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...

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...

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...

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...

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,...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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....

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...

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