My Youth Soccer Guide

Youth Soccer Refs Don't Care

by Adrian
(Arizona, USA)

I have so many bad officiating stories that it would take me forever to share them with you.

I just want to express the conclusion of my observations I've made over the years watching youth soccer games.

Referees mistakes or bad calls have occurred, occur and will occur on every level of play. It's part of the game. We all understand it and have to learn living with it.

Regrettably, most of the time, bad officiating on the youth level is the result of incompetence, inexperience and do-not-care attitude of referees.

Why are they incompetent?
Because they are inexperience and do not really care.

Why are they inexperienced?
Because of the system assigning complete beginners to refereeing youth games. Of course this is understandable; they have to start somewhere.
But why most of referees, after years of being involved in soccer, are still inexperienced?
Because they are incompetent and do not care, so no matter how long they ref soccer games, they will never learn anything.

Why do they not care?
Because they are incompetent and inexperienced. Also nobody really evaluate and verify their performance, simply because there are not enough people willing to officiate games played by little kids anyway.

Now just imagine: The incompetent, inexperienced with I-do-not-care attitude person that is "awarded" the power of authority over everybody on and around the field.

Scary, isn't it?

It wouldn't be fair on my part, if I didn't add that there are some experienced and competent youth soccer officials out there, and that they... care

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Sep 06, 2007
by: sean

I want to give my opinion. I've never been involved in youth-soccer so I can't speak for the referees. With that said, I did officiate a game last sunday because I couldn't run and it was hard to manage the game. Watching every movement while trying to read the flow of the game and ball's path so you successfully become 'invisible' in the game is very hard, and much harder if you have mobility problem.

Nevertheless, if referees show more desire and energy in the game of soccer I'm sure things will get better

Jan 26, 2008
Qualified Critic?
by: Ojibwa

One wonders how the person making the comment gained his expertise. Can he indeed list the 10 penal fouls? The non penal fouls? The other infractions?
For one to judge the incompetence of another requires a level of knowledge not demonstrated in this commentary. Also, one would suggest he fund, and start an assessor's group to grow the experience of, and protect the growth of, these as yet untutored sports officials.
Last query: why is a negative and pejorative attitude more often found instead of a positive and construtive attitude towards sports officials?
There are, of course(!), levels of experience and competence. We can hope the right sort of person survives to become experienced in the vacuum of support and approbation most often exhibited by fans and critics of officiating(Is it possible we evolve officials no one will like in this process?).
Of course, I love all those who question authority. It IS the American way!

Oct 15, 2012
Why not teach proper play

at the beginning? I've seen players tackled by their collars in easy view of the referee with no foul called. This is a penalty in rugby let alone soccer. I see more hand checking with arms fully extended than in an NBA game and it is never called.

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