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Question Number: 22032

Pre-Game 9/21/2009

RE: Rec Division 2 Under 17

William Everitt of Brandon, MS US asks...

What is a good pre game message to teams for a U16 boys match. I usually do not check shoes or shingaurds at this level. I do ask anyone have 'screw ins', I need to say something before the game though. Like 'lets have fun but not kill anyone' j/k, These kids are 14 and 15, contact and dangerous play is inevitable. So Something to deter that behavior along the lines as have fun but dont hurt people.

any thoughts?

Does anyone have like a ritual they do before each game. Like 1 walk on the field with ar's then talk to coaches, make sure parents are on one side of the field and coaches and players are on one side of the field. Talk to your ar's about responsibilities. captins. start game.

any other suggestions?
Any suggestions?

Answer provided by Referee Gary Voshol

'Everyone is properly equipped? Anyone have metal cleats that I have to check for sharpness? OK, good. Any questions for me? Thanks, guys, have a good game.'

They're not going to listen anyway.

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Answer provided by Referee Michelle Maloney

Lectures, or anything that sounds like a lecture (read message here), will simply fly past their heads. Besides, they are focused on playing the game in a minute or so, not on what you are saying, for heaven's sake! Let your whistle do the talking, and they will figure it out much faster.

As for pregame routines (I am not fond of rituals - reminds me of baseball), walking the field while doing the pregame with the ARs, checking the goals are anchored is good - in fact required. Introducing one's self to the coaches is good. Checking to make sure the players are properly equipped and the touchlines are clear of obstructions (fans, coolers, toddlers, etc.) is good. Conducting the coin toss with the captains is required. Check both watches, eye contact with ARs, count players, start game, and run, run, run!

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Player safety is one of the main priorities for referees. For players to have fun it is important that all aspects of the game is managed to ensure safety at all times. A serious injury to a player will certainly spoil the enjoyment of the game for everyone. Players' equipment should be inspected before the game to ensure that the players' boots, equipment comply with Law 4 and are not dangerous, that the players have shinguards and that they are not wearing anything such as jewellery that is dangerous to themselves or opponents.
As regards a prematch talk you should enquire from your competition organiser what is expected in this regard. In many instances it is not required and it is rarely listened to. Finally the referee should ensure that the laws of the game are followed fully. Where the laws are enforced fully the risk of injuries is reduced significantly. Where there is unfair contact and dangerous play the referee should not allow this and he should use the appropriate sanctions as per the law to ensure this is not repeated in the game and that the game is played in a sporting, fair and safe manner.

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Answer provided by Referee Keith Contarino

Why don't you check cleats and shinguards at this level of play? What makes you think a player will be truthful in his answer to your question about screw-ins? Regardless of the level of play it is your responsibility to ensure that all player's equipment conforms to Law 4 and is not dangerous. As far as talking to the players, they're not going to listen to you at this level so less said the better. You should always make certain that both goals are properly anchored.
As to a pregame with your ARs, Gil Weber has an excellent article on our main page.

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