Get to know Walt Anderson, DC Stoddert Soccer’s Referee Director.
Walt Anderson has been a mainstay in the middle of the pitch for DC Stoddert Soccer for more than15 years. As Director of Referees, Walt regularly works with youth and adults to teach the laws of soccer and provide a basis for those interested in refereeing to acquire the skills and knowledge necessary to officiate youth matches.
During the fall 2013 season, Walt supervised more than 70 referees who oversaw a total of 1,064 matches for DC Stoddert Soccer. Heading into the spring 2016 season, the demand for referees remains high across the board, and as such, Walt is always on the look out for men, women and children who want to serve the game as referees. To learn more about Stoddert’s referee program, click here.
DCST: Where and when did you first start refereeing soccer?
WA: I first started refereeing in Minneapolis in the 1980’s. Our league had many players from around the world and I enjoyed learning soccer terms in many languages, and other more colorful phrases as well.
Were you inspired by a family member, coach, teacher or friend to start refereeing?
A fellow teammate asked me if I had ever considered becoming a referee. I knew my playing days were soon to be over and I decided to try the referee’s whistle.
What brought you to DC Stoddert?
I started with DC Stoddert as an assistant coach of my son’s recreational team when he was 6 years old.
Can you elaborate on why referee education and training is important. How do you help spread the word about the importance of fair play and sportsmanship when teaching referees how to manage the game?
Referees should never stop learning the game and improving their skills. A new referee must work hard to move on from a basic book understanding of the Laws of the Game to developing his or her presence on the field to influence play.
The first thing I tell new DC Stoddert junior referees on their first day of training is that we as referees are out there to keep the game “safe and fair.” Only in that environment will our young players enjoy and learn the “Beautiful Game”. That insight is reinforced throughout their training.
Talk about your officiating philosophy. What do you want players and their parents to know about your style? How do you measure progress in the young referees that you work with?
This is the players ‘game to enjoy and I’m there to help keep a match safe and fair. A great game is one that continually flows; the referee must help a game flow by ignoring the trifling fouls that do not interrupt the game and recognizing the fouls that need to be called.
When not on the soccer pitch, what kinds of things do you enjoy/look forward to doing?
I cook and am very fond of Asian food. I also enjoy training my dogs and exercising with them.
Talk about the last book you read and what you enjoyed about the book.
A Curious Madness is an account of the war crime trials in Japan following World War II. It presents a fascinating contrast of how individuals and their respective societies on both sides of the war thought about their duties and responsibilities.
Name (3) people you would invite to dinner. What topics of conversation would you choose to discuss over the meal?
I would like to invite Tom and Susanne Frank, both experienced and well-regarded referees in Virginia, and Sir Alex Ferguson, former manager of Manchester United and frequent critic of referees. We would talk about all kinds of mayhem we have seen on soccer fields over the years, and how referees were and were not up to these challenges.
If you could choose an actor to portray you in a film, who would that be and why?
I’d ask actor John Cleese to portray me as a referee, because of his cool appreciation for the absurdity around him.
Do you plan to attend this summer’s World Cup? If so, which team(s) do you plan to support?
I’ve been invited to go by a Brazilian friend but my family obligations come first and I plan to watch the games on TV here in the USA. The teams that I will root for include the USA and Chile - can they move on from the “Group of Death”?
Which professional soccer players would you choose in your starting XI? Why?
Brad Fiedel (GK) – Tottenham Hotspurs, “The Human Wall”. Yoga has helped this American’ keeper stay in the EPL at age 42. He’s showing us how to stay fit and gives us hope that we, too, can play a bit in our older years.
Luis Suarez (F) – Liverpool FC; a tremendous goal scorer who also has many assists; he’s an unselfish player.
Franck Ribery (F) – Bayern Munich; a winger who scores a lot of goals.
Mesut Ozil (MF) – Arsenal; a very tough player, and resilient so far in the EPL.
Gareth Bale (MF) – Real Madrid; has fun on the field, scores goals, and I enjoyed watching him when he played for Tottenham.
Robert Lewandowski (F) – Borussia Dortmund; solid attacker who can score.
Yaya Toure (MF) –Manchester City; strong midfielder and a big guy.
Jermaine Jones (MF) – U.S. Men’s National Team – has a reputation for losing his cool on the field a challenge to the referee, who will need highly developed man-management skills to control this game.
Terrence Boyd (F) -Rapid Vienna; A young American with the potential to be a star someday; he would learn a lot playing with this assembled team.
Clint Dempsey (MF) – best American player.
Omar Gonzalez (D) – LA Galaxy; American defender who played for the University of Maryland.