US Official’s Women’s Referee Academy at Champions Cup Finals

The US Official’s Women’s Referee Academy, a groundbreaking initiative supported by the Girl’s Academy League, took place during the 2024 Champions Cup Finals at IMG in Sarasota, FL. This academy aimed to enhance the skills and expertise of female referees, fostering their growth and development on and off the field. 

Key Details: 

  • Participants: A total of 24 officials were carefully selected for this prestigious event. Nineteen officials hailed from various states across the country, while the remaining five were hand-selected to attend by the Italian Soccer Federation. 
  • Lead Instructor: The academy was expertly led by Amanda Ross, a former FIFA Assistant Referee and current FIFA assessor, instructor as well as the Senior Director of Evaluations for NISOA. Her wealth of experience and commitment to excellence made her an ideal mentor for the participants. 
  • Additional Instructors: Supporting Amanda were four other accomplished officials and mentors: 
    • Alex Billiter: Current FIFA Referee 
    • Paula Hildman: National Referee Coach & National Referee Committee member 
    • Scott Kachmarik: Former MLS Assistant Referee, current National Referee Coach & PRO Assessor 
    • Jonathan Billinski: Current National Referee

Coaching Approach: 

Throughout the day, the officials engaged in small group sessions and received one-on-one coaching. These personalized interactions allowed them to fine-tune their decision-making, positioning, and communication skills. The academy emphasized practical scenarios, ensuring that the referees were well-prepared for real match situations. Off the field, the emphasis was on team building/ camaraderie, peer leadership & professionalism. 


The Women’s Referee Academy not only elevates individual capabilities but also strengthens the overall officiating community. By promoting opportunities for officials like this, the Girl’s Academy sets itself at the forefront of creating positive change in officiating and sets the stage for continued growth in women’s soccer refereeing. 

 This academy stands as a testament to the commitment of these officials and instructors toward advancing the sport. Their dedication will undoubtedly contribute to fair play and the continued success of women’s soccer and cannot be accomplished without the support of the GA and their leadership and dedication to the growth of women’s soccer.