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...

Soccer Sideline Management Simplified

Depending on your level of training and experience as a referee, communication may not seem to be a top priority for officiating games. However,...

Gripes Coming From Winning Team?

If you were officiating a soccer match and the score got to 6-0, you might expect a little dissent, right? But would you expect it from the winning...

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...

74 Percent: Scoring Chances In the Area

By Carl Schwartz As I’m getting older, I’m learning more and more. I really wish I had known this 30 years ago. If you see...

Show the Red and Yellow Cards when the Players Deserve it

I have always maintained that you had to be smart to play and referee soccer. A player shook this belief a bit by jumping...

Cell Phones Away or Pregame Meeting Goes Astray

M ost experienced officials have worked with a teammate who has been completely disengaged or distracted during the pregame meeting. We’ve all seen it;...

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...

Big Match Support

Your assigner calls — you got the championship match. Your mentor calls — you just got picked for State Cup. The State Referee Administrator...

Put It Between the Fingers

It has been said for years that the easiest, most efficient method for holding an assistant referee flag is to let it hang down...

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...

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...

6 Tips To Better See The Point

Proper positioning is being where you have to be, to see what must be seen, to make the correct decision. That includes seeing the point. During dynamic...

Offside Doesn’t have to be Complicated

Many spectators, most radio/TV commentators, a surprisingly large proportion of coaches and many players simply do not understand Law 11 (Offside). When they think...

Dismissing a Coach, Assistant or Trainer

The Laws of the Game allow for the dismissal of a team official (e.g., coach, assistant coach or athletic trainer) if that person’s behavior...

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...

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...

Make the Basics Second Nature

When teaching the entry-level referee course, I often noted to students that, although they needed to know that persistent infringement was one of the...

Refereeing Goalkeepers’ Self-Protection Strategies

Referees must ensure goalkeepers are protected when challenged while making a save. It is not uncommon for a goalkeeper to have both feet off the ground with arms outstretched...

Penalize Careless, Reckless, Excessive Tackling

There seems to have grown a notion that the Laws of the Game forgives almost anything if you just get the ball. Not surprisingly, there...

Get Down on the Basics

There are details contained in some individual Laws that are also found in other Laws. While it is important to understand each Law by...

Assessing the Legality of Tackles

"I got ball, ref!” has been a response to a whistle for a slide tackle foul since the early days of football. Often misunderstood, challenges on the ground...

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...

5 Minutes With Margaret Domka

Margaret Domka is on the FIFA International Panel of Referees. She is one of a select few officials to ever go onto the FIFA list...

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