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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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Originally Posted by Anonymous
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.

If you’re willing to become a referee by all means nothing is stopping you. Club soccer games are on the weekends!
Also many high school games are on the weekends.

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Originally Posted by Anonymous
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.

You only need a certified referee at a certain age group. I believe its U-13. Anything lower than that can be refereed by a parent of which both teams agree upon.

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Originally Posted by LIRef77
Originally Posted by Anonymous
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.

If you’re willing to become a referee by all means nothing is stopping you. Club soccer games are on the weekends!
Also many high school games are on the weekends.

Not every school has lights for their fields and night games involve paying security and janitors OT to keep school open

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Originally Posted by LIRef77
Originally Posted by Anonymous
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.

If you’re willing to become a referee by all means nothing is stopping you. Club soccer games are on the weekends!
Also many high school games are on the weekends.

I am a LISRA referee. I would gladly also do school games during the week but there is no way in the world I would be able to make 4pm games. If they started to have school games during weekday evenings I would sign up in a heartbeat.

I do understand that there are a number of weekend school games as well but I can't imagine that isn't somewhat of a nightmare to coordinate with being assigned to club games.

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Originally Posted by Anonymous
Originally Posted by LIRef77
Originally Posted by Anonymous
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.

If you’re willing to become a referee by all means nothing is stopping you. Club soccer games are on the weekends!
Also many high school games are on the weekends.

Not every school has lights for their fields and night games involve paying security and janitors OT to keep school open

Sure, the schools that don't have lights can stay at 4pm. But moving the games later for the ones that do? That would help a lot in referee availability. And for the middle schools where most of the schools will not have lights can potentially move their games to their High Schools which most likely do have lights. The fact that it would cost the schools more money is the price they should be willing to pay to help solve the shortage.

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Originally Posted by Anonymous
Originally Posted by Anonymous
Originally Posted by LIRef77
Originally Posted by Anonymous
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.

If you’re willing to become a referee by all means nothing is stopping you. Club soccer games are on the weekends!
Also many high school games are on the weekends.

Not every school has lights for their fields and night games involve paying security and janitors OT to keep school open

Sure, the schools that don't have lights can stay at 4pm. But moving the games later for the ones that do? That would help a lot in referee availability. And for the middle schools where most of the schools will not have lights can potentially move their games to their High Schools which most likely do have lights. The fact that it would cost the schools more money is the price they should be willing to pay to help solve the shortage.

Staffing for school sports is already in school budgets. Security is always there anyway. There are janitors in schools every night working the night shift so there is no OT there. For some reason though, turning field lights on requires paying someone OT to flip a switch (at least that's what my school district told me). Bottom line is you would solve a big referee problem if you had games at 6 and 7 pm, this way you could attract younger, quality referees instead of having these old geezers who can barely move and don't know the laws of the game very well either.

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Just spoke to my friend in NJ, he’s lost playing (4) matches due to games canceled due to no available officials.

So continue to miss the big picture … debate all your point of views on why the parent or coach was right and why the referee was wrong. I think the original intent of post was to increase awareness, reduce the abuse, have folks accept calls for what they are, and see if we can actually begin to change so that younger referees will stay and add even more new ones.

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Originally Posted by Anonymous
Just spoke to my friend in NJ, he’s lost playing (4) matches due to games canceled due to no available officials.

So continue to miss the big picture … debate all your point of views on why the parent or coach was right and why the referee was wrong. I think the original intent of post was to increase awareness, reduce the abuse, have folks accept calls for what they are, and see if we can actually begin to change so that younger referees will stay and add even more new ones.


I'm a few years into refereeing and the first couple of years I took every game I could to help out. Now I pretty much go with what I'm assigned, which is still a lot, but not as many as I did before. And the reason why is the abuse. Take this past weekend. After the first half the coach complained to me about a specific player getting in extra contact after the ball was gone and asked if I could keep an eye on it. No problem. About five minutes into the second half the player committed blatant unsporting behavior right in front of me. I blew the whistle and started to walk over to the player to issue a caution. And it's not like I wasn't being pretty obvious about it. I even yelled back to the coach when he started his rant that I saw it and was handling the situation. And after issuing the caution the other coach removed the player from the game because he didn't want to risk the player getting a red in a game they were winning by five goals.

Coach got the foul he wanted, got the caution he wanted and the player was removed from the game. Did that stop the coach from screaming about me, the player, the other team, etc? Of course not. It was only when I told his player to hold the kick and started walking towards him that he finally shut up. In retrospect I should have continued my walk and issued him a caution too but with it being tournament play where the yellow isn't reported to anyone, I didn't think it was worth the bother at the time.

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Originally Posted by Anonymous
Originally Posted by Anonymous
Just spoke to my friend in NJ, he’s lost playing (4) matches due to games canceled due to no available officials.

So continue to miss the big picture … debate all your point of views on why the parent or coach was right and why the referee was wrong. I think the original intent of post was to increase awareness, reduce the abuse, have folks accept calls for what they are, and see if we can actually begin to change so that younger referees will stay and add even more new ones.


I'm a few years into refereeing and the first couple of years I took every game I could to help out. Now I pretty much go with what I'm assigned, which is still a lot, but not as many as I did before. And the reason why is the abuse. Take this past weekend. After the first half the coach complained to me about a specific player getting in extra contact after the ball was gone and asked if I could keep an eye on it. No problem. About five minutes into the second half the player committed blatant unsporting behavior right in front of me. I blew the whistle and started to walk over to the player to issue a caution. And it's not like I wasn't being pretty obvious about it. I even yelled back to the coach when he started his rant that I saw it and was handling the situation. And after issuing the caution the other coach removed the player from the game because he didn't want to risk the player getting a red in a game they were winning by five goals.

Coach got the foul he wanted, got the caution he wanted and the player was removed from the game. Did that stop the coach from screaming about me, the player, the other team, etc? Of course not. It was only when I told his player to hold the kick and started walking towards him that he finally shut up. In retrospect I should have continued my walk and issued him a caution too but with it being tournament play where the yellow isn't reported to anyone, I didn't think it was worth the bother at the time.


You should have carded him and told him the next time you have to walk over here he will be spending the rest of the game in his car....tournament or no tournament.

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Parent of 11 year old son. We played at opponents field. A dad parent started screaming at the referee over what he thought was out of bounds throw in call. The ref had been doing a decent job all game, seemed to be calling just as many against us as the other team. So the ref asked him nicely to knock it off. The parent immediately started dropping F-bombs in front of the kids, directed at the ref. The ref immediately issued a yellow card to first our coaches by accident as he thought the bully was with with us, but then immediately corrected it. The dad continued dropping F-bombs and wouldn’t stop. The ref immediately showed him a red card and told him it was time to leave. From what I could see and hear the same parent then started threatening the ref and told him to try and make him leave.

The home coach came all the way across the field to get rid of the parent who instead then ran into the field at the ref screaming and cursing. The ref blew his whistle and said enough, game over. I wasn’t happy at the time as it was a very good game for both teams.

But then I thought about it, it’s about time someone stands up to the bullies. This was a soccer game for the kids, and this parent ruined it.

What if the ref instead of being a man was some of the teenagers that ref at our home fields, would this bully scream F-bombs at them too and run onto the field to challenge them to a fight?

Just shut up and enjoy our kids playing with their friends, it will be over before we know it.

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