Friday, May 8, 2009

Change to Procedures

Effective immediately the following changes have been made to the Guide and Procedures for Referees, Assistant Referees and Fourth Officials.  US Soccer is suggesting the changes be implemented immediately.  I would suggest that you discuss the following points in your pregame so that the entire crew is on the same page.  Don't worry the changes are miminal and should be very easy for you to incorporate into your game! 

From the U.S. Soccer Communications Center:

A new and slightly revised edition of the long-standing USSF publication, Guide to Procedures for Referees, Assistant Referees and 4th Officials, will become available this month.  Only two changes will be found in the 2009-2010 edition:
  • Page 37 (Penalty Kick, Indicated By The Assistant Referee).  The fourth bullet point has been modified as follows: “If referee stops game, assistant referee first indicates penalty kick by holding flag across the lower body and then begins walking toward the corner flag
  • Page 40 (Substitutions, Referee procedure).  The first bullet point has been modified to be consistent with International Board guidelines mandating the use of the whistle to restart play after the referee has delayed the restart for a substitution.  The revised bullet item now makes it clear that a whistle is required in all such cases.
Until the new edition of the Guide becomes more widely distributed, you are asked to begin immediately in your respective capacities to pass the above procedure changes along to other referees, instructors, and assessors so that they may begin implementing these modifications as quickly as possible.

Some of this information is subject to copyright under the policies set forth by US Soccer.  All use and dissemination is covered under the usage policy which can be viewed at and all rights therein.  

How to Gauge Serious Foul Play

As a referee commented during the State Cup meeting, there are a lot of acronyms out there in the referee world.  "Aw, man, another one?  Geez there are so many to remember!"  

Regardless of how you feel about them they are here to stay and its important to know what they mean.  For many people suck abbreviations make it easier to remember the concepts.  But according to Wiki:

"Acronyms often occur in jargon. Acronyms may have different meanings in different areas of industry, writing, and scholarship. The general reason for this is convenience and succinctness for specialists, although it has led some to obfuscate the meaning either intentionally, to deter those without such domain-specific knowledge, or unintentionally, by creating an initialism that already existed."

So what this means is sometimes people will constantly throw around the acronyms in order to make others feel "out of the loop" and uncomfortable.  Well, if you can interpret this special language then you'll feel confident, not embarrassed!


Speed of play and tackle 
Intent: to send a message or win the ball 
Agressive nature, lunging with the feet 
Position of the legs; pay attention to both the leading and training leg 
Opportunity to play the ball.  Within playing distance?
Atmosphere of the game. 

The elements of SIAPOA will help you when deciding if a tackle is to be a send-off offense.  Remember that its important to study this concept thoroughly but be able to apply it quickly.  Most of us use information like this to build a "threshold" that is easy for us to recognize.  That's why you don't see a moment of hesitation when a top referee sends someone off for a SFP tackle.  They have trained themselves to recognize such tackles quickly and act with courage.  

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

State Cup - 1st Weekend

Except for a brief period of rain it was a great weekend for soccer. US Soccer was kind enough to send us Kevin Yant to help with the pre-tournament meeting and give us feedback throughout the weekend. An added bonus was that his wife, Christel (Region IV Administrator) was also able to be with us.

Kevin gave us a great review of the US Soccer Directives on Friday night, as well as review some amazing FIFA training videos. I can't stress enough the importance of knowing the Directives. If you haven't read them already (or just want to read them again) then click here. Saturday night a smaller group of referees meet and we reviewed the games as a group. As a wrap up the group took a FIFA video test for offiside offenses. It was a real eye opener!

Overall we started the tournament off right. There are still some things that we need to work on but we're moving in the right direction. Thank-you for all of your hard work and please keep up the good effort. The games will only get harder as the intensity level rises and players get more tired. We must continue to be at the top of our game!

Check out some of the photos by clicking here. If you would like a full-size copy of any of the pictures please email me.