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Griff Sims

Past President
Joe Morgalis

Casey Black

Treasurer and
Chapter Contact

Stuart Dunn

Wes Williams

Director of Assessments
Terry Radford

David Edwards
Joe Morgalis 
Terry Radford
Walt Sokowolski
Billy Walter

Stuart Dunn - Southeastern College Assigning (SECA)


GISOA Annual Clinic

Saturday August 3
Oglethorpe University
7am - 3pm

*6:45am/**7:20: Warm-up (Track)

*7:00/**7:35: Fitness Test

 8:10 - 8:55: Shower Period
(Field House/Recreation Center adjacent to track. Bring towel and toiletries.)

9:15: Clinic (Trustee Lynch Campus Center)

Clinician - Rodney Kenney

Welcome, Agenda Review, Video Review, etc.

12:00 - 12:30: Lunch

12:30 - 3:00: Video review, etc.

NISOA Hall of Fame Referee Mike Balson dies May 30, 2019. 

"Michael John Charles Balson, 71, of Bridport, England, passed peacefully from death to life in Jesus Christ on May 30, 2019, from complications associated with Lewy body dementia. His final days were spent surrounded by his loving wife, children, and friends. There will be two memorial services held to celebrate his remarkable life, one on June 15 in Orlando (4:00 PM, Banfield Funeral Home, 420 FL-434 Winter Springs, FL 32708), and one on June 22 in Atlanta (2:00 PM, HM Patterson & Son, Oglethorpe Hill Chapel, 4550 Peachtree Rd NE, Atlanta, GA 30319). 
Mike was born on Sept. 9, 1947. He is the oldest child of Donald and Joan Balson. He is survived by his wife, Julia, his children, Melanie and Oliver, his mother, Joanne, and his siblings, Richard, Christina and Jane. Mike also has five beloved grandchildren; Sydney, Sierra, Maddox, Zoe, and Judah. 

Mike enjoyed a happy childhood in Bridport, where his father owned and operated R.J. Balson & Son, the family butcher shop, which has been in operation since 1515, most likely the oldest butcher shop in the world. He spent time helping in the butcher shop and enjoying cricket, water polo, rugby, and football (soccer). He captained the football team at Colfox school, was the youngest player to ever to play for Bridport FC, joined the Exeter City youth team, and was selected to the England Schoolboys team. In 1963, at the age of 17, he signed as a professional player at Exeter City Football Club. From 1963-1974, Mike played over 400 matches for the Exeter City first team. During that time, he was awarded his English Football Association coaching license and captained over 200 matches. 

In 1974, Mike signed for Highlands Park FC and relocated to South Africa until 1979. He was selected to simultaneously play and coach the team for 3 years, kept a record-breaking run of 44 games unbeaten, and won the South African Cup three times, the League Cup three times, and the Coca Cola Cup twice. Perhaps his biggest accomplishment during his time in South Africa is his role in ending segregation in professional football by building an inter-racial squad. 

In 1979, Mike signed with the Atlanta Chiefs of the North American Soccer League and relocated to Atlanta, GA with his young family. He would ultimately dedicate his career to promoting the game of soccer in the Atlanta area. During this time, he played against some of the world’s greatest players, including Pele, George Best, and Franz Beckenbauer. He coached at Georgia State University for three years, developed coaching programs for new coaches, and worked with the Special Olympics. In 1982, Mike was the player/assistant coach for the Georgia Generals of the ASL, and from 83-85, he coached at Dekalb Junior College. In 1986-87, Mike played his final season as a professional for the Tampa Bay Rowdies, capping off a 25 year long playing career. 

From 1985-1990, Mike focused on player development, coaching, and private camps. His passion for the game resulted in the much loved “Mike Balson’s Soccer Academy,” the first indoor/outdoor soccer facility in the Southeast. The Academy produced and developed much of the best young talent in the game, including the “Steamers,” a top club in the state of Georgia, and several U.S. national players. Mike’s successful coaching career continued on for many more years with numerous club teams and with Georgia Perimeter College from 1993-1996. 

From 1990-2001, Mike continued to promote the game as Assistant Commissioner for the USISL professional league. He was responsible for developing new team franchises on the East Coast, working with the MLS to identify talented draft candidates, setting league regulations, and resolving conflicts. From 2001-2003, Mike served as the General Manager of the Atlanta Silverbacks, rebuilding a team to a +500 record by focusing on signing local talent. 

Mike’s love for the game, his experience as a player and coach, his active lifestyle, and his calm disposition made for a natural transition into the world of refereeing. While he began refereeing in the early 1980s, the early 2000s saw his most prolific time as a referee in the SEC and ACC. Mike had the honor of refereeing the 1999 NCAA Div. 1 Women’s Final and the 2002, 2004, and 2005 NCAA Div. 1 Men’s Finals. 

In 2002, Mike was inducted into the United Soccer League Hall of Fame. In 2003, Mike was inducted into the GSSA Soccer Hall of Fame. In 2006, Mike was inducted into the NISOA Hall of Fame. 

As a player, coach, and referee, Mike always personified professionalism and respected the game, his players, opponents, and colleagues. Apart from all of Mike’s professional accomplishments and honors, it is perhaps his character and influence on so many people that will be remembered the most. He was a man of strong faith who loved his Lord, his family, and others. Mike and his wife Julia spent over 30 years ministering to prisoners in Atlanta, GA. They also spent 20 years ministering to youth at Georgia Regional Hospital. 

Known by many as the “Golden Eagle”, Mike approached soccer the same way he did life itself, with patience, kindness, wit, humility, and respect. He was a bridge builder, collaborator, and friend to all. He expected and pulled the best out of people, while always giving his best. He faced every obstacle with dignity. 

He will be dearly missed, but his legacy lives on through every life that he touched. Rest in Peace, Mike Balson. The Golden Eagle is now soaring above the suffering that this world can bring. 

We would like to thank all of our friends and family who have been a great comfort during this difficult time. We would also like to thank Share the Care for their tremendous support over the past four years. Condolences can be sent directly to either funeral home (Banfield Funeral Home, Winter Springs or HM Patterson, Oglethorpe Hill Chapel, Atlanta). If you feel led, donations can be made to Share the Care in Mike Balson’s name -- 1524 Formosa Ave., Winter Park, FL 32789." 


FIFA Assistant Referee and VAR Corey Rockwell presenting at GISOA Clinic

Pierce Richardson
U.S. Soccer Hall of Fame
NISOA Section (2006)

Pierce Richardson Memorial
Died August 31, 2017

From Griff Sims, President, Georgia ISOA:

We lost a treasured friend and member of our GISOA family last week. Most of today’s GISOA referees know Pierce as our assignor, but that role the past 27 years was just his 2nd half. He was a GISOA official for 32 years before continuing his work administratively. He helped advanced several of our officials to National Referee status and opportunities in the NCAA post season as well as in the ACC. He was a mentor and father figure to most all of us.

Memorial Services for Pierce Richardson were held Saturday, September 23, 2017 at 2:00 p.m.Union United Methodist Church 4600 Highway 138 SW, Stockbridge, Georgia, 30281

We would like to help his family with this untimely loss. We have established The Pierce Richardson Memorial Fund.
Please make a donation check to:
Pierce Richardson Memorial Fund
Mail to: Stuart Dunn – 232 St. Andrews Ct, 



Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: cid:image006.png@01CD3435.813D4640MEMORANDUM – 8.1.19

Georgia Intercollegiate Soccer Officials Association

Saturday’s 2019 GISOA Clinic will be held at OGLETHORPE UNIVERSITY!

Itinerary remains same:

  • Track is a nice new surface - #25 on campus map legend attached. Group assignments (to arrive 6:45 a.m. or 7:20 a.m.) will be sent out tomorrow.  Bring own soap, shampoo, towels.
  • Class start is same 9:15 a.m. at location #10 -  TRUSTEE LYNCH CAMPUS CENTER - easy walk from where you will park if taking fitness run.  
  • DressNISOA/GISOA or other collared polo shirt. Shorts ok so long as not running/cargo shorts.

Please do not forget Chapter dues check - $185.00 (payable to GISOA).


We will have a robust 60+ attendees. Though 25 members certified last week in Birmingham, we have 10 new members and 3 NISOA transfers to welcome!  

Featured Guest Clinician –Rodney Kenney (FL)Many of you may remember his colorful and engaging instruction here with us in 2014 at Emory!  His resume looks similar to other top drawer NISOA Instructors, but we want to pay attention to his career in COACHING.

  • Florida S.R.A. - 1987 - 1990
  • National Director of Referee Administration for the USSF-  1991 - 1995.
  • Certified USSF & NISOA National referee instructor
  • National Referee Assessor for both USSF & NISOA.
  • Former NISOA National Instructor Staff
  • Member of the Florida Referee Hall of Fame & United States Soccer Federation Eddy Person Award winner.
  • Has written numerous referee articles in soccer refereeing periodicals, such as the United States Soccer Federation’s “Fair Play”, Florida Referee’s “Goal”, FA Referee Magazine, referee web sites and for the NISOA newsletter and web site.




  • 1990 - 1998 coached an amateur women’s team in Jacksonville to a 121-12 record.
  • 1990 - 2002 coached Orange Park High School to 248-42 career record.
  • Won his 300th in 2012 (Hagerty High School).
  • 1996 Florida Girls’ High School Coach of the Year . 2012 Florida 5A girls’ High School Coach of the year and NSCAA Division 1 Florida Girls Coach of the Year
  • Interim head women’s coach University of North Florida 1996 (12-7), Assistant women’s coach at UNF (1997 - 2001) , Assistant women’s coach at Stetson University (2002 – 2008)
  • Coached Florida High School State All-stars four times.
  • Head Coach of the Florida Women’s Amateur Select team for two years.
  • Was Director of Player Personal for Jacksonville Jade (W-League)
  • Most recently: Assistant Coach at Stetson University


We often bring in coaches to get their perspectives. With Rodney, we get the referee, assessor, instructor and accomplished coach in one package. Uniquely qualified to talk about managing coaches and players - what 'works' and what doesn't!   


Mark your calendar! 2019 GISOA Clinic will be held August 3, 2019 at (UPDATED 8/1/19) Oglethorpe University

It is not easy setting our clinic date a full 4 months in advance. We do this before summer vacation plans have been formed so there is no excuse not to plan around this date! Our clinic is mandatory - If you are unavailable for this date, you must contact me personally and I will provide dates of other chapter clinics which you will be required to commute to at own expense. If you can not attend a clinic, the GISOA Board will schedule a separate physical fitness test on an alternative date and assess a fine of $75.00 for missed class session.


There will be a minimum fitness test score in order to be a member in good standing and certified to officiate for ANY assignor.


We are committed to quality content. Our clinic last year with 2018 World Cup FIFA Corey Rockwell attests. We will keep the bar high with special national clinicians.


Exemptions (from class session only – NOT the PFT):

  • ECSR. With the new partnership announced between NISOA, any ECSR clinic attended after Apr. 1 will exempt.
  • NCAA officiating seminars. Attendance at any of these ‘no fee’ seminars:
    • May 11 - Denver CO
    • June 1 - Dallas TX
    • July 20 - Indianapolis IN
    • August 3  - Boston MA

 Griff Sims -President



Key GISOA policy change:

  • The on-line NISOA test (mandatory for NCAA post season consideration) is now MANDATORY for everyone. With games cranking up after our Clinic, we ask you to review rules and rule changes and take test prior to Clinic. We will track who has and who has not.
  • You may take the test twice. While it is up to you, we’d like you to take it once, then wait and take it a second time after the Clinic. Thinking: if we discuss as a group the logic or basis for a particular college rule, it will “stick” better than memorizing. The end game is not the test score, it’s the application mid-season when it presents itself.
    • Logon to ArbiterSports.com and select NISOA Central Hub or copy link into your browser:  https://nisoa.arbitersports.com/front/105031/test
    • Select “Testing” tab. Select from Open Tests “2018 NISOA National Referee certification exam”.
    • Please download the rules book from the NCAA web-site using link below. We HIGHLY encourage you to use it while taking the test. By downloading, you can do a word or phrase search to find answer to question while taking the test.. What to do: open and minimize it while taking test. You then maximize when needed and enter key word “hair pulling” for example and it will go right to it and provide answer (i.e.constitutes ‘fighting’).  http://www.ncaapublications.com/p-4401-2016-and-2017-soccer-rules-interpretations.aspx
    • Quickie 5 minute review prep: Top 10 missed questions from last year:  View Question Summary

LOCATION: AGNES SCOTT UNIVERSITY -  http://agnesscott.college-tour.com/map.php

2019 Chapter Dues: TBA

Stuart Dunn

GISOA Treasurer

232 St Andrews Ct.

Social Circle, GA  30025.

After Aug. 5: tbd (no exceptions).

Tip: A majority of us officiated GSOA and plan to attend the season pay-out meeting. Please bring check with you (payable to GISOA) and give to me or Stuart at the meeting. We will hold them all for 5 days (after GSOA pay-out deposits).



From June 29, 2016 Message
At USSF Youth Region III Awards dinner last night (Greenville, SC), we proudly congratulate our GISOA award winners:

  • Top Referees: David Jaye & Amin Hadzic
    • Top Assistant Referees: Ashley Varnson, Matt Jackson, Sergii Deminchuck
    • Selected to National Championship Finals:
    • Referees: David Jaye & Amin Hadzic.
    • Assistant Referees:  Matt Jackson, Ashley Varnson

    From 2014 Message


On the subject of "mentoring": attached you'll find an interesting read from another familiar name….

      (see below - after NEW Member...updates)


    Congratulations to the following GISOA members (and new members) returning from Reg. III USYSA Championships in Oklahoma:

    David Jaye, Brandon Adams, Matt Jackson, Anelise Cimino, Aleks Zhelyazkov, Jimmy McKean, Nick Uranga, Guido Gonzales, Jeff Bouchard.

    Special congratulations to Anelise Cimino & Nick Uranga - chosen to advance to USYSA National Championship Finals - Overland Park, KS.

    Congratulations also extended to Aleks Zhelyazkov & Matt Jackson - selected to go on to Youth President's Cup Finals in Auburndale, FL. 

    Griff Sims - GISOA President

    National Intercollegiate Soccer Officials Association

    November 2006


    by Pierce Richardson

    Over the years of a referee’s career one may tend to

    focus on refereeing only and not on other opportunities

    provided by NISOA.  Knowing this, in addition to refereeing

    several questions should come to mind such as:

    • What will be my contribution and involvement with NISOA

    after I leave the field or even while still refereeing?

    • How? Potential opportunities assessing, assigning, clinician,


    I remember back in the early 70’s when I first started officiating.

    Every Saturday morning I would go to the local YMCA and

    work my 4 or 5 U-6 & U-8 games and EVERY Saturday morning

    Mr. Bill O’Toole was there. At this time Mr. O’Toole was in his late

    60’s or early 70’s and still had a love for the game that few share.

    I would be the referee and Mr. O’Toole would be one of the linesmen

    (as it was called then) for me, then he would be the referee

    and I would be the linesman. After all of our games were over,

    Mr. O’Toole would take me to a shady spot and sometimes we

    would spend an hour or more talking about the games and how I

    could improve. Mr. O’Toole is no longer with us, but he will always

    be remembered by me and many others for what he gave back to

    the game and each of us.

    One thing NISOA needs is mentors. The organization is currently

    developing a formal mentoring program. A seasoned

    NISOA member could start informally mentoring now. There is no

    need to wait until being asked or told that help is needed. Mentors

    differ from assessors or clinicians in that they assist members with

    less experience with the overall NISOA culture and become a person

    of reference on a more personal basis.

    There are many ways a person can mentor another referee.

    Some have a great aptitude for fitness, thus can mentor someone

    in how to better stay in shape and train. Some have refereed at

    the highest level of collegiate soccer and can mentor someone in

    achieving this level. Some of you work in a corporate environment

    or you are school teachers and can mentor someone in responding

    to difficult situations with assessors, assignors, clinicians,

    other referees or game management.

    Mentoring is not limited to young or new referees. The options

    are out there. The key is to take the first step in helping someone.

    When I first started officiating college games I was very fortunate,

    because I came along at a time when there were many Bill

    O’Tooles in the local NISOA chapter who would spend hours and

    hours helping me and other young officials develop our abilities.

    Once I heard an individual I respected say, "I don’t want to be

    forgotten when I retire from refereeing, I want to help someone

    take my place" I didn't quite understand what he meant until several

    years later when I realized all the time and dedication this

    person gave to me.

    We have all heard Dr. Bernabei say many times Family first,

    job second and refereeing third, but that should not stop any of us

    from looking for a few minutes to help someone along the way.

    The world has changed a lot since Mr. O’Toole and I sat in the

    shade and talked about our U-6 & U-8 games for that morning. I

    know most everyone has a hundred things going on in their life

    and as soon as the game is over we want to get back to those

    things. There are many ways you can find a few minutes to spend

    with your crew for the day and talk about the game and how each

    of you might have done something different. For example: What

    about stopping along the way and have refreshments? Better yet

    whenever possible ride to the game together or least part of the

    way and use this time going and coming to help each other

    become better NISOA officials.

    A few extra hours in bringing someone along will go miles in

    continuing the tradition of NISOA - producing quality college officials.

    When your time comes to step away, you can then be proud

    that you mentored someone who became your replacement and

    they too will then have a Mr. O’Toole to remember.






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