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...

Teaching Lessons in Blow-Ups

Many of you have heard or read about and have an opinion on the Serena Williams outburst during the U.S. Open tennis tournament recently....

Make Amends to Regain Game Control

If you have been an official for any length of time, you have had a game or more “get away from you.” Whether it...

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...

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...

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,...

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...

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...

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....

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;...

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...

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,...

Assistant Referee Needs To Get the Rhythm of the Game

National Soccer Hall of Famer Alfred Kleinaitis spoke on the match responsibilities of assistant referees at an Elite Clubs National League event in San...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Referee Career Stages

Laws, foul recognition, acceptance, flow of the game, physical fitness, proper terminology, anticipating play and touchline management are all key components in an official’s...

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...

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...

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