructor Charles Cheung.

“It was good to see the participants wanting to participate in the course, even if the theory portion was done virtually. They showed that they wanted to learn and they wanted to continue to be involved in the sport,” Delfin added.

McCormic was among 17 other referees in the course. Other course participants were Trevor Dill, Aidan Flory, Conor Flory, Jason Flory, Jose Gallego, Meto Harmon, Martin Iseke, Kennedy Macatuno, Ska Medina, Garrett Merrill, Kai Pahl, Jadyn Palomares, Jason Palomares, Riley Rama, Sophia San Agustin, Jariah San Gil, and Dhenicca San Juan.

“The participants were at different levels of officiating, so they all helped each other during the course with the instructors,” Delfin said. “For example, some of the younger referees had not yet been introduced to the three-man system, so they learned skills like handling the flag as an Assistant Referee, the importance of their positioning on the pitch and communicating with other referees, the meaning of their whistle as a referee, and also developed more confidence in decision-making on the field when making calls and using the proper corresponding signals.

“Overall, it was a good course for the referees to learn and get back into the sport,” added Delfin, who has been officiating in local leagues for nearly a decade.

This is the second EAFF Referee Development Course held in Guam, after the first one held in January 2019 with visiting instructors Sachiko Yamagishi and Tadashi Hase from Japan. Legozzie, GFA Referee Development Officer, also organizes and conducts various referee education courses annually, as well as refresher courses ahead of the start of leagues.

For more information about Referee Education courses or for information on how to become a GFA referee, contact Legozzie and Delfin via E-mail at referee@theguamfa.com.

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Andrew McCormic signals the team with possession of the ball after calling a foul during a practical session activity of the EAFF Referee Development Programme 2020 at the Guam Football Association National Training Center Sunday. The EAFF course included a theory session with participants via Zoom Saturday with instructor Charles Cheung from Hong Kong and the practical session the following day with instructors Kyle Legozzie, Shawn Spindel, and Eladio Manansala.

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Course participants of the EAFF Referee Development Program 2020 pose for a group photo before practical session training at the Guam Football Association National Training Center Sunday. The EAFF course included a theory session with participants via Zoom Saturday with instructor Charles Cheung from Hong Kong and the practical session the following day with Kyle Legozzie, Shawn Spindel, Eladio Manansala, and Erlissa Delfin. In the photo are, front row from left to right, Jadyn Palomares, Sophia San Agustin, Ska Medina, Meto Harmon, Andrew McCormic, Riley Rama, Martin Iseke, Jariah San Gil, and Garrett Merrill. In the back row from left to right are Jason Palomares, Jason Flory, Aidan Flory, Conor Flory, Trevor Dill, Kennedy Macatuno, Kai Pahl, and instructor Kyle Legozzie.

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Andrew McCormic signals for a penalty kick during a practical session activity of the EAFF Referee Development Programme 2020 at the Guam Football Association National Training Center Sunday. The EAFF course included a theory session with participants via Zoom Saturday with instructor Charles Cheung from Hong Kong and the practical session the following day with instructors Kyle Legozzie, Shawn Spindel, and Eladio Manansala.

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Andrew McCormic signals the team with possession of the ball after calling a foul during a practical session activity of the EAFF Referee Development Programme 2020 at the Guam Football Association National Training Center Sunday. The EAFF course included a theory session with participants via Zoom Saturday with instructor Charles Cheung from Hong Kong and the practical session the following day with instructors Kyle Legozzie, Shawn Spindel, and Eladio Manansala.

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Andrew McCormic prepares to change direction along the touchline as he tracks the last defender during a practical session activity of the EAFF Referee Development Programme 2020 at the Guam Football Association National Training Center Sunday. The EAFF course included a theory session with participants via Zoom Saturday with instructor Charles Cheung from Hong Kong and the practical session the following day with instructors Kyle Legozzie, Shawn Spindel, and Eladio Manansala.

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Andrew McCormic runs down the touchline tracking the last defender during a practical session activity of the EAFF Referee Development Programme 2020 at the Guam Football Association National Training Center Sunday. The EAFF course included a theory session with participants via Zoom Saturday with instructor Charles Cheung from Hong Kong and the practical session the following day with instructors Kyle Legozzie, Shawn Spindel, and Eladio Manansala.