Lawrence Sand: “I like being out with young players nowadays since I’m old.” (Photo courtesy of ENYYSA)

There are many referees in the Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association who are soccer lifers, but nobody can compare to a game official in the Capital District Youth Soccer League whose officiating has gone through the sands of time.

Lawrence “Pete” Sand started refereeing in 1958, when he was 24-years-old. He is still going strong after thousands of games at the age of 88.

The Half Moon, N.J. resident has officiated youth, adults, high school, college and in the professional American Soccer League, as well as in Scotland back in 1983. In the fall, he often referees high school games six days a week.

“I like being out with young players nowadays since I’m old,” Sand said. “And I like how soccer skills have improved since when I first started refereeing in 1958,” Pete explained.

Sand has been inducted into the Halls of Fame of thethe CDYSL and CD-Ref, the Capital District’s soccer referee association. His awards include the 1981 Section 2 Golden Thread Award as the outstanding high school referee and the 2002 New York college referee of the year.


Lawrence Sand (Photo courtesy of ENYYSA)

“Pete was a good soccer player first, then became a good referee, and eventually became a good youth coach of his own children,” said Eastern New York Hall of Famer and coach Roy Pfeil, who has known Sand for years. “He always seemed to have an understanding that soccer was only a game and not a ‘life or death’ matter. As he became older, he developed hearing issues and instead of giving up on the sport that he loved, he continued to officiate.”

As a youngster, Sand played soccer for the Albany Sports Club, was MVP and All-American at Ithaca College before he started refereeing and coaching. He was one of the co-founders of the CDYSL in 1978.

If you are interested in following Sand’s footsteps and earning some money as a soccer referee, for more information on upcoming courses, contact State Youth Referee Administrator Piero Olcese at