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Where are all the Referees?
by Anonymous - 10/16/21 07:16 PM
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by Anonymous - 10/16/21 04:02 PM
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by Anonymous - 10/16/21 03:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Anonymous
what I never see questioned is how come so many other youth sports (Ice hockey, basketball, Football) all have more than one referee for even the youngest of ages. youth soccer expects one person to cover the whole field of play until it is 11 v 11?

You mean the WHOLE 100 yards? Center Referees are required to run as deep or deeper than the penalty area of each side of the field whether we have ARs or not, small sided field(less than 100 yards)or not. We are supposed to be fit!

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Originally Posted by LIRef77
Originally Posted by Anonymous
what I never see questioned is how come so many other youth sports (Ice hockey, basketball, Football) all have more than one referee for even the youngest of ages. youth soccer expects one person to cover the whole field of play until it is 11 v 11?

You mean the WHOLE 100 yards? Center Referees are required to run as deep or deeper than the penalty area of each side of the field whether we have ARs or not, small sided field(less than 100 yards)or not. We are supposed to be fit!

Sure, we are supposed to be fit. And some of us aren't as fit as we should be. But that being said no matter how fit you are when you are asked to do 7 or 8 games a weekend, even a typically fit person is going to have trouble keeping up with the play in the latter games.

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Originally Posted by Anonymous
Originally Posted by LIRef77
Originally Posted by Anonymous
what I never see questioned is how come so many other youth sports (Ice hockey, basketball, Football) all have more than one referee for even the youngest of ages. youth soccer expects one person to cover the whole field of play until it is 11 v 11?

You mean the WHOLE 100 yards? Center Referees are required to run as deep or deeper than the penalty area of each side of the field whether we have ARs or not, small sided field(less than 100 yards)or not. We are supposed to be fit!

Sure, we are supposed to be fit. And some of us aren't as fit as we should be. But that being said no matter how fit you are when you are asked to do 7 or 8 games a weekend, even a typically fit person is going to have trouble keeping up with the play in the latter games.

100% agreed. As a referee I do at most 3 games on any given day. If I do 2 back to back I then ask for at least an hour in between my next game so I can get some sort of recovery. I honestly can't see how any referee can be at their best doing 7 or 8 games a day.

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Originally Posted by Anonymous
Originally Posted by LIRef77
Originally Posted by Anonymous
what I never see questioned is how come so many other youth sports (Ice hockey, basketball, Football) all have more than one referee for even the youngest of ages. youth soccer expects one person to cover the whole field of play until it is 11 v 11?

You mean the WHOLE 100 yards? Center Referees are required to run as deep or deeper than the penalty area of each side of the field whether we have ARs or not, small sided field(less than 100 yards)or not. We are supposed to be fit!

Sure, we are supposed to be fit. And some of us aren't as fit as we should be. But that being said no matter how fit you are when you are asked to do 7 or 8 games a weekend, even a typically fit person is going to have trouble keeping up with the play in the latter games.

This is the other problem that people do not realize. I have NEVER worked more than 3 games in a day. Many referees do 5 games and more and there is no way you can be as sharp and focused and fresh in your 5th game or 7th game like you were in your 1st game. But again, when you are short referees this is what happens. So when you see a referee that seems to be not exerting himself too much it could be that he has 7 games and he is pacing himself.

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Originally Posted by LIRef77
Originally Posted by Anonymous
Originally Posted by LIRef77
Originally Posted by Anonymous
what I never see questioned is how come so many other youth sports (Ice hockey, basketball, Football) all have more than one referee for even the youngest of ages. youth soccer expects one person to cover the whole field of play until it is 11 v 11?

You mean the WHOLE 100 yards? Center Referees are required to run as deep or deeper than the penalty area of each side of the field whether we have ARs or not, small sided field(less than 100 yards)or not. We are supposed to be fit!

Sure, we are supposed to be fit. And some of us aren't as fit as we should be. But that being said no matter how fit you are when you are asked to do 7 or 8 games a weekend, even a typically fit person is going to have trouble keeping up with the play in the latter games.

This is the other problem that people do not realize. I have NEVER worked more than 3 games in a day. Many referees do 5 games and more and there is no way you can be as sharp and focused and fresh in your 5th game or 7th game like you were in your 1st game. But again, when you are short referees this is what happens. So when you see a referee that seems to be not exerting himself too much it could be that he has 7 games and he is pacing himself.


Typically I get four or five younger games on a Saturday and two to four full size games on a Sunday. I'm not the poster child of a fit referee, not due to a lack of exercise, but as long as I'm not asked to run the sidelines on the oldest games I can generally power through.

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Obviously some of you have never refed before. Doing a premier u15 or 16 game with NO ARS is a recipe for disaster. There is no way a referee can manage 22 players, coaches, call offsides and see everything. Parents will be screaming offside from the crowd, and many refs wont work that age alone. The referee problem is getting worse. Refs are like supply and demand. Your supply is low and demand is high. When that happens with stuff on the shelves in the store (especially during covid) the price of those items went up. Ref fees have the stayed the same and shocker less refs want to work!

Why would any ref want to do kids games when they can make way more doing high school and college ball in the fall? Less time and more money, and honestly more enjoyable

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I do cosmopolitan mens league and we use one referee for o40, 030, d3, and d 1 and 2 reserve. 90 minute games, up and down the field, multiple games. It can be done

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Originally Posted by Anonymous
Originally Posted by LIRef77
Originally Posted by Anonymous
what I never see questioned is how come so many other youth sports (Ice hockey, basketball, Football) all have more than one referee for even the youngest of ages. youth soccer expects one person to cover the whole field of play until it is 11 v 11?

You mean the WHOLE 100 yards? Center Referees are required to run as deep or deeper than the penalty area of each side of the field whether we have ARs or not, small sided field(less than 100 yards)or not. We are supposed to be fit!

Sure, we are supposed to be fit. And some of us aren't as fit as we should be. But that being said no matter how fit you are when you are asked to do 7 or 8 games a weekend, even a typically fit person is going to have trouble keeping up with the play in the latter games.

I may be wrong but I think the question is why not have 2 refs assigned to the smaller side games, on the field like other sports not the side lines. Less running up and down and split the field, less field to cover, less chance of a "missed" call and better for a two person system to address unruly spectators. Wont solve these problems but interesting idea.

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Yes, but those refs are way more seasoned. You cant have new and youth refs doing u15 and 16 by themselves. And refs are going to want more than $90 to do a u15 match alone, a lot different then the refs doing CSL

Many of the adult leagues north of the city, EDSL have trouble getting 1 ref to cover and o40 and reserve matches

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US Soccer prohibits the 2 man system like you see in high school and college but they are going to have to start thinking of something to keep the games covered. Perhaps a training in the 2 man system needs to come to the US soccer side

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The amateur men's games at the cosmopolitan, lisfl, and edsl level are top because you have a lot of professional and ex professional players in those leagues or getting paid to play by the teams and to be honest the youth pays a lot better than the men. I was surprised that I was doing a high-level over-30s men's game alone and was only getting paid $80 when I can make close to a hundred doing EDP and also have two assistant referees.

My point is you always have competition from different leagues that one officials even unaffiliated leagues one officials and don't forget high school and college so like I said you think that your team is the most important team but they are so many games you have no idea

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Originally Posted by Anonymous
US Soccer prohibits the 2 man system like you see in high school and college but they are going to have to start thinking of something to keep the games covered. Perhaps a training in the 2 man system needs to come to the US soccer side

The two man system is an abomination and dilutes the authority of ONE Center Referee that makes the same consistent calls on BOTH sides of the filed seen by the SAME pair of eyes and decided by the SAME brain.

The two referee system is a two headed schizoid that is illegal under USSF standards.

How about all games from U9 to U11 just use the coaches to call the game? Save the referees for U12 and older.

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But you know all the parents who pay big $ want their kids to have a ref even for the U9 games. I know some refs enjoy doing the CSL games but is $80 for a middle really worth your money. Guess you really have to be out there enjoying it. Not for me

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Originally Posted by LIRef77
Originally Posted by Anonymous
US Soccer prohibits the 2 man system like you see in high school and college but they are going to have to start thinking of something to keep the games covered. Perhaps a training in the 2 man system needs to come to the US soccer side

The two man system is an abomination and dilutes the authority of ONE Center Referee that makes the same consistent calls on BOTH sides of the filed seen by the SAME pair of eyes and decided by the SAME brain.

The two referee system is a two headed schizoid that is illegal under USSF standards.

How about all games from U9 to U11 just use the coaches to call the game? Save the referees for U12 and older.

I could not agree with you more! Typically used in HS ball, this system is a disgrace and I am under the belief that at least half these HS refs don't know the laws of the game at all. There is good reason it is an illegal system under USSF standards.

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I went from 5 games a day to ZERO. No matter how hard the officials work - the comments will not stop. I am tired of running around all over long island to cover each game - only to get abused over and over again. Why am I doing this? The definition of insanity - letting idiotic parents and coaches continue to do this over and over again. STFU. Never again. Time to get off your lawn chairs.

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Next time you want to criticize the referees that handle the youth matches, pay attention to the professionals that miss calls. Watching the World Cup Qualifier and the referee missed several calls.

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Originally Posted by Anonymous
Next time you want to criticize the referees that handle the youth matches, pay attention to the professionals that miss calls. Watching the World Cup Qualifier and the referee missed several calls.

You can't compare professional and youth soccer. Youth soccer is more important and has to be flowless on the refereeing side smile

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Just to add some anecdotal data. As I was in the tent at the end of the day Sunday at the East Islip tournament, I felt pretty good about covering the nine games I was assigned, thinking I went above and beyond. However, in talking to the other referees in line, almost all of them did even more games than I did, some much more. And some were leaving East Islip to do night games at the susa tournament. This is not sustainable. What few refs we have are going to break down and/or burnout under these loads.

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Originally Posted by LIRef77
Originally Posted by Anonymous
US Soccer prohibits the 2 man system like you see in high school and college but they are going to have to start thinking of something to keep the games covered. Perhaps a training in the 2 man system needs to come to the US soccer side

The two man system is an abomination and dilutes the authority of ONE Center Referee that makes the same consistent calls on BOTH sides of the filed seen by the SAME pair of eyes and decided by the SAME brain.

The two referee system is a two headed schizoid that is illegal under USSF standards.

How about all games from U9 to U11 just use the coaches to call the game? Save the referees for U12 and older.

I think you have to have referees no matter what the level. However, we can cut down on the number of AR's needed. If I were king, I'd make a hard split between competitive travel and rec travel at the U13 and up level. The top teams move up to play 11v11 on the full size field and get two AR's. The bottom teams continue to play 9v9, or even drop back down to 7v7, on the U11/U12 sized fields with just a CR and stay 60 minutes long all the way through U19. Maybe the teams in the top four brackets be considered competitive. The benefits are numerous.

1) We would need less than half the AR's we currently use, leaving more experienced refs free to concentrate on being CR's.

2) The CR's would be working shorter games at the rec travel level, allowing them time to work more games. It would also allow aging refs that can really only physically handle a couple of hours a day to do two or three games instead of one or two. And by working a smaller field there would be additional savings on wear and tear of the body.

3) The cost of rec travel would drop significantly as the referee fees would drop in half for their games.

4) Rec travel teams would be more likely to hang on additional years as they wouldn't need as large a roster to compete due to the games being 9v9 or even 7v7. And by having the games only be 60 minutes you get around some issues with time conflicts as well as not needing as many substitutes due to the shorter games.

5) The game would be more fun for rec level teams as they would average more touches on the ball due to the smaller field and lower player count. This would have the additional benefit of being better developmentally for when those kids are ready to step up and join their clubs, or another clubs, 11v11 competitive travel teams.

6) Field shortage problems would be lowered as less full size fields would be needed. Most clubs U11/u12 fields sit empty on Sunday's so there wouldn't be an additional problem created for the majority.

I could go on but it would be a win-win in my book.

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My daughter played in the susa tournament this weekend and the refereeing was exceptional. GU14 1 game in Brentwood on Saturday & 2 in Selden on Sunday. The crew at the Boyle Rd field did a fantastic job.

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I think schools should consider moving games to later in the evening. A lot of would-be school refs just aren't available at 4pm on a weekday. I know I would sign up in a heartbeat if games were later so that they didn't interfere with my work schedule.

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