JoDee Shufelt

Written on 04/16/2020
PTW Team



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About JoDee  

Why I love soccer -
I love soccer because it is the world’s most beautiful game. The action is continuous, requiring my constant attention. The creativity of the athletes is captivating. Each match offers a unique combination of variables that combine to entertain, excite, and exhilarate. The laws are simple and consistent governing all levels of play across all cultures. Soccer is accessible to everyone and its dynamism is limited only by one’s imagination, fitness, and fortitude. As a referee it challenges me to respond with immediacy and precision to each situation while orchestrating game flow, freedom from danger (safety), fairness and fun. Finally, I have found no better way to develop lifelong fitness.

How did I get involved with soccer & as a referee?
I started refereeing when I was 15, as a way to stay involved with my first love (the sport I began playing as a 6 year old). Unfortunately, I tore ligaments in my knee playing soccer the day after I qualified for the state track meet, as a freshman in high school. I chose to run track seeing it as my best option to obtain a college scholarship (which I did to the University of Nebraska). My dad suggested I become a referee. He continues to mentor and offer me advice to this day and it is encouraging to know that even when I make mistakes there is someone in my corner.

While student teaching I had the opportunity to coach the JV team at Lincoln Park High School in Chicago. The players on my team spoke 7 different languages yet were all united by one love. After completing my education and track career at UNL I was again afforded the opportunity to play my favorite game while attending a Junior College to obtain my second bachelor’s degree and teaching certificate. I was like a kid in a candy store every day at practice and grateful that refereeing had kept me fit and in touch with my first love. Today, I continue to referee for the love of the game.