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The Salem Soccer Referees Association welcomes men and women interested in providing refereeing services to high school and community youth leagues throughout the Mid-Willamette Valley. The Association has been active for over thirty years and is a chartered association of the Oregon Schools Activities Association (OSAA).

The Salem Soccer Referees Association is a non-profit association governed by Articles of Incorporation and By-laws as well as Administrative Rules. The daily administration of the Association is carried out by an executive board. The membership profile reflects 40 to 60 individuals representing all walks of life and ages spanning from 18 to more than 50.

The role of the Association is to:

1) promote the game of soccer 

2) recruit and train soccer referees

3) provide certified soccer referees to client schools

4) act as a technical advisor to OSAA and

5) assist in maintaining the games integrity by providing for players’ safety, good sportsmanship and fair and equitable play.

The Association, for the past 40 years has developed a long history of commitment and dedication to high school soccer. Many referees have moved through the organization over time. The Association recognizes many of those referees annually, their “love of the game” means hours of time away from careers and family to provide for quality contests for high school soccer players.

The Association serves 28 schools and their 80+ teams in the cities of Salem, Stayton, Monmouth-Independence, Amity, Aurora, Dayton, Colton, Sheridan, Gervais, Molalla, McMinnville, Silverton, Turner, Woodburn, and Yamhill-Carlton. Referees, once trained and certified, are assigned games primarily on weekday afternoons and Saturdays. Over the years the Association leadership has developed specific policies and guidelines to:

1) give the membership clear and consistent guidelines and

2) provide the most efficient service possible.

Welcome to the Salem Soccer Referees Association.


A Condensed History of the SSRA


    The Salem Soccer Referee Association (SSRA) was established in the year 1978, but its roots began in Salem in the early seventies.  At that time no referee organization existed in Oregon's capital, this local soccer officials were assigned by an Assistant Commissioner of a Oregon referee organization located in Portland.

    The first school to request Salem officials was Western Mennonite.  Soon after that, a number of Salem high school teams such as McNary, McKay, North Salem, Sprague and South Salem began requesting the Salem officials.  At this time, USSF soccer rules were followed, since no high school rules had existed in Oregon at that time.  All games were officiated by a single referee and occasionally they be aided by club linesmen.

    A somewhat more structured referee organization followed when the Valley Soccer League was formed by eleven area high schools:  Western Mennonite, Corvallis, Crescent Valley, South Albany, West Albany, Woodburn and the five Salem high schools (McNary, McKay, North Salem, South Salem and Sprague); Salem Academy joined later.  To serve these schools, "a locally called Valley League referee association" was organized by John Plechl (as temporary acting Commissioner), Barry Nathan (Assistant Commissioner, later Commissioner), Jody Horner (Commissioner, succeeding Barry Nathan) and Tony Clark.

    The handful of referees at that time were: John Plechl, Tony Clark, Barry Nathan, Jody Horner, Jim Johnston, Fred Kennedy and numerous others who would work on game of their choice per week.  During the early years of high school soccer, only boys' matches were held and officially assigned.

The Beginning and Growing Phase

    During the 1975/76 season, Parks and Recreation of the City of Salem under the leadership of Barbara Roberts, sponsored a soon to be successful program called "soccer for kids".  This, in 1978, led to the naming of Barbara Roberts as commissioner of the newly established Salem Soccer Referee Association also known as SSRA.

    The "Founding Fathers" of the SSRA were John Plechl, Tony Clark, Jody Horner, Dick Horner, Barry Nathan and Harry Garabedian.

    From 1978 to 1990, some of the more "illustrious" officials, besides those previously mentioned were Fred Kennedy, Bob Phillips, John Russel, Jim Johnston, Tom O'Brian, Dick Cowan and Frank Balke.

Presidents - Past and Present

    The SSRA's first elected president was Harry Garabedian, he would be followed by some of our truly loyal members; Barry Nathan, Dick Horner, Ken Battaile, Frank Balke, Gary Roelofs, Robb Gramzow, Charlie Anderson, Kevin Haas, Paul Krissel, Ivan Fernandez, Justin Close, Manuel Palacio, John Albert and Mick St. Paul.

    Constitutional changes as to succession of SSRA officers made in 1997 are now as follows: President, Vice-president, Second Vice-president and Secretary.  Each position is held for two years.  Those named above plus the past president, the trainer and the commissioner make up the SSRA Board.

Schedulers - Past and Present

    From 1978 until today the task of assigning officials to the soccer matches fell upon the schedulers.  The following is a list of the hard-working individuals who made scheduling happen for the schools.  Barry Nathan, Jody Horner, Barbara Roberts, Dick Cowan, Ed Daniels, Mike Cain, David Thorndike and currently Jose Maciel.

Toward the Turn of the Century

    Some of SSRA's earliest records before 1994 have yet to be found.  However, the following is a list of the available Salem Soccer Referee officials from the 1994/95 soccer season: Harry Garabedian, York Rentsch, Gary Rentsch, Ken Battaile, Bob Shike, Trudie Ober, Charlie Anderson, Walop Glinphranton, Robb Gramzow, Dick Horner, Justin Close, Bob Phillips, Bob Schaefer, Chuck Itoh, John Plechl, Dick Cowan, Greg Baisch, Tim Farr, Del Frigault, Chuck Blackman, Marco Benevidez and Frank Balke.