Respect the Referee

Posted by Paul Kelshaw on March 2, 2015 at 11:45 PM

The referees on Long Island have various degrees of experience and ability. There are many times when the game is in the hands of a novice referee, possibly handling the game for the first time. Go easy on the referee! He or she has a hard job and they are usually inexperienced teenagers or elderly men (who sometimes referee 4-5 games back to back). Just remember it could be your child out there someday or an even scarier thought is it could be YOU. How would you want to be treated?

Set the example by treating all referees with respect, and insist that your players and parents do the same. Accept their decisions as part of the game. Don’t make calls for them, shout at or argue with them. Teach your players to focus on improving their own play and that of the team, not on criticizing the officials.

Coaches need to be careful not to overreact to some of the inevitable bumping and incidental contact that occurs in soccer. Contrary to some misconception, soccer is a contact sport. Don’t let the referee become a distraction for your team. Over the course of the game or season, the “bad calls” will probably even out. If the referee does a good job, be sure to let them know and thank them after the game.


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