Hackett’s Verdict | Referees, start to smile

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I was saddened by the recent news of a referee, who also acts has an administrator in a Beverley Hills Soccer League, hanging up his boots and stopping his involvement in our great game after giving several years of loyal service.

Avery Krut called it a day because of constantly having to listen (external link) and deal with unruly spectators at many of the grassroots games that he was officiating.

Many of the spectators at these games are parents who frankly often get so wrapped up in the matches involving their children, they channel some of their frustration in the direction of the match referee and the opposition.

The Beverly Hills AYSO board through the Regional Commissioner Alex Grossman responded with his own email calling the incident ‘unfortunate”.

Referees across the world spend most of the week preparing and looking forward to officiating games in local parks with little financial reward.

Referees deserve to be treated with respect and parents should set a better example to the players of both teams and focus on ensuring that games take place in a friendly and enjoyable atmosphere.

I wonder if the officials at AYSO should take advantage of a brilliant idea that was introduced into Grassroots Football in England.

Mal Lee who has won several national awards spawned Don’t X The Line.

He came up with the idea of posts and tape positioned one metre from the touchline and the tape printed with the words Don’t X The Line.

Parents stand behind the tape and the coaches and substitutes are positioned at the other side of the field on the opposite touchline.

A simple but effective way of ensuring that parents do not wander onto the field of play and to think twice before shouting abuse.

Take a look at Mal’s website if you want more information. Referees can also help themselves when officiating games and I suggest that you consider taking some action on the following points.

FITNESS AND WORK-RATE will help to ensure that you are in close proximity to play and enhance the quality of your decision making.

DECISION MAKING referees must be accurate and you should have a thorough knowledge of the Laws of the game.

TEAMWORK – prepare well and ensure that after delivering your pre-match instructions you knit well has a team.

If you are using a parent involved in the club then don’t forget to say thankyou.

COMMUNICATION – Clarity of hand signals and don’t forget to show your human side by talking, encouraging and managing players effectively.


When parents start to show abuse then nip it in the bud…

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