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...

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...

Refereeing Gives Skills For Your Lifetime

Through three decades and nearly 3,000 games of my officiating career, I've accumulated insights, notions and generalizations I didn’t have before which I can...

Permission to Leave the Field

One might think that leaving the field is such a simple, straightforward and obvious act as to not need anything further said about it....

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...

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...

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...

Officiating is a Family Affair

Nestled between the San Diego Bay and the scenic splendor of the coastal mountain foothills in Southern California are the sprawling sun-kissed expanses of...

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...

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...

Handling Dissent

A few years ago, U.S. Soccer made available to all referees a very small clip titled, “Ask, Tell, Dismiss.” Michael Kennedy, former FIFA referee,...

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...

FIFA Referee Mark Geiger

By his own proud admission, the man is a nerd. Conjure images of that wisp of a kid you remember from high school who...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...
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...

Similarities Between Fishing and Soccer Officiating

On the surface, the title of this article seems to be rather confusing. However, individuals who arbitrate the rules/Laws of soccer on a regular...

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...

Scrimmages: Opportunity or Danger?

By John Kiernan Frequently I am asked to officiate scrimmages. There are great opportunities for an official during those matches. However, there are also pitfalls...

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