Wednesday, December 30, 2009

What referees do in the off-season

This is for soccer players, parents, fans, and, of course, referees. There are few things more challenging that officiating a game with 22 players running across a field that is larger than 5000 square meters, lasting at least 90 minutes, where your job description is to decide in real time whether a foul is meaningful enough to warrant your interrupting the flow of the game. (Compare this to other games with more umpires on a smaller field, where a foul is always called and then, during the stoppage, a judgment is made as to whether a penalty will be awarded.)

Soccer referees take an initial course to become certified, are regularly assessed during games, and then are required to take an annual recertification course during the off-season. Here's a video clip of a course last weekend. Segments of the class include a written test, followed by discussion of the possible answers. Then the group breaks up into smaller groups to evaluate a particular scenario and report back to the full group. During breaks, you can go to the Soccer Spot table and purchase supplies and equipment for the next season.

Everybody's favorite part, of course, is watching film clips of actual game situations and judging the appropriate call. I have given you some to watch, and you can make the call. They start at minute 2:23 of the video.

I'll give you a hint about one. The scene in clip 3 (minute 2:50) is not a foul. Think about explaining that to the coach of the striped team or to the parents of that young lady lying on the ground.

If you cannot view the video, click here.


John said...

Nice video work. Glad to see there were some "younger" referees there to take over. The video of the clean tackle in the penalty box should be mandatory viewing for all coaches and parents. Happy new year.

Istvan said...


It was nice to see familiar faces from the games. Regarding Clip 3, it is an absolutely clean side tackle (ball touched first then the others...)

Happy New Year!

Peter J said...

Great Stuff Paul, it's nice to see someone care enough to support us on and off the field as well. Side note my wife had a very wonderful experience at your hospital recently Thank you.