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Question Number: 35199

Other 11/4/2023

RE: Select Under 12

Jon of Bend, Ore 01 asks...

This question is a follow up to question 35195

I appreciate both opinions. There is a little backstory to it. I’ve been playing soccer since I was six have not played on upper level but JC level. This is my second year with my sons in club soccer. When we moved here, this was the only club in the town then another club started up which is the one we are at now. The Previous club is poorly managed, toxic, and nepotistic. The club did not honor their contract in regards to having a dedicated coach for my older son, and my younger son was bullied tormented during the first two months of the season then he left. This is the same club and players he was playing against. My sons teams were out playing them with our forward having a hat trick then it got dirty pushing from behind. I agree with the first response I acted poorly, I should have gone to the head ref. I let my built up anger and frustration with that place out. I personally am not interested or care about minor fouls is the dirty hard fouls that I was concerned with in my job field I have seen the outcome of games were dirty hard fouls go unchecked. This was the first time I have been in the situation and it will be the last time. Answer to your question. No, I just paid the fees to join the club. I don’t remember signing any documents regarding code of conduct. I think the kid referee yelling at me needs to be addressed. I was given a four week suspension for the first time offense which I find to be a little extreme. I will also start filming the games and if necessary and report if refs are not keeping with safe play.

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Jon,
first off well done for looking to improve the situation and reflect on what could work better. That is a workable, stable attitude and one we all should strive for in debate and solving issues instead if exacerbating them. When those with issues engage with the emotional detachment of reflection rather than respond with direct feelings of the moment. it helps in arriving at reasoned and preventable outcomes

Trust me, as a dad coach, house league coach, rep and travel coach, school league coach, both a men's & a woman's coach, as a youth player, adult player, youth referee, adult referee administrator disciplinary, coordinator committees etc. etc.. when it comes to the politics in soccer and attitudes, I have run the gauntlet and back again.

I helped out at the local levels and of course once our children came along, coaching them or refereeing matches simply became a way of seeing the world! We lived in relatively isolated surroundings so travel and soccer were synonymous to having fun. I wish it the same for you and yours!

Over the years at sporting venues, I often noticed occasional adversarial attitudes that seemed to imbue recreational fun sports with needless tensions? I developed an unusual pattern of perception, that when playing the game as a player or watching the game as a fan, parent, coach and even officiating as a referee I came to realize how we all SEE the same game, differently! In an old article article, " Are we still on the same side when we disagree? " I remarked there were four points of view from which a game is seen.

1 player/parent sees what they feel
2 coach sees what he wants
3 spectator sees what they think
4 Referee sees what he sees!

Nothing was more difficult for me when coaching was remembering NOT to say out loud what I felt or wanted called. I know that a referee with integrity calls what they see from the angle of view, at the moment it occurs.. You have a split second to evaluate and go yes or no? Then off we are to the next decision.

How a referee responds to criticism might depend on how it is presented! When actual errors of LAW occur not just poor foul recognition try asking a referee to reconsider. It rarely ends well . I recall a referee awarding the team I was coaching a PK , that was insane, because the correct restart was a red card to the keeper and a DFK from outside the PA, where it was deliberately handled. Instead this official thought it prudent to only show a yellow card but then award us a PK. I had to tell my player to deliberately miss the opportunity as it was NOT the correct restart to what just occurred!

I tried to tell the AR who was to intimidated by the referee to convey my reasoning in fact I was warned and threated to be expelled if I did not stop my ahem abuse! I never said anything personal just claimed it was the wrong decision and creating a protestable situation as it was against the LOTG to move the DFK outside the PA into the PA for a keeper handling issue! It was a clear DOGSO via handling OUTSIDE the PA by a good 6 feet perpetrated by the keeper.
Thankfully we won 2 to 1
Yet that did not mean I stayed quiet or silent. I offered congratulations and praise, thank you and handshakes under sporting conditions, even when agreeing to disagree! Letters written, comments made, meetings attended, videos taped, explanations asked for and even occasional protests filed or disputed!

Here at we try very hard to educate as well as listen because dissent sometimes, tells you what you are missing! Yet you need to stand up for what is right, and abide by what you know to be true, just try not be mean spirited or angry doing so! I get irritated and will snap a get out of my face comment now and then but I work hard to deal with pressure release instead of light the bigger fires!

You are correct, it is indeed vital to support our youth players or referees at every level and give them the necessary training and encouragement . All referees must accept fair play principles and respect the codes of conduct that apply. Quality assessments and peer reviews. Finding credible mentors and having them available to assist in the development of those seeking to be better than they are now! You can occasionally fix a problem if those engaged are willing to see it as a problem to be solved, not an ego to be hurt or a power grab of control or a game of ridicule and blame! I agree if the environment is toxic and unable to define a solution, looking for other teams or leagues is certainly a wise choice. All actions have consquences, just that sometimes the price paid is greater or less than it should be!

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Jon
Thanks for the follow up.

You mention the referee yelling at you and I did read that in the original question. I did not address it in the original answer as sometimes answer can just be too long or not focus on the salient points.

So the referee should not have yelled at you and it was out of order. He should have respectfully asked you to move away or for that matter just said nothing.
Referees have a Code of Ethics to uphold and showing respect is a priority as is conducting oneself honorably at all times and maintaining the dignity of refereeing.

When I speak to referees I advise them not to get involved in verbal spats with anyone. That opens up the referee to accusations of showing a lack of respect even if provoked. This is a perfect example of a young referee reacting in a way that was not respectful. Being verbally challenged is not a free pass at being disrespectful.
I have said after games about a disputed call *Im sorry you feel that way. The game is over so we need to move on* Thats the end of it.

Now hindsight is a wonderful thing and if only we could only roll the clock back but we cant. Had you simply gone to the Head Ref and conveyed a calm report on the performance of the referee what or who would be the focus?
As a final thought I would not allow refereeing performances to be focus of spectating games. There are observers charged with that task. I have watched countless videos of refereeing decisions and to be perfectly honest watching a few isolated incidents does little for referee assessment. I want to see the totality of a game.

I would simply park this situation, put it down as a learning experience and move on to enjoy games with your family. If you have safety concerns at a game speak to your coaches.

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