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Referee Shortage-Solutions? #730152 11/24/19 11:24 AM
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Legislators are considering strengthening protections for game officials in all sports due to an increase in assaults and aberrant behavior by adults. A total lack of respect for officials in all sports are causing them to drop out and recruitment is getting so difficult that games are being cancelled due to a lack of officials for school sports and club sports.
While some of you may feel that poor officiating justifies the abuse, what other constructive solutions would you suggest to stem the tide of the outright abuse? Keep in mind that a lot of the parents behavior is embarrassing their own children and is also making their experience an unpleasant one.

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Re: Referee Shortage-Solutions? [Re: LIRef77] #730156 11/24/19 03:42 PM
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Nothing has worked so far including putting the responsibility on the coach or having parents sign a code of conduct. Everyone's fees will increase when they add security to these games. Yes...this is where youth sports is heading unless something changes.

As a high school official, it's alarming seeing our roster size dwindle yearly because of the abuse. Hopefully this legislation passes and starts reversing this trend.

And for the comments asking officials to do a better job, well they are human. If parents just simply keep their mouths shut and watch the game it will be more enjoyable. Don't be the parent everyone is talking about on the ride home.

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Re: Referee Shortage-Solutions? [Re: LIRef77] #730158 11/24/19 06:38 PM
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I do not referee high school games and as a USSF certified referee I officiate club soccer in different leagues.

My opinion is that high school soccer referees are at a distinct disadvantage since the Coaches rate them and this affects their assignments. This is so unfair because it is like the fox guarding the henhouse. This has to have an affect on how referees call games and affect whether they sanction High School Coaches that misbehave and act inappropriately. I know that when my daughter played soccer in middle school and in high school I did not see one yellow card issued in 6 years of her school soccer career. This is not an indictment of high school soccer referees because I believe having Coaches rate referees is unjust and unwise because they are not neutral assessors and may not actually be as knowledgeable of the NFHS rules as referees are. This is a systemic problem. If referees are hesitant to sanction Coaches and hold them responsible for spectators then the inappropriate behavior will continue unabated. It is so ironic that if the children attending our schools behaved like the adults did (during classes) at some games they would be disciplined including suspension.

In club soccer when referees are assessed they are assessed by USSF certified assessors. They are obviously neutral parties and have no skin in the game. Referees do have tools to stop inappropriate behavior and they should not hesitate to use them. My experience is that when you nip it early and sanction the Coach it usually stops. If it escalates and you expel a spectator or Coach everyone gets the message.

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Re: Referee Shortage-Solutions? [Re: LIRef77] #730160 11/24/19 07:29 PM
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As a ussf ref having watched HS games, the officiating of HS games is substandard. Not knowing the whole ball needs to be out of play rather than just on the line is inexcusable. Not knowing indirect vs direct offenses. Granted the two man system is horibble having to officiate in, but are HS officials required to take continuing ed classes?

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Re: Referee Shortage-Solutions? [Re: Anonymous] #730161 11/24/19 08:37 PM
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I have seen ussf refs screw up big time. Giving a pk for a dangerous play call inside the 18 or calling an offside on a first touch from a corner kick. These are calls that parents have no clue what went on so you don't hear a thing from them.

Let's stay on topic bud instead of critiquing other associations.

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Re: Referee Shortage-Solutions? [Re: LIRef77] #730174 11/25/19 09:23 AM
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Originally Posted by LIRef77
I do not referee high school games and as a USSF certified referee I officiate club soccer in different leagues.

My opinion is that high school soccer referees are at a distinct disadvantage since the Coaches rate them and this affects their assignments. This is so unfair because it is like the fox guarding the henhouse. This has to have an affect on how referees call games and affect whether they sanction High School Coaches that misbehave and act inappropriately. I know that when my daughter played soccer in middle school and in high school I did not see one yellow card issued in 6 years of her school soccer career. This is not an indictment of high school soccer referees because I believe having Coaches rate referees is unjust and unwise because they are not neutral assessors and may not actually be as knowledgeable of the NFHS rules as referees are. This is a systemic problem. If referees are hesitant to sanction Coaches and hold them responsible for spectators then the inappropriate behavior will continue unabated. It is so ironic that if the children attending our schools behaved like the adults did (during classes) at some games they would be disciplined including suspension.

In club soccer when referees are assessed they are assessed by USSF certified assessors. They are obviously neutral parties and have no skin in the game. Referees do have tools to stop inappropriate behavior and they should not hesitate to use them. My experience is that when you nip it early and sanction the Coach it usually stops. If it escalates and you expel a spectator or Coach everyone gets the message.



So If you are saying the coaches should not grade referees during "live action" who else do you recommend do this? the spectators? lmao!

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Re: Referee Shortage-Solutions? [Re: LIRef77] #730187 11/25/19 12:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Anonymous
Originally Posted by LIRef77
I do not referee high school games and as a USSF certified referee I officiate club soccer in different leagues.

My opinion is that high school soccer referees are at a distinct disadvantage since the Coaches rate them and this affects their assignments. This is so unfair because it is like the fox guarding the henhouse. This has to have an affect on how referees call games and affect whether they sanction High School Coaches that misbehave and act inappropriately. I know that when my daughter played soccer in middle school and in high school I did not see one yellow card issued in 6 years of her school soccer career. This is not an indictment of high school soccer referees because I believe having Coaches rate referees is unjust and unwise because they are not neutral assessors and may not actually be as knowledgeable of the NFHS rules as referees are. This is a systemic problem. If referees are hesitant to sanction Coaches and hold them responsible for spectators then the inappropriate behavior will continue unabated. It is so ironic that if the children attending our schools behaved like the adults did (during classes) at some games they would be disciplined including suspension.

In club soccer when referees are assessed they are assessed by USSF certified assessors. They are obviously neutral parties and have no skin in the game. Referees do have tools to stop inappropriate behavior and they should not hesitate to use them. My experience is that when you nip it early and sanction the Coach it usually stops. If it escalates and you expel a spectator or Coach everyone gets the message.



So If you are saying the coaches should not grade referees during "live action" who else do you recommend do this? the spectators? lmao!

Originally Posted by Anonymous
As a ussf ref having watched HS games, the officiating of HS games is substandard. Not knowing the whole ball needs to be out of play rather than just on the line is inexcusable. Not knowing indirect vs direct offenses. Granted the two man system is horibble having to officiate in, but are HS officials required to take continuing ed classes?

I am not a parent that screams at refs,either H.S or club but I can see why it occurs. There are bad calls, and refs sometimes miss a call or two but when there are clear infractions and refs are obviously favoring one team over another , then what do you expect? Biased refs can ruin a teams season, a chance to make playoffs and everything that goes along with it. If refs can be consistent all would be good.

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Re: Referee Shortage-Solutions? [Re: LIRef77] #730190 11/25/19 12:20 PM
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More referees will retire or quit due to the new grassroots referee program that requires a 4 hour training class.
Its absolutely needed, but many will not re-certify and cannot without taking the class.

One way to retain referees and help new referees would be to have set crews at each field location.
Sending officials from field to field every weekend, 20 - 30 miles away, in other counties is not productive. And many of the AR's don't drive.
It would help to teach new referees as well.

And yes, parents need to stop the nonsense. I mostly see this on the younger side, like U9-U12.
Every call is a complaint. I solve this with a word to the coach or a YC to the coach.
But teenagers are less likely to handle the stress, being new isn't easy, but adults don't tend to respect orders given to them by a 16 year old.

If we increase fees for referees, you may see an increase of signups.

Just my 2 cents.

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Re: Referee Shortage-Solutions? [Re: LIRef77] #730193 11/25/19 01:14 PM
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Lower the costs for first time refs to get involved. Right now any potential new ref has to make a several hundred dollar investment to get on the field. That's a lot of money to kids in their teens that are only going to make $30 a game.

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Re: Referee Shortage-Solutions? [Re: Anonymous] #730198 11/25/19 02:02 PM
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Honestly the best system that works is having a coach silence the parents with the threat of no playing time for your kid. Works well at the club level, high school is tougher as fans are farther from the field. Coach sets the tone, if he yells then the parents yell.

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Re: Referee Shortage-Solutions? [Re: LIRef77] #730204 11/25/19 03:02 PM
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Originally Posted by LIRef77
I do not referee high school games and as a USSF certified referee I officiate club soccer in different leagues.

My opinion is that high school soccer referees are at a distinct disadvantage since the Coaches rate them and this affects their assignments. This is so unfair because it is like the fox guarding the henhouse. This has to have an affect on how referees call games and affect whether they sanction High School Coaches that misbehave and act inappropriately. I know that when my daughter played soccer in middle school and in high school I did not see one yellow card issued in 6 years of her school soccer career. This is not an indictment of high school soccer referees because I believe having Coaches rate referees is unjust and unwise because they are not neutral assessors and may not actually be as knowledgeable of the NFHS rules as referees are. This is a systemic problem. If referees are hesitant to sanction Coaches and hold them responsible for spectators then the inappropriate behavior will continue unabated. It is so ironic that if the children attending our schools behaved like the adults did (during classes) at some games they would be disciplined including suspension.

In club soccer when referees are assessed they are assessed by USSF certified assessors. They are obviously neutral parties and have no skin in the game. Referees do have tools to stop inappropriate behavior and they should not hesitate to use them. My experience is that when you nip it early and sanction the Coach it usually stops. If it escalates and you expel a spectator or Coach everyone gets the message.


This is terrible. I often find that in violent or physical games, the ref just refuses to pull out cards until someone gets hurt or someone crosses a line... why don't more refs pull out cards earlier or warn the parents earlier to curb the behavior?

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Re: Referee Shortage-Solutions? [Re: Anonymous] #730205 11/25/19 03:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Anonymous
Originally Posted by LIRef77
I do not referee high school games and as a USSF certified referee I officiate club soccer in different leagues.

My opinion is that high school soccer referees are at a distinct disadvantage since the Coaches rate them and this affects their assignments. This is so unfair because it is like the fox guarding the henhouse. This has to have an affect on how referees call games and affect whether they sanction High School Coaches that misbehave and act inappropriately. I know that when my daughter played soccer in middle school and in high school I did not see one yellow card issued in 6 years of her school soccer career. This is not an indictment of high school soccer referees because I believe having Coaches rate referees is unjust and unwise because they are not neutral assessors and may not actually be as knowledgeable of the NFHS rules as referees are. This is a systemic problem. If referees are hesitant to sanction Coaches and hold them responsible for spectators then the inappropriate behavior will continue unabated. It is so ironic that if the children attending our schools behaved like the adults did (during classes) at some games they would be disciplined including suspension.

In club soccer when referees are assessed they are assessed by USSF certified assessors. They are obviously neutral parties and have no skin in the game. Referees do have tools to stop inappropriate behavior and they should not hesitate to use them. My experience is that when you nip it early and sanction the Coach it usually stops. If it escalates and you expel a spectator or Coach everyone gets the message.


This is terrible. I often find that in violent or physical games, the ref just refuses to pull out cards until someone gets hurt or someone crosses a line... why don't more refs pull out cards earlier or warn the parents earlier to curb the behavior?

Why doesn't the ref pull out cards to players early in the game? This sets the tone that he won't tolerate dirty play.

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Re: Referee Shortage-Solutions? [Re: Anonymous] #730211 11/25/19 07:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Anonymous
Originally Posted by LIRef77
I do not referee high school games and as a USSF certified referee I officiate club soccer in different leagues.

My opinion is that high school soccer referees are at a distinct disadvantage since the Coaches rate them and this affects their assignments. This is so unfair because it is like the fox guarding the henhouse. This has to have an affect on how referees call games and affect whether they sanction High School Coaches that misbehave and act inappropriately. I know that when my daughter played soccer in middle school and in high school I did not see one yellow card issued in 6 years of her school soccer career. This is not an indictment of high school soccer referees because I believe having Coaches rate referees is unjust and unwise because they are not neutral assessors and may not actually be as knowledgeable of the NFHS rules as referees are. This is a systemic problem. If referees are hesitant to sanction Coaches and hold them responsible for spectators then the inappropriate behavior will continue unabated. It is so ironic that if the children attending our schools behaved like the adults did (during classes) at some games they would be disciplined including suspension.

In club soccer when referees are assessed they are assessed by USSF certified assessors. They are obviously neutral parties and have no skin in the game. Referees do have tools to stop inappropriate behavior and they should not hesitate to use them. My experience is that when you nip it early and sanction the Coach it usually stops. If it escalates and you expel a spectator or Coach everyone gets the message.



So If you are saying the coaches should not grade referees during "live action" who else do you recommend do this? the spectators? lmao!


I will answer your question since you obviously missed my point! Coaches are NOT neutral observers and are not that knowledgeable of the rules. Again, high school referees assignments are based on the evaluations given them by the Coaches. Coaches are biased and have skin in the game they are not objective evaluators. It’s not exactly the same but it would be like allowing defendants to appoint their judges! How do you not get that? Use other referees or instructors familiar with the rules that can be objective and that have no interest in the outcome of the game. Pretty simple!

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Re: Referee Shortage-Solutions? [Re: LIRef77] #730214 11/25/19 09:04 PM
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Bad examples are also provided by professional players. Disgusting discussions and chasing after refs at almost every call.
It's sometimes actually comical when defenders raise their hands to indicate possible offside instead playing to the whistle.
The governing bodies should introduce rules that refs are to call, players are to play. The way it is more or less in pro/college
basketball and football.

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Re: Referee Shortage-Solutions? [Re: LIRef77] #730217 11/25/19 11:23 PM
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It’s about mutual respect. If the ref respects the game and the players, it will work both ways. When the game flows, the spectators settle down and enjoy it. A ref is like an orchestra conductor. You have the same instruments, players and music, yet any two conductors will produce different results. A great ref orchestrates a game that works for everyone. There are two extremes. At the one end is the ref who wants to see the game blossom , at the other is a ref who loves to catch fouls, is able to hand out a few cards and makes sure he ejects the wise ass kid who thinks he is a hot shot. Refs who play or who have played, see the game in a whole different way and the kids know them immediately. Those refs explain their decisions, give the players room to express themselves politely and clarify what they are doing so all can understand the calls. There are too many refs out there who know only the rules and who do it for the money. But they get all the games because they are always available. It’s way too easy to assign ten games a weekend to refs who already have ten thousand under their belt but unfortunately the kids dread those games. When they see a young, fit crew who obviously play, there is a palpable buzz in the air and the game hums. LISRA and the assignors, who are paid well to set these games, need to get together and make a plan to attract and keep the best young player-refs who actually know what they are doing. You’ll have less anger on the sidelines and quality games you aren’t seeing now. A seventeen year old ref who clearly plays and knows his game and is faster than the players will usually command more respect in a U17 game than an old puffing billy with a quick card hand. But you know who gets first refusal on those games? Exactly. Way too easy. Step up LISRA, this football is in your court.

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