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Question Number: 28266

Pre-Game 3/21/2014

RE: rec Under 13

Thomas Winters of Fayetteville, NC USA asks...

im about to ref my first couple of games tomorrow morning. i have a U8 by myself then U12 jar then U6 by myelf. since im by myself for the first time and i cant ask anyone there, what kind of things do i need to do pregame? do i need to talk to the kids the coaches? i know i need to do these things just wondering about your guys'syour guy's pregame rituals for younger ages?

Answer provided by Referee Dennis Wickham

1. Inspect the field and check the goals. Make sure they are anchored. Don't play if they aren't anchored. Coaches will usually make sure they are if you ask them.

2. Meet the coaches and shake their hand. You don't need to talk with them.

3. If you league wants you to check in the players, read the names and make sure the numbers are correctly listed. There is no need to give them any instructions or directions before the game. The young ones usually will line up so that you can inspect them - - making sure that they have their shinguards on and socks over the shinguards; the U12 might have some jewelry that you need to remind them to remove.

4. In my first game, I forgot all about the coin toss. I was too nervous. But, the coach asked who was kicking off, and I then remembered. Don't worry about being nervous. They don't know that this is your first match. Moreover, you know lots more about soccer than the U8s do.

5. On the kickoff, make your whistle louder and longer than normal. It will help you learn to use a strong whistle. Something that will help a lot with the U12s.

I hope you have fun. The players want to have fun. The parents and coaches can get emotional because they forget that the players just want to have fun. Do your best and enjoy the best game in the world.

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