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Question Number: 32636

Character, Attitude and Control 8/10/2018

RE: Intermediate Under 14

Phil of Tarzana, CA United States asks...

This question is a follow up to question 32633

FWIW, I agree completely with the responses to this question.

When my daughter played in both junior high & high school, we had coaches that were disrespectful to the referees. Most of the spectators (parents), didn't know the rules & when coaches make comments like 'this referee doesn't know what their doing' or 'the referee has it in for us', etc., it causes parents to react badly, which in turn, sets a bad example for the kids.

I even knew some of the referees from AYSO, & knew they were doing a good job. While many comments by spectators & coaches can be ignored, when it starts to get loud & frequent, it does affect the game & the players. It also sets a terrible example for the students.

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Phil,
I thank you and appreciate your efforts and sprit!
it is true that much misery is self caused by the coaches & spectators attitudes as it is the referee's performances. While we encourage the teams to play with passion and heart, it is disheartening to witness younger referees enduring personalized & cutting comments causing them to withdraw their services due to the substance, tone and conduct of those not playing.

It is true we need to ignore the idle chatter but as you state the example set for the kids is something we MUST be aware of. The idea it is a referee's FAULT when complaints start going south and creating an ugly atmosphere, based on performance, is simply wrong, no matter how terrible an on field performance might be or perceived.

There is a shift in thinking across the world evidenced by the political landscapes of a me first attitude and my rights supersedes all others to voice what I want and what I think. The idea of agree to disagree and move on is one no longer practised much. Soccer politics follow the same trends.

Soccer is worse off for it as a sport and the world for its impact on our political systems thusly on our own frame of mind. I do not advocate any particular religious belief but it seems self evident that if to be the person you want others to be is not at the heart of what we do, we are failing our children!

Your life is NOT about you, it is about all the people around you, all those you impact, touch, those that you love and who love you. Your source of joy is inside of those you choose to see. See the heart, the soul, the essence of those that truly live a life of joy. Those that share compassion, have integrity, can forgive themselves and others for finding fault. Light your life with the glow of those who are living theirs in a sharing way. Life is what occurs as you breath the air of circumstances, fiddle with chance and exploit or waste opportunities to make a difference. We can not tell others how to live or make decisions when it comes their choices. We can only root for them to be good ones , to have a positive effect on their and others well being.

It seems we are so warped in our bubble of self pity we forget the gifts we receive. So to all the anarchists, civil right activists, cynics, narcissists, self absorbed, self righteous, narrow minded, self loathing, pretentious, posturing, opinionated, bastions of self gratification, be you on the left or right or centre of whatever system you currently subscribe to. Get over it, fix yourself and quit blaming everyone but yourself for the way things are! Trump, Putin, May, Trudeau , Merkle, Rouhani, Macron, Assad, Preca, Maduro or any world leader or power is neither the cause or to blame for the way YOU decide to live or act on the pitch.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Phil
Thanks for your contribution. I know an observer with a lifetime of experience and he always advises referees to deal with the dissent / shouting coming from the technical area. Much of the poor conduct of play on the field can have its origins in the TAs with coaches and others raising the temperature and mood of the game unacceptably through inappropriate comments, shouting etc.
When unacceptable comments and shouting takes a grip on the conduct of the game it can be difficult to get the toothpaste back into the tube.

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Answer provided by Referee Gary Voshol

I had a friend who was both a ref and a coach. When he was coaching, he restrained himself as much as possible, no matter what he thought of the performance of the ref. The team parents picked up on his attitude. 'Well if Bob isn't making a fuss, it must be some arcane rule that we don't know about.' And often times they didn't get disrespectful or abusive toward the ref either.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe Manjone

Although the disrespect for officials has always been part of the game, this criticism seems to now bother younger officials more than I have ever seen in my 60 years of officiating. As a result of fan, coach and player criticism, the number of younger officials coming into officiating is lower than ever, and those that do become officials are dropping out after a year or two. The average age of high school soccer officials in my area is in the mid-fifties. This average age increases each year, while the speed and skill of high school players increases. I believe that this is leading to an officiating crisis which will require schools to have a no heckling/criticizing of officials policy and also provide incentives for younger officials to enter the officiating ranks and stay there. After all, games cannot be played without officials, and there are many instances nationwide that high school games are being cancelled because of a lack of officials. Anything you and your officiating association can do to get the schools in your area to promote sportsmanship and appreciation of officials will help the situation. Thank you for making everyone aware of this problem. I hope that you have a successful fall season.

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