Tactical Restart Response

Restart management is difficult enough without considering the various ways that defenders could seek to play psychological tricks on both their opponents and the referee. Given that defenders are...

Behavior Battles

A chieving excellence takes knowing what the referee’s powers are and, more importantly, when and how best to use each power to successfully manage a...

Useful Tips

Arrive early, park your car wisely (don’t allow yourself to be blocked in), be dressed in a clean and proper uniform, inspect the field...

Filter Player Comments

“C’mon, ref! Open your eyes! He’s fouling me!” We’ve all heard that and similar phrases from frustrated players. Dealing quickly and appropriately with their frustrations and complaints is essential if...

Very First Laws To Know

As a rookie official, what are the very first laws to know? How can you translate that knowledge into judgment and action on the...

Dig Deep to Evaluate Your Game

I teach entry-level classes and frequently get situations about how the referee messed up and the player got a card for doing nothing. Let’s...

Formal Check or Not, Illegal Equipment Deserves Attention in NFHS Play

N FHS rule 4-3 requires an illegally equipped player to leave the field and not return until the next legal substitution opportunity. For the first...

Discretion Available For Dangerous Play

T he prohibition against engaging in play that is dangerous or likely to cause injury to oneself or an opponent has been a part of...

Refereeing Gives Skills For Your Lifetime

Through the 27 years and 2,300 games of my officiating career, I've accumulated insights, notions and generalizations I didn’t have before which I can trace back...

Optimal Crew Positioning on Free Kicks

F ree kicks from just outside the penalty area can determine the outcome of a game. They can be so critical that teams have multiple...

Use Warnings in the Right Situations

Warnings done correctly can be very useful, but if they are used in the wrong situation, they can hurt more than they help game...

Communication on Cue Is Key

Appropriate communications (ignore, body language, non-verbal signals including whistle and general accepted hand signals and verbal) are used to match level and skill of...

Video Lessons Learned Can Help Going Forward

One of the things we learned from staying home because of the pandemic was the amount of spare time one had when going out...

Six Key Factors Assessors Focus On

There are many myths and legends about assessors and their roles and responsibilities. Some officials do not want to be assessed because they do not understand how an...

Pre-match Recon

It is common practice that you should closely watch player behavior during a match in order to be prepared for what comes next, to adjust and modify your...

Make New Officials Comfortable Before the Match Begins 

Any number of factors can affect how effectively a referee team works together, especially if one or both assistant referees are comparatively inexperienced. The center referee’s awareness of possible weaknesses...

How to read a game

Once a referee reaches the point where he/she knows the Laws of the Game well and has learned effective mechanics, what comes next to improve his/her game and advance...
soccer player risk

“Risky” Business 

For the first time in the history of the Laws of the Game, the referee is being directed to take a certain approach because a player decided...
soccer throw-ins

Not All Throw-Ins Are Created Equally

T he throw-in, a common restart at all levels of soccer, presents a number of challenges to the officiating team — some of which must...

Every Game Can Be Your Best Game

A young, motivated and talented official was assigned as the referee in a college D-I highly contested conference game. The two assistant referees were seasoned veterans who have officiated...

Can You Compare Refereeing Soccer To Catching A Fish? As a Matter of Fact...

You might not think so, but the individuals who arbitrate the rules or laws of soccer on a regular basis and the individuals who...

The Art of Assessments

Carl, I think I’m becoming a softy at assessments.” Matt Slovacek is a referee and assessor from Michigan. That was the way the email started. He...

Use Player Reactions to Decide Fairness

Gil Weber, USSF National Emeritus referee and contributing author to several USSF publications, described the referee’s task: “Refereeing is all about fairness. It’s balancing...

Run Smarter, Not Harder 

Running comes with being a soccer referee. The need to keep up with play makes running essential, most notably since the referee’s angle of view can be critical...

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