In our original Referee Program Initiative communication, we shared how a frighteningly large percentage of referees, particularly the younger ones, quit after a couple of seasons because of the verbal abuse they suffer during the games. As a follow up to that message, we have established parent and coach guidelines that will help improve the game day experience for our younger referees.
The consequences of spectators and coaches poor behavior can also have consequences on players, who can lose focus on their game as they start following sideline questioning of the referee’s calls. Later on, as young adults, these same players may follow the examples they observed and start to verbally question official’s calls. In turn, this will lead to cautions for dissent and then send-offs for foul and abusive language and a cycle has begun.
Such behavior completely undermines our efforts to grow a body of experienced and knowledgeable officials as well as players. The Code of Conduct noted below provides expectations and rules utilized by clubs across the nation during soccer play.
GAME DAY CODE OF CONDUCT
Instructions for parents in interacting with game officials:
I understand that if I do not follow the Code, any or all of the following actions may be taken by the club. I may be:
Instructions for coaches in interacting with game officials:
I understand that if I do not follow the Code, any/all of the following actions may be taken by my club, I may be:
To reach the top level of officiating is very hard to do and requires that we start educating, mentoring, and respecting referees from an early age, so we can lower their departure rate.
The effort must enlist both coaches and parent spectators to model good sideline behavior, in order to improve the game day experience for our game officials, the players and families.
If you attended 6v6 games last fall, chances are you noticed missing referees on our 3-person game official crews. The reason is simple: the player population has been exploding, while the referee pool has remained level. This is not just a United Futbol Academy problem, but also a global issue that must require local clubs like ours to come up with solutions to reverse the trend in order to retain our game officials.
A frighteningly large percentage of referees, particularly the younger ones, quit after a couple of seasons because of the verbal abuse they suffer during the games. Participants in youth soccer rarely appreciate this damage until they show up for a really important game and there is no one present to officiate.
United Futbol Academy is launching an initiative, starting Spring 2013, to keep more referees, especially newer and younger refs, from quitting. The effort will enlist both coaches and parent spectators to model good sideline behavior, in order to improve the game day experience for our game officials.
WHAT ARE THE GOALS OF THIS PROGRAM?
To improve the game day experience for our younger referees and lower their departure rate, we are implementing the following changes:
Player development has tremendously increased over the last decade, while referee training has not increased at the same rate, widening the gap between the two programs. Something needs to be done. We hope these important steps will not only provide a better experience for the referees, but also increase the number of referees effectively officiating games at United Futbol Academy, thus reversing the trend of referees quitting the game of soccer altogether.
United Futbol Academy