Thank You, Referees
Posted by: Liz Grier | Chief Administrative Officer
We can all recognize the referee on the field – wearing the classic yellow collared shirt with a whistle in hand, checking cleats and shin guards for the safety of the players pre-game, or tossing a coin for the captains’ to choose which half they’d like to defend first. We look to them not only for the safety of our players, but to be a third party in monitoring the rules of the game, to ensure a fair match is played. Soccer has been taking place in neighborhood parks, backyards, and backstreets for years, the game doesn’t require a referee. Yet referees provide a service to our soccer community, specifically to coaches, players, and spectators, and we have them to thank for providing such an experience.
The job of a referee is challenging. There are differing emotions coming from all angles; whether it be from the feisty player who doesn’t quite know how aggressive he is, the coach who likes to argue indefinitely, or the parent who is jumping out of their folding chair with Starbucks in one hand and the other up high complimenting their high-pitched opinion on the rules of the game. Referees have seen it all. For some, the memories of their first game make them wonder how they are still refereeing the game. For others, they are looking back on their first game that took place a few weeks ago, considering it to be their first and last season of refereeing.
Yet with these challenges comes great reward. Passion for the game is instilled through officiating, it’s giving back to the soccer community, and it’s learning to face challenges head-on and in the moment. We want to encourage players to explore referee training pathway to reap the benefits of officiating the game. Any child who is 11+ years of age can partake in referee training. Click here to learn more about becoming a referee.
We want to encourage and support our young referees who are giving back to a game they love.
We want them to continue to love the game, and not be deterred from this experience due to negative high emotions from the bench, sidelines, or the players. Join us in the “Let Us Play!” pledge. Quoting from the pledge, “I will not engage in negative comments with or directed at opposing players, parents or the referee.”
Let us gather together to thank our referees for a job well done. For keeping our players safe, enforcing the rules of the game, and allowing the players to have fun in a competitive game environment.