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Question Number: 29635

Character, Attitude and Control 8/26/2015

RE: Intermediate Under 13

Phil of Tarzana, CA United States asks...

This question is a follow up to question 29630

I want to thank all of you for your time & valuable advice that you give on this site. Your advice to Pete struck home. I've had my confidence shaken on many occasions.

While I've tried to learn the laws backwards & forwards, I've been doing this for about 5 years. That may sound like enough, but I only referee for AYSO...once a week for about 3 months a year. I'm also the oldest referee, about 15, maybe 20, years older than almost all of the other referees...which is why I'll probably always referee U12.

I had a U12 game last season, where the boys on one team were all smaller than the other team. Part way through the match, that team's coach said: 'They can't use their shoulders to push.' I told him that shoulder to shoulder contact was fine, as long as excessive force wasn't used. He said: 'Maybe at 15 or 16, but not 11 or 12. I never had anyone ever say something like that before. I told him they could. Later one of the boys on his team got upset and pushed the opposing GK in anger. I awarded a PK & verbally admonished the boy to calm down.

Later there was a collision between 2 other players out of my sight, & the smaller boy went down. I blew the whistle & looked at the leading AR, who shook his head 'No' & kept his flag down. My ARs were experienced & I ran over to check on the boy, but didn't call a foul. His mother came onto the field & said, 'I don't care if I'm not supposed to. We quit'...and they abandoned the game.

Despite both my ARs saying they saw nothing wrong with the way I refereed the game (&, of course, the opposing teams' parents told me how well I ref'd), I always have questioned whether I could have handled things differently.

Many of you have said things that give me the confidence to continue. Now when friends ask me why I ref, instead of saying, 'It's for the kids', I smile & say, 'I must like abuse'. Thanks again for everything.

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Phil
Thanks for your kind words. Your comments will be read with interest by Pete and Im sure will give him confidence and that it is unfortunately at time goes with the territory.

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Answer provided by Referee Gary Voshol

I too had a U12 game where the coach pulled the team off the field when they thought I wasn't controlling it. I'm not sure what they wanted me to do. I was calling fouls and even cautioned a player - how often do you see a 11 year old girl rec player get a caution? It leaves a bad feeling, and a lot of paperwork. But you get past it, even if you do remember it and flog yourself over it from time to time.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Phil,
Thanks for the kind words ! I too hope Pete finds something to encourage his continuation with the beautiful game, even if a few non beautiful people clutter up the way at times. We do try to encourage and enlighten those who find there way here to the site. You can surmise, no one here is easily put off by shows of belligerence or dispute, yet we are always aware of just how intense some of the touchline garbage can become and the raw emotions at work!

When a larger team try's to dominate a smaller team by leaning in and being physical, shoulder to shoulder charges are very difficult to perform fairly if there is a height difference, taller players tend to push down and hold, plus you should watch for the arm shiver push off . Look too for angle and speed as they apply to the ball in playing distance. You are correct to think we cannot always protect players from the semantics of mass and physics, just look close to see if the contact is being fair and nor threatening or intimidating.

As a referee you can make 99% of the calls 100% spot on but you make one mistake that COSTS a team something ,well to sum it up, you might have wasted a whole lot of atta boy ref great job on one brief lapse of judgment

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