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Referee Tyler Tschunitz: 193 games in less than a year

Tyler Tschunitz did 193 games in less than one year of refereeing. How I did it? “I have no idea, I just showed up everyday and did my thing. I just tried to keep motivated and enjoy what I did.”

Referee Tyler Tschunitz is 16 years old. He currently is a district referee from Québec, Canada.

Referee Tyler Tschunitz

Why did you decide to become a referee?

“Well I sent an email to join the course 2 years ago now, but there wasn’t enough space for me that year and I was told I was put on a waiting list for the year after. When I got the email I had actually totally forgotten about it all together, however I was still interested. It was actually right on time because it was at the end of my last season as a player. I originally wanted to referee (not gonna lie here) to earn money and be able to pay for a expensive driving course that is required in Québec and slightly because I enjoyed the sport, oh not to mention I wanted to hand out yellow and red cards!”

What has refereeing brought to you so far?

“Back sitting in my courses a year ago, I never knew where I’d end up with refereeing. I was told I’d be able to only do about 20 games in the summer and not be able to make it too far. To my surprise, on my second night out, I did 3 games and I kept doing about 2 games a night for a few days when I realized, well it looks like I’m going over 20 games this season. 3 weeks later I hit 20 games about to start a 2 day weekend tournament, I was only assigned AR positions in this tournament because I didn’t yet have my district level, but nonetheless it was super fun experience, I got to have nice conversations with a high level evaluator and just socialize with other referees.”

“The very next weekend, I was taking my district course which was 9am to 5pm about 30 minutes from my house – and the scariest part was I knew no one there. I passed the course (it was easier than my clubs course to be honest), and just like that I got my district badge. Refereeing has really changed me as a person though:

  • I’ve made friends, gained some confidence,
  • It has also made me more physically active
  • It motivated me to stay in better shape.

And there was a bonus for referee Tyler Tschunitz: “I also got the opportunity to see a Women’s World cup game as a gift from my club for saving them so many times. By the end of the summer season I had gotten a club award “Junior referee of the year”. For me refereeing is an escape from life and everything within, it is also a chance to have fun and meet new people.”

How often do you ref?

“Last summer I reffed almost everyday, with an average of 2 games per night, taking one week off. In total I did 142 games within 3-4 months. After that I started doing winter games with my region, to date I’ve done 51 winter games totaling to 193 games in less than one year of reffing. How I did it? I have no idea, I just showed up everyday and did my thing. I just tried to keep motivated and enjoy what I did.”

“Reffing was really my way of staying fit, I biked to most of my games, and I’ve biked around the city a bit, but that’s about it for fitness for me. However it has convinced me to eat better and to be more active and I will try to keep moving this summer. I’d say my biggest physical setback was when I was heading to a field on my bike and I crashed, it hurt, but I went to the field did my matches and kept reffing after. Though it hurt a lot especially my knees which I still get some pain in.”

What does your training look like? How important is your local RA for you? 

Pic of Tyler Tschunitz“Training … I never really trained much. We don’t have any RA’s in Quebec to my knowledge, we just have referee departments within our clubs, region and the Fédération de Soccer du Québec (FSQ). My region hosts these training sessions once in a while when it comes closer to fitness test time. That test is for the FSQ provincial list (AAA referees) which I am currently not a part of, however I did show up to all the sessions I could make. I do find everyone within the referee departments to be super nice and friendly. They are always helpful and help solve my problems.”

How do you analyze your performances? How do you improve? 

“My club often sends evaluators to evaluate our performance, most are super useful giving me good feedback. I have had this national level evaluator watch me a few times and he was always impressed, we’ve had some very good discussions in the past and he always wants to help and push me further. To improve I listen to all the advice I get (to an extent) and try to fix my mistakes. I also ask my assistants about my performance. I also try and watch many match situations and figure out what the correct call would be.”

What are your goals as a referee?

“As a referee I want to improve and become the best referee I can. Maybe one day make it to the higher levels and maybe even FIFA if possible. But, on a smaller scale I just wanna do my games right, and do some fun higher level matches!”

What are the best tips you got so far in your career? And how did they help you?

Some of the best tips I have ever received and still try and apply are:

  • Positioning: I was once and continuously told that positioning is important and that it is important to get to the right position and get the call right
  • Eye contact and communications with the AR: It is so important to have eye contact with the AR or with the referee as an AR. It is also important to communicate properly with small gestures and signals. As an AR, it is also important to call to the referee if your flag is up and they don’t see it
  • Signals: It is always important to properly signal to the player and everyone around. I was told by one evaluator that out of all the signals and whistling you do only 5% of what the players take in is your verbal communications. The way you blow your whistle and having straight signals are very important
  • “If you make 100 calls in a game, and 90 of them are right. That’s a 90% success rate, and that’s pretty good. The only problem is, the players, spectators and coaches only see the 10% you got wrong”
  • Be confident in your calls, even if your wrong

Those are the best tips I feel I’ve gotten to date.

Share your tip

What is the best tip you got as referee? Share it in the comments.


  • Jan ter Harmsel

    I listened to a story from Howard Webb (in Referees World Podcast – worth to check!) that he gained lots of experience by officiating a lot of games from the start of his career. You also try to do that, Samadji Joshua Tetteh?

  • Tyler Tschunitz

    Samadji: Thank you! Experience is everything!
    Jan: What are you hinting? 😉 I’ll defiantly have to check it out!

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