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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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 pitch? Who and...

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...

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...

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...

Touchline Tackle

There is a lot happening in this play requiring the referee and near assistant referee to work together. The location on the field near...

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...

“Active Inaction” – Say That Again?

The title isn’t a contradiction of terms, at least not if understood correctly. No matter what kind of game you are officiating, there are...

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...

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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