50 Years of NISOA
In 1963, a small group of mostly college coaches met in New York City to discuss the need to improve the quality of soccer officiating at the intercollegiate level. This was the genesis of NISOA. In 1964, there was an organizational meeting and Jim Walder, Philadelphia, PA, was elected as the first president. Long time legend of NISOA, Harry Rogers, Philadelphia, PA was first vice-president. The membership totaled 184. In 1966, Dr. Raymond Bernabei was asked to be the National Examiner and he developed the first formal criteria for membership in NISOA. By 1968, 32 test centers were established around the country to administer the entrance examination.
The 1970’s began with the first National Clinic being held at Ohio Wesleyan. At the same time, NISOA began establishing relationships with the NSCAA, NCAA, NAIA, NJCAA, NCCAA and NIRSA . NISOA became partners with the various organization tournament selection committees. In 1973, the first five year plan was presented by President Raymond Bernabei which established a National Convention, Entry Level Standards, International Exchange Program, Policy Manual, Fiscal Management, National Academy for Referee Training and more.