Every weekend you can go to a soccer complex and stand in between the fields while games are being played and just wait. It won’t take long and you’ll hear, “Heeeeyyy!” or “Refereeeee!” It’s not coming from the player or the parents (although you’ll hear it from them but that’s another post) but from the coach. I’m as guilty of this as the next coach. It’s almost a reflex for me by now. This weekend I caught myself and started really thinking about it.
I can shout quicker than the referee can get his whistle to his lips so it’s a bit unfair because if the referee calls the foul there will be someone that says he gave it just because I shouted. If he doesn’t then he knows I’m going to be upset because I’ve already indicated that I thought it was a foul.
At a certain level of play with experienced, adult referees then I don’t really see anything wrong with this. My concern is with younger, less experienced referees. There is a really possibility that young referees will be intimidated into making calls by adult coaches. I don’t think that is a good example of sportsmanship and certainly not a good way to develop confident referees.
Imagine being a young assistant referee standing on the line in front of an adult coach at the moment the ball is played and having the coach shout, “Offside!” It takes an incredibly strong young person to keep the flag down when they know that the coach might come unglued if they don’t make the call. That’s what’s going to go threw their head at the decisive moment, not was the player onside at the moment the ball was played. So now the coach has stolen a great learning opportunity from the young referee.’
I understand the passion and excitement that there is surrounding a game but I’m just suggesting that we remember that the young referees officiating those games are there to learn as much as the players are.
Please share your thoughts on this topic in the comment section below.
Have a great day!