The Cal South Referee Spotlight is a calsouth.com feature, highlighting elite officials through the Cal South system.
While many parents are responsible for getting their children enrolled in soccer when they’re young, it’s the love for the game that keeps players involved in one way or another. Cal South Referee, and US Soccer National Referee Randy Hoffman shares that same background.
Hoffman began playing soccer when he was four years old when his parents decided to enroll him into the AYSO program. From then on, there was no turning back. Hoffman would go on to have a 17-year playing career that went from recreational to club, high school and collegiate soccer. His post-playing career includes 13 years of experience coaching and officiating.
The transition from player to referee came like it did to many others; Hoffman was encouraged by a coach to get into refereeing as a way to make money to pay for his expenses. Once his journey in refereeing began, it didn’t stop. It was a great fit for Hoffman, as it allowed him to maintain his fitness and increase his knowledge of the game. Additionally, the support and encouragement he had as a young, successful referee increased his desire to continue as he was progressed through the ranks, as he recalls.
Hoffman continued his advancement through the Cal South Referee ranks, officiating through all the important tournaments in So Cal, including the Cal South State Cup and National Cup. Through these opportunities, Hoffman was able to gain the right exposure and earn opportunities at a regional and national level.
“At the core, Cal South has provided me with high quality matches that have challenged me to be the best,” Hoffman said. “Cal South has provided me opportunities to be coached/assessed by some of the top referees’ minds in the nation; and Cal South provided me opportunities to represent them at top youth tournaments such as Farwest Regionals and National Championships. Cal South has always supported me and the vision I have of myself and constantly encourages me to continue to grow and enjoy the beautiful game.”
Hoffman, along with a group of Cal South Referees, is part of a special group of officials that have gone the extra mile to earn their U.S Soccer National Referee Badge. The journey to earn the badge is a long one, but through hard work, dedication, desire, and with the help of the Cal South Referee Community, it all became possible.
Hoffman has now officiated at all levels; youth, amateur and professional ranks, including a Liga MX US Friendly between Chivas de Guadalajara and Club Leon at Dignity Health Sports Park, teams he watched on TV growing up.
“There are a lot of feelings associated with being at this level, but to narrow it down, I would have to say I feel very humbled, happy, and honored,” said Hoffman. “Soccer is my passion and I have invested a lot into my referee career, to be respected as one of the best referees in the nation is very humbling. Officiating at a national level comes with various stressors and levels of stress but it is always enjoyable to step out onto the pitch and referee the game. I am honored to do so representing Cal South and US Soccer.”
With all the experience and knowledge earned throughout his playing career and as a referee, Hoffman hopes he can continue making a difference in the Referee Community; leave everything on the field, be the best referee there can be, and share what he can with his fellow colleagues.
“My ultimate objective is to become the best referee that I can be,” Hoffman said. If in becoming the best referee I can be gets me to officiate in the FIFA World Cup, CONCACAF Gold Cup, or MLS, just to name a few, then I will be extremely satisfied with my success. However, I referee primarily for the love of the game, so officiating and being able to provide quality service to the youth & amateur game is very fulfilling along with having been recognized as one of the top referees in the nation. Another objective of mine is to continue to be able to give back to my referee community and coach/mentor referees who desire to become the best that they can be.”
To learn more about the Cal South Referee Program, click here.