The 14th Annual General meeting is now in the history books and the CSRA looks ahead to another year of progress.  We extend our thanks and congratulations to our hosts, ASRA, for an excellent weekend in Calgary.  Delegates from B.C, Alberta, Manitoba and Ontario were present with Clive Wilkinson representing the C.S.A.  The guest speaker was World Cup FIFA Assistant Referee, Hector Vergara.  Hector and FIFA Referee, Mike Seifert put on a superb education session in the afternoon.  Hector described his experiences of the World Cup following the banquet on Saturday evening.  The day kicked off at 10am and concluded at 10pm with only a 90 minute break - quite a hectic day.
President, Basil Gill, provided news from Atlantic Canada and some of the problems in Nova Scotia involving a suspension of an official who was attempting to revive the referee association.  There was news from Newfoundland & New Brunswick.  The outcome of elections in Quebec will go a long way to determining if they will join the CSRA in the near future.  Basil added that provincial referee associations must do more to raise their members` awareness of the CSRA.  Our Association must receive more exposure within each province than has occurred in the past if we are to achieve our full potential.
Secretary, Eric Evans reported that 3 conference calls had been held during the year and on one occasion no fewer than 7 provincial referee associations took part, together with 4 members of the CSA Referee Committee, Sonia Denoncourt, the President of Nova Scotia Soccer and the CSRA Executive.  Correspondence and enquiries regarding the CSRA came from Switzerland and Malta during the year and the Secretary had visited Egypt and Jordan as well as visting the offices of C.A.F. whilst in Cairo.  Work had continued on the John Meachin Fund and Award with Bob Sawtell, Pat Harkness and Virginia Meachin shouldering the bulk of the work.  Eric had played a minor role in editing some of the procedures which were being worked out.  Details of the Award were announced later in the day.  The use of proxy voting is increasing as this year 249 proxies had been registered - up from 162 last year.
Ist V.P., Tony Troughton, had been working on a game fee survey and presented the results.  These will be distributed across the country in the next couple of weeks.  Tony will complete the survey of assessment fees and plans to re vamp the CSRA web site with a view to improving communications.  Tony was the referee liaison for the FIFA U-19 Women`s Championships and the Women`s Gold Cup in Victoria.
Joe Fletcher reported that in Ontario the recruitment campaign had seen more than 300 new members join the OSRA in 2002 and the challenge would be to retain them.  Their fee structure had been revised and such things as reduced fees for new members, free membership for a year for members being upgraded from Class IV to III had been introduced.  The pass rate for the Class IV to III examination had risen slightly to 55%.  The pass rate for the Class I exam had been very disappointing where as 34 out of 49 were successful in the Class II exam.   Joe provided some statistics regarding the referee population in Ontario and the membership of the OSRA.  A meeting had been held for all the branch presidents of the OSRA in an attempt to assess short and long term goals.
Larry Eloy provided details of Manitoba`s busy year which of course saw Hector Vergara officiate at both the Gold Cup and the World Cup.  He mentioned notable performances of a number of Manitoba`s leading referee prospects.  The MSRA assisted in raising funds with the Manitoba Lotteries Corporation which will see money being channelled into referee development.  Upto $400 will be available to each referee on their senior development list to travel out of the province for a high level appointment and assessment.  16 new assessors have been appointed to help out with assessing and mentoring of young officials.  The FIFA Club has been resurrected by Willie Laidlaw, Dick Derrett, Frank Majors and Hector Vergara and meets each Sunday for education and practical sessions.
Kevin Jones provided some details of activity in Saskatchewan.  The referee association had not yet been revamped as had been hoped although once Jim Nicholson steps down as president of SSA this will be the next major initiative within the province.
Kevin Jones continued by reading out the ASRA report.  The number of Council meetings had been reduced because of time constraints &  increased use of e-mail.  Currently there are 6 area associations that comprise the ASRA and it is hoped that Medicine Hat will become the 7th as they are fine tuning their constitution and it is expected that they will officially join the ASRA in 2003.  The ASRA has 210 members out of a provincial population of 1200 with 110 members located in Calgary. A program of clinics geared to local requirements has been offered in areas which do not have the resources available in places like Calgary and Edmonton.  The pass rate for the Class I clinic was pretty high and candidates praised the Instructors, John Neilsen and Tony Tyers.  The ASRA assisted Alberta S.A. in coordinating Sonia Denoncourt`s visit of Alberta.  Notable refereeing performances were mentioned and the highlight of the season was the FIFA Women`s U-19 finals played in Edmonton with very large attendances and nationwide television coverage.
B.C. delelgate, Kevin Duliba, read out a report from from BCSRA.  Elvio Chies had recently become the President of the BCSRA and the search was still on to fill the treasurer`s vacancy.  With 3 months left in their fiscal year they expect to surpass the previous membership record of 632 referees.  The BCSRA sponsors a page in a publication called "The World Football Page".  The Vancouver Area, Vancouver Island and Fraser Valley area association hosted officials involved with the FIFA Women`s U-19 World Championships and the CONCACAF Women`s Gold Cup.  FIFA Referee, Mauricio Navarro, received the Ray Morgan Award.
Clive Wilkinson brought greetings from the CSA and was standing in for President, Andy Sharpe.    Clive stated that an excellent working relationship existed between the CSA Referee Committee and the CSRA and that he was exceptionally pleased with the contribution made by those members of his committee.  Changes have started to occur at the CSA level even if slowly.  The budget for referee development for 2003 was in excess of $140,000 and was still too small to do many of the things that are deemed necessary.  A number of initiatives were underway including developing a referee training manual using modern teaching methods.
There are not enough high level games for our most senior referees and it is obvious that Canada needs its own professional league once again.  Only 9 out 59 referees on the National Program had submitted their updated resume by the stipulated deadline.  Similarly, only 8 of 56 National Instructors or Assessors had submitted their updated resumes by the deadline.  A Clinic for Nominated National Referees will be held at Camp Borden in Ontario probably in late April.  Discussions have been ongoing regarding the format of the referee fitness test and possible alternatives to the current Cooper Test.  However, until FIFA indicate they have any desire to change, our National Program will continue using the present test.  Fitness test standards for women and men have received attention.
CSRA fees for the year 2004 were set at $3.00 member - an increase of 50 cents.
The John Meachin Memorial Soccer Award was formally launched.  The Fund had been established after John`s sudden death and it has taken some time to work out many of the details relating to its operation.  In short, this Award is open to referees on the National Program to partially cover out of pocket expenses should they decide to attend an International symposium or clinic.  The Fund and Award is currently being administered by the Meachin family but will revert to the CSRA after the Award has been given to the initial recipient at the 2004 AGM.
Basil Gill ( Ontario ) was returned as the President for a further 2 year term.  Larry Eloy of Manitoba has become our new Treasurer and takes over from fellow Manitoban, Thom Lamont.  Thom stepped down after a 9 year stint in which he nursed our financial resources back to sound health.  Richard Sansregret of Alberta assumes the role of 2nd V.P.  Richard took a leading role in the organizing of the AGM in Calgary.
The first national conference call has been set for 31st March.  Details will be issued nearer the time.  British Columbia indicated they wished to host the AGM in 2004 and their offer has been accepted by the Executive.  The BCSRA will advise us in due course of the location.
Provincial referee associations are requested to forward any changes in their President or Secretary`s address/tel/e-mail details so the CSRA Directory may be updated.


Canadian Soccer Referees' Association
Canadienne Des Arbitres De Soccer