Skip to main content

Soccer Parenting Primer: Referees

The Spring Crunch is upon our household as school, sports, Scouts, etc. wind down. This past weekend we had nine soccer games on the family calendar. We ended up 8-1-0. If you love soccer (as I do) it was great fun.

Of course spending that much time at soccer field complexes with multiple games occurring simultaneously gives me ample opportunity to watch soccer parents as well as soccer games. This leads me to my next installment of the Soccer Parenting Primer: Soccer Parenting and Referees (You can read previous installments here and here.)

As a soccer parent, you are there to watch, encourage, and cheer. You are not there to coach. You are definitely not there to referee. The game of soccer is very fast and very fluid. There are rules. However, the referee has a great deal of latitude on whether he will enforce the rules. Fouls that endanger players are almost always called. On the other hand, pulling an opponent’s jersey is illegal. Yet if it would be more advantageous to the non-offending team to let play continue at that moment, the referee may not call the foul. The offsides ruling causes no end of consternation. To be called as offsides, a player must be in the offsides position at the time his teammate plays the ball (not when the ball reaches him) and either interfere with play, interfere with an opponent, or gain advantage from being in that position. This allows for a great deal of subjective judgment on the part of the referee. Therefore, the referee controls the game. It is his judgment, at a given moment, from his perspective that matters. Your judgment, even if you are yourself a trained referee, is of no consequence. The referee and his subjective opinions are part of the game of soccer. For those who are used to the instant replay precision of American football, this can be difficult to understand. A detailed source for the Laws of the Game of Soccer can be found at the FIFA website.

There is nothing to be gained by shouting criticism at the referee. In fact, if there is constant heckling of the officials, the subjective judgment can certainly be swayed against a team. You do your team no favors by angering the referees. Soccer etiquette requires all officials to be addressed as “Sir” or “Ma’am”. At the younger age groups, the referees are often less experienced. Many times they are teenagers Combine this with novice soccer parents who don’t know the rules as well as they think they do and it can be an explosive situation. Therefore, every team needs a level headed parent to set the tone for the rest. Many leagues require teams to designate a parent to be responsible for fan behavior. I recommend this parent carry a bag of hard candy suckers. As soon as parent starts getting negative hand him a lollipop. It is very hard to shout criticisms and insults with a Tootsie Pop in your mouth.

Set a good example for your children. You want to be proud of their play on the field. They want to be proud of your behavior on the sidelines. Soccer is a beautiful game. However, it is just a game.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Parent Letter from a Catechist

I am going to be teaching seventh grade CCD this year. We do most of the preparation for confirmation during this year since Confirmation is usually scheduled for the fall of the eighth grade year.I have composed a letter to the parents to try and keep them active in their children's religious education. I thought I would post it here and get your feedback before I send it out in a couple of weeks.

I am privileged to be your child’s seventh grade CCD teacher for the 2006-2007 school year. This is a very important year. We will focus on your child’s preparation for confirmation. Of course, you have already been preparing your child for this sacrament for many years. You are the primary catechist for your child. You show how important your Faith is by making Mass attendance a top priority and by family prayer.

Confirmation is one of the Sacraments of Initiation. It is a beginning. It is not a graduation. This year we will work to solidify the foundation of your child’s Catholic Faith.…

Dispelling the Myth of the Travel Dispensation

One of the fun things about having a site meter on my blog is I can see which posts garner the most attention. I can also see how people find my blog. One of the most read posts from my two years of blogging is this one that discusses finding Mass while traveling. I would like to think this post is so popular because it is so well written. The truth of the matter is that it generates so much traffic because I use the words “travel dispensation for Mass”—as in “There is no such thing as a travel dispensation for Mass.” I would guess that nearly a dozen times every week, someone googles “travel dispensation for Mass” and finds my blog. I wonder how many of these folks are poor souls trying to assuage their Catholic guilt with evidence of a justification for missing Mass while on the road.

I know that when I tell my seventh grade CCD students that attending Mass every Sunday is a commandment (one of the top ten!) and not just a pretty good idea they are amazed. Missing Mass has become so …

United Breaks Guitars

This guy is really talented and what a creative way to get your message across. I think he captured the "indifferent employee" perfectly. They don't just work for airlines. I think I ran into them at Walmart on Friday!