Thursday, December 7, 2023

PRO officials give insight to the next generation

PRO assistant referee Paul Scott was among a group of officials who made a school visit to give a group of young children an insight into the world of professional refereeing.

After receiving an invite from Becky Dees, the school counselor at Kennedy Junior High School, Utah, Scott visited the group of youngsters with fellow PRO officials Hilario Grajeda and Ismail Elfath.

“We were invited to talk about our profession: how we got into it, our backgrounds, highlights of our careers, what our week is like,” Scott told

“We then opened the floor for questions. The kids wanted to know how we deal with the stress, to which we talked about converting stress into intensity in order to stay focused and mentally on top of things.

“Most of the kids played on the boys and girls soccer teams. Ms. Dees said that she felt it helpful that the kids could see other careers in the game they loved since so few ever actually make it to the professional level in soccer.”

Scott, who has been an AR in MLS since 1996 and has featured on eight occasions this season, felt the event benefited both parties, and believes it is an experience that could well be repeated in the future.

“For us, I think it was very rewarding, perhaps more than what the kids got out of it. They were engaged and excited to talk about the game.

“We had PRO pins that we gave out to the kids and I brought a few red and yellow cards. We took photos and signed autographs and there is talk of doing it again next year.”

Referee Hilario Grajeda also visited Centerville High School in Ohio earlier this year, enjoying the opportunity to give back to the community – click here to read that story.

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