Jared Simons on left and Joe Zawistowski on right, courtesy of US Soccer
By Randy Vogt, Director of Public Relations, Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association
March 2, 2017-The Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association (ENYYSA) is very pleased to announce that two of our officials who referee in our youth leagues––Jared Simons and Joe Zawistowski––recently attained the National badge. Seven officials of the 4,200 refs in Eastern New York are currently at the National level because in order to attain this prestigious status, officials must pass very challenging rules and fitness tests as well as field assessments.
Jared Simons started refereeing in 1997 at the age of 12 while living in Arizona as his parents were heavily involved as soccer volunteers from dawn to dusk and he needed something to do at the fields to keep busy rather than simply playing one game.
“My Dad was also a referee, and he often needed an assistant, and since I was free labor, I more often than not found myself with a flag in my hands,” Simons stated. He took a few years off from officiating and relaunched his ref career in Eastern New York in 2009.
Two years ago, the Astoria resident was honored as the US Soccer Development Academy Referee of the Week, and also received an achievement award from the Eastern New York Elite Referee Program.
“A few years ago, I really enjoyed being able to organize and then officiate a charity match which featured the President of Bolivia, Evo Morales, and Michelle Bachelet of Chile to draw attention to the United Nations Secretary General's Campaign to End Violence Against Women,“ he explained. “I also enjoy working the different amateur derby matches here in New York. Being appointed to a Greek-Americans vs. Pancyprian Freedoms match always gives me goosebumps up until I blow the whistle to start the match.“
Joe Zawistowski of Syosset started refereeing over a decade ago and he was encouraged to become more heavily involved when he did a great as an assistant referee for Klaus Mueller, currently in charge of the thousands of soccer refs in Eastern New York as State Referee Administrator (SRA). He was selected by his peers in college soccer officiating as the top Assistant Referee in 2016 in the New York Metro Intercollegiate Soccer Officials Association (NYMISOA).
Zawistowski says that his best moment ever on a soccer field is what he is currently doing, representing Eastern New York as a National Assistant Referee.
SRA Mueller stated, “I believe these two are excellent officials and that’s the reason why they passed all the tests in Florida two months ago.“
With over 100,000 youth soccer players––both boys and girls––and more than 25,000 volunteers, the non-profit Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association (ENYYSA) stretches from Montauk Point, Long Island to the Canadian border. Members are affiliated with 11 leagues throughout the association, which covers the entire state of New York east of Route 81. ENYYSA exists to promote and enhance the game of soccer for children and teenagers between the ages of 5 and 19 years old, and to encourage the healthy development of youth players, coaches, referees and administrators. All levels of soccer are offered––from intramural, travel team and premier players as well as Special Children. No child who wants to play soccer is turned away. ENYYSA is a proud member of the United States Soccer Federation and United States Youth Soccer Association. For more information, please log on to http://www.enysoccer.com/, which receives nearly 300,000 hits annually from the growing soccer community.