Just Another Saturday afternoon on the Soccer Field

  We just returned from my nine year olds Academy soccer game.  She has been playing since she was three years old and loves the game.  She attended her first game at the tender age of five days old, as her older brother played club soccer then.  She has grown up watching and playing soccer.  I have been around soccer all my life.  I have seen good refs and not so good refs.  A few have been down right bad.  Today was one of those days.  Sometimes she called off-sides and sometimes she didn’t.  She never called fouls.  We got in trouble for pointing the fouls out to her.  In soccer, the referees and parents are not supposed to have any interaction.  So we tried pointing the obvious fouls out without speaking to her directly, but she didn’t take the hint and still didn’t make the calls.  Finally, after our girls being elbowed in the face, pulled, pushed, grabbed, stomped, and a twisted wrist, we yelled out to make the call and she finally did, but she came over to us and told us to be quiet, that she was calling the game.  We pointed out that she wasn’t and told her to call it then.

I don’t say much about refs.  I understand they can’t see everything and they are going to miss calls.  But this one was so bad something had to be said.  I say all this to point out a problem.  There needs to be consistency and a high standard of calling in this league.  This is not rec league soccer.  This is Academy.  It is the beginning level of club soccer.  This is when the kids are learning basic skills and developing habits. Calls should be consistent from game to game, from field to field, wherever you travel.  These refs should be trained to make the appropriate calls, and should be expected to act professionally enough to do it consistently and fairly.  I understand arms are going to fly around and there will be some pushing and tripping.  A lot of it is not intentional and it just happens.  The problems come when refs don’t make calls for the more flagrant fouls.  When kids grab the other kids to push or pull them out of the way, when they throw elbows, when the trip or tackle them without going after the ball.  First of all, that is when kids get hurt, secondly, they are developing bad habits.  Part of a referees job is to protect the kids from getting hurt and to help teach them appropriate behavior on the field.  They do this by making the appropriate calls fairly and consistently.  The kids should not have to wonder what fouls or calls will be made that particular day.  If the referees are not doing their job as they should, the coaches should approach them about it before things get out of control (which our coach did).  If it continues and they still do not make calls fairly and appropriately, then the game should be stopped.

After sixteen years of watching my kids play soccer, this is my two-cents worth.  I love this game and thoroughly enjoy watching.  I would like to see some standards set for referees at each level of the game.

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JaAnna

JaAnna

I am a child of God, a farmer's wife and mama to 3! We raise emu's on my family farm in North Carolina. I love to talk about my faith, our farm, getting away from our farm occasionally, share recipes, make crafts and watch all of my kids sports! I hope you enjoy!

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