Olympic Referee Assignments Soccer

Mark Geiger in 2012

Born(1974-08-25) August 25, 1974 (age 43)
Beachwood, New Jersey
Other occupationMathematics teacher
2008–FIFA listedReferee

Mark Geiger (born August 25, 1974) is an American soccerreferee who officiates at domestic level in Major League Soccer (MLS) and who has been on the FIFA International Referees List since 2008. He is also a member of the Professional Referee Organization (PRO). At international level, Geiger has refereed the 2012 Olympics; at the 2013 and 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cups; and at the 2014 FIFA World Cup. At the 2014 World Cup, he became the first referee from the United States to officiate a knockout match at a World Cup tournament. Before becoming a full-time referee, Geiger was a high school mathematics teacher.

Refereeing Career[edit]

Geiger first took up refereeing in 1988. He became a United States Soccer Federation National Referee in 2003 and has been officiating in Major League Soccer since 2004. He has officiated in CONCACAF tournaments since becoming a FIFA referee in 2008, and has officiated Gold Cup and other international tournaments and fixtures. Geiger was selected for the CONCACAF U-20 Championship in 2011, where he refereed the final.[1]

Geiger officiated at the 2011 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Colombia.[2] He officiated the Group E game between eventual tournament champions Brazil and Austria at Estadio Metropolitano Roberto Meléndez in Barranquilla.[3] He then took charge of the Group B game between Uruguay and Cameroon at Estadio El Campín in Bogotá.[4] He was appointed to the Round of 16 match between Spain and South Korea at Estadio Palogrande in Manizales.[5] Finally, he refereed the Final with American Assistant Referee Sean Hurd and Canadian Assistant Referee Joe Fletcher, between Brazil and Portugal at Estadio El Campín in Bogotá.[6] This is the first time an American has ever been the referee at a major men's tournament final.[7]

Geiger was selected as the Major League Soccer referee of the year for the 2011 season, and then again in 2014.[8][9]

In 2012, Geiger was selected as one of 16 referees to officiate at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. Geiger took charge of the Group D match between Spain vs. Japan[10] and the quarterfinal between Japan vs. Egypt. In 2013, Geiger was an official at the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup.[11]

Geiger was selected as CONCACAF's representative referee for the 2013 Club World Cup.[12]

Geiger was one of 25 referees appointed for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.[13][14] Geiger described the assignment to the World Cup as "an immensely proud moment".[15] Geiger officiated the 2014 World Cup Group C match between Colombia and Greece at the Estadio Mineirão in Belo Horizonte;[16] the 2014 World Cup Group B match between Chile and Spain at the Maracanã Stadium in Rio de Janeiro;[17] and the 2014 World Cup Round of 16 match between France and Nigeria at the Estádio Nacional in Brasilia, the first American to referee in the knockout round of a FIFA World Cup.[18]

Geiger was selected to officiate the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup in Russia. In the Group Stage, Geiger officiated the Group B match between Australia and Germany in Sochi as well as the Group A match between New Zealand and Portugal in Saint Petersburg.[19][20]

FIFA tournaments[edit]

Junior tournaments[edit]

Personal life[edit]

Geiger was born on August 25, 1974 and grew up in Beachwood, New Jersey. After studying teaching at Trenton State College, he became a mathematics teacher at Lacey Township High School in Lanoka Harbor, New Jersey, a role that he gave up to become a full-time referee. While at Lacey Township High School, Geiger was among 103 recipients of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching in 2010.[21][22][23]



  1. ^"Geiger to referee U-20 final, CCL Round 2". CONCACAF. August 19, 2011. Archived from the original on September 25, 2012. Retrieved October 7, 2015. 
  2. ^"U.S. Soccer Referee Mark Geiger and Assistant Referee Mark Hurd to Participate at the 2011 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Colombia". U.S. Soccer. May 16, 2011. Retrieved October 7, 2015. 
  3. ^"Match Report - Brazil 3-0 Austria". FIFA. Retrieved October 10, 2015. 
  4. ^"Match Report - Uruguay 0-1 Cameroon". FIFA. Retrieved October 10, 2015. 
  5. ^"Match Report - Spain 0-0 Korea Republic". FIFA. Retrieved October 10, 2015. 
  6. ^"Match Report - Brazil 3-2 Portugual". FIFA. Retrieved October 10, 2015. 
  7. ^"Geiger, Hurd and Fletcher to Officiate FIFA U20 World Cup Final". Professional Soccer Referees Association. Archived from the original on July 23, 2015. Retrieved October 10, 2015. 
  8. ^"MLS veteran Geiger named Referee of the Year". Major League Soccer. November 10, 2011. Retrieved October 7, 2015. 
  9. ^"Mark Geiger named MLS Referee of the Year; Paul Scott voted Assistant Referee of the Year". Major League Soccer. November 25, 2014. Archived from the original on February 21, 2015. Retrieved October 7, 2015. 
  10. ^"Matchcast - Spain 0:1 Japan". FIFA. Archived from the original on May 24, 2013. Retrieved October 7, 2015. 
  11. ^"PRO Referee Roster". Professional Referee Organization. Archived from the original on June 3, 2013. Retrieved October 6, 2013. 
  12. ^"FCWC 2013 Appointments of Match Officials"(PDF). FIFA. 
  13. ^"Referee trios and support duos appointed for 2014 FIFA World Cup™". FIFA. January 15, 2014. 
  14. ^"Referees & Assistant referees for the 2014 FIFA World Cup™"(PDF). FIFA. January 14, 2014. 
  15. ^"Mark Geiger excited to fulfil World Cup dream". Professional Referee Organization. January 20, 2014. 
  16. ^"Referee designations for matches 5-8". FIFA. June 12, 2014. Retrieved October 7, 2015. 
  17. ^"2014 Fifa World Cup Brazil Match Result: Spain v Chile". FIFA. 
  18. ^"PRO 2014 World Cup assignments". Professional Referee Organization. June 28, 2014. 
  19. ^"Australia-Germany Match Overview". FIFA. June 19, 2017. 
  20. ^"New Zealand-Portugal Match Overview". FIFA. June 24, 2017. 
  21. ^"Open list of prospective referees & assistant referees for the 2014 FIFA World Cup"(PDF). FIFA. Retrieved October 6, 2015. 
  22. ^"Presidential Math and Science Teachers Award Release" (Press release). The White House. June 7, 2010. Archived from the original on July 23, 2015. Retrieved October 6, 2015. 
  23. ^Day, Timothy D. (June 10, 2014). "Retired math teacher Mark Geiger is the only American selected to referee the World Cup". The Washington Post. Retrieved October 6, 2015. 

External links[edit]

Who's Reffing Our Games

Recreational (Local)
Our in-house recreation games are officiated by local teenagers (age 14 to 19) who are willing to step-up and learn the skills and arts of refereeing soccer. Just like the players in our club, the referees have a coach / trainer who develops their skills throughout the season. Unlike our players, the referees are paid, and for most, this is their first paying job. Recreation games are played primarily in the fall season on Saturday mornings and Sunday afternoons. One official is assigned to each game by the the . Experienced officials will typically get more assignments than inexperienced ones.

Competitive (Travel)
Our competitive travel games are officiated by USSF certified referees (age 16 to adult). Games are played primarily in the fall and spring. Each of our soccer teams competes in one or more leagues. Each league has a designated USSF assignor responsible for staffing games in a particular geographic region. Our home games are typically assigned by the following league assignors: MNJYSA - ; SJSL - ; SJGSL - ; MAPS - .


Independent Contractor
Referees engaged by Lawrence Hamnett are independent contractors and not employees of LHSA, and are therefore responsible for their own insurance as well as tax reporting and payments (if any). Referees provide occasional services for the sole purpose officiating league games. Referees are free to accept or reject any assignment. Compensation for competitive (travel) refs is set by the league and paid by the teams directly on game day. Compensation for our in-house recreation refs is based on the age-level of the players on the field and paid by LHSA. New recreation refs may be given a black T-shirt, whistle, and card pack, if they don't already have them. All officials are expected to supply their own watch, black shorts, black socks and black footwear.


How To Become A Referee

LHSA Recreation Officials
Needed in the fall on Saturday mornings & Sunday afternoons, and in the spring on Saturday mornings.
Our in-house league does not require USSF certification; however, it does require attendance at an LHSA referee clinic held annually (typically late August) and a demonstration by the candidate that they have read and understood the LHSA Referee Handbook. Alternatively, you can attend and pass a full day USSF Grade 8 or 9 Recreational Referee class. Our games are governed by a modified set of the USSF Soccer Rules. If you would like to become a recreation referee and be assigned to LHSA games this fall, then please send your name, your parents′ names, and all contact info for both to our referee trainer at .

Competitive US Youth Soccer Officials
Needed in the fall and spring primarily.
To officiate our competitive league matches, you will need USSF certification for the current year and must also alert the league assignor(s) that you are available to officiate. Games are governed by a modified set of USSF Soccer Rules as decided by the league that schedules the match. An entry-level class for competitive referees requires that you first study and pass an online test and then attend two days of instruction. You can register for these classes and find additional information at the New Jersey State Referee Committee. Annual recertification is required.


High School & College Soccer Officials
Our club does not organize high school or college soccer teams and matches, which are governed by a different set of rules and require additional referee training. To learn more about high school officiating visit www.nfhs.org/soccer; and for college soccer officiating visit www.nisoa.com.


Volunteer Referee Opportunities with Special Olympics
Our recreation referees are also trained and encouraged to officiate 5v5 soccer matches for the Special Olympics of New Jersey. SONJ is headquartered right here in Lawrence Township, and has numerous matches in Mercer County every Saturday in September and October. Each match needs a single referee, and presents a unique opportunity to share your true love of the game with the most enthusiastic players you'll ever meet.


Referee Resources

Equipment Checklist

  • whistle, watch, and water
  • black shirt, shorts, socks, shoes
  • coin
  • yellow & red cards
  • pen & paper
  • patience, confidence, and a smile


LHSA Referee Coach & Trainer
Our referee program is managed by Kirk LeCompte who started officiating in 1983, and who still officiates matches for USSF youth and adult teams, NFHS high school teams, and NCAA college teams. LeCompte has a 360 degree appreciation for the game as an active referee, youth coach, competitive adult player, and league administrator. Please if you have a question about our referee program.

As a referee you can expect challenges that will test not only your knowledge of the game, but your skills in communication, conflict resolution, problem solving and decision making. As your skills improve, you will be given more challenging games to officiate. Former referees tell us how the opportunity helped them to gain confidence and strength of character while proudly serving their local community.

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