I have noticed recently that many of the discussions here come back around to the quality of refs or the behavior of parent/coaches. I have also noticed that we preach patience and good sportsmanship and keeping quiet on the sidelines when the refs are not able to successfully manage the game. After all, they are learning... I can't help but wonder...ARE WE REALLY JUST ACCEPTING MEDIOCRITY?
Should we not expect more of our refs and should we not have better programs to help them be successful on the field? I decided to look at the programs in Kansas since my daughter plays at Heartland to see what the Kansas State referee development program looked like and was shocked at what I found.
It basically doesnt exist. You are welcome to visit. The site is http://www.kansasreferee.net.
It looks good to start but really dig in...
I thought that it was great that they had a director of mentoring... until I realized that there is no way to contact him. He isnt listed on the contact page and there are no email links. For assessments... There has been no news posted on assessments since the site was opened in February. You can requst an assessment that you have to pay for.... There is not schedule of clinics, instructional workshops or other material that is designed to help our young referees get better...
Overall, I was incredibly disappointed. It isnt any better on the Missouri side... We need to do better. I am not talking about the kids on the field trying hard. I know that they are doing there best but come on folks.. really... How can they be successful? I know it is tough to be a good ref. We ask our kids to spend hours training and playing each week to be better players but we, at best, demand a few hours in a clinic, a certification test, and off you go.... We feed them to the lions.
So, in the spirit of suggestions to make it better... Center Refs get paid $26.00 for U11 at Heartland.. That is about $1 per kid on the field (about 12 or 13 per side). I would be willing to pay an additional $1.50 per game or $12.00 per session to have a Mentor at every game. This mentor would be paid $36.00 to watch the game and provide halftime and postgame feedback to the ref (regardless of age)so that they can be better. Shoot holes in it... I know we dont have enough people.. etc... but we need to do something to improve the quality of referees.
Rather than continue to bash parents and coaches for thier behavior... Lets begin to hold the refs and the development program accountable. I personally want to start with a better development program with real mentors and contructive feedback.
Last point... Do we really think that our kids do not know when refs are good and bad.. They know when they get dumped from behind or have their uniforms pulled. They feel elbows and trips and hear the language on the field... When these things don't get called and when they are allowed to continue... What do we think that
teaches our kids?
Just some thoughts... Have fun.