Monday, January 6, 2014

2014 VRPS Members in the Community: Aaron Reidmiller

by Aaron Reidmiller, CPRP, Henrico County Recreation and Parks and Nancy Turnage, VRPS Central Office


Aaron Reidmiller, CPRP, is a Recreation Supervisor for Henrico County Recreation and Parks who has been actively involved with VRPS for almost six years.  He is a 2012 VRPS Outstanding New Professional Winner, the current Central Service Area Chair, and both the Central District Liaison and a Member at Large for the Senior Resource Group.

Aaron also stays active in his community "off the job".  I happened to sight Aaron last winter while he was leaving a Central Virginia Soccer Referee Association certification course in Richmond and have since enjoyed some ref-based conversations with him, including this one:

How long have you been involved in refereeing?  
I started refereeing with Central Virginia Soccer Referee Association and Old Dominion Soccer Referee Service in February of 2011.  I was actually recovering from some very serious health issues that had kept me on the sidelines for most of 2009 and 2010.  I have played soccer my entire life, but I was not cleared to play any contact sports during the recovery period (and didn’t know if I would ever be able to play again).  I missed the sport very much and decided that officiating would be the best way to stay involved.

Can you provide some background regarding your current status with CVSRA? 
Currently, I am a Grade 8 U.S. Soccer Referee.  This grading system has nothing to do with school level grades and basically means that I am qualified to officiate any level youth match all the way up to competitive adult league matches.  This is the most common certification level for referees.  As you rise in the rankings, there are fewer and fewer because of the strict requirements.  I don’t have any immediate plans to upgrade to a Grade 7 referee simply because of the lack of time in my schedule.

During what seasons do you referee, and how far do you travel? 
Typically I ref the spring, summer, and fall seasons.  I don't do any winter indoor soccer reffing because I play indoor soccer myself and trying to do both can be challenging.  Spring 2014 will be the first season I haven't reffed in the last three years because I will be teaching a class at J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College.  At the height of the spring season, I am usually refereeing 8-12 games per week (4-6 high school matches, 4-6 weekend matches).  Weekend matches could be youth or adult matches.  On occasion, I will officiate adult matches during the week.  The workload during the fall decreases because of the fewer school matches.  I have travelled as far west as Amelia to officiate high school matches and as far east as Williamsburg to officiate travel league games.  

What was your greatest concern or doubt, and how has it turned out?  What steps have you taken as a result?
I think I share the same fear that most referees feel before any competitive match:  making a bad call that has a direct impact on the outcome of the game.  I haven’t experienced a situation like this in my four seasons of officiating, but that fear still lurks in the back of my mind before each match.

If you could choose one thing to happen for the organization in the future, what would it be?
I would like to see the organization continue to grow as the sport continues to grow.  Soccer's popularity has exploded over the last 20 years, and I hope it will continue to grow well into the future.

How do you feel your efforts in refereeing has strengthened you as an individual, a professional, and a VRPS member?
I feel the benefits of officiating are endless. I have learned a great deal about leadership and communication by refereeing games.  As an official, you are in total control, which means your decisions will ultimately affect everyone.  Also, you have to learn how to communicate with a whistle and hand motions, which can be very difficult to do effectively and consistently.  Officiating is something that young people can do to strengthen their leadership skills and build their self confidence.

What was your funniest moment or experience thus far?
My funniest moment was during a very competitive scholastic match at Cosby High School.  I was side-stepping down the field with the play and tripped on a sprinkler head indention.  I fell to the ground in the middle of the action and all of the fans and players got a good laugh.  All I could do was smile, jump to my feet, and continue on with the game.

Good advice for life too ....

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