Have you ever wondered why you did something? This is the third in a series regarding the individual perspectives of those involved in youth soccer. The first dealt with the player; the second dealt with the coach; this one focuses on the referee.
BEFORE THE GAME(S)
Typically, the youth referee handles more than one game per day. The roles may change (center ref or assistant), but that is the norm. Additionally, there can be a wide variation of levels of play. In the morning, a referee may officiate a third division u10 girls game on a bad field, and in the afternoon take charge of a u14 boys state cup game on a pristine turf field. Believe it or not, the speed of play might be a bit different!
Right – do I have all that I need? The u10s play 8v8; the halves are 25 minutes. I know that one team – the one with the joystick coach and the loud parents. I guess it’s true what they say – those who yell the loudest know the least!
DURING THE GAME
“REF! REF! I’M TALKING TO YOU! REF! CAN’T YOU SEE THAT’S A FOUL?” Not again. How did anyone let this guy coach? He has no idea what a foul is. Simply because your player fell down does not mean he was actually fouled. ”HANDBALL! HANDBALL!” How many times will I have to explain this – that was not a handball. Why is that guy yelling the whole game? How can his players concentrate on actually playing? TWEET! Unbelievable; that kid just committed a ‘professional’ foul at midfield to stop a counter…at u-10. Wow. Is this what they’re teaching them? ”Hey – nice ball, number 8.”
AFTER THE GAME
Well, one team came up afterwards and shook my hand. It’s easy to see that they’re doing things the right way over there. The kids didn’t dive; they helped their opponents up; they didn’t beg for every single call. Unfortunately, the loudmouth’s team didn’t. I can only imagine what those kids must be learning. Their parents were no better; I’ve never heard so many complaints at a u10 game. How can they instill such cynicism into a kid at that age? If I were a parent of one of those kids, I’d be wondering what I was paying for? What are my kids really getting out of it?