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Competitive or Dirty? Can we tell the difference anymore?

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Competitive or Dirty? Can we tell the difference anymore?

Post by formerenforcer on 04/03/18, 10:23 pm

Where's the beautiful game?

Help me understand, have we, here in the buckle of the american football belt, lost track of how to play competitive soccer and instead encourage (or worse, teach) our girls to play as dirty as possible under the guise of "competitive/physical? play? Really?  Today I was told that "if I don't get my girls to play more "physically" they're going to get hurt playing competitive soccer".... Really? Maybe we should practice playing rugby in between soccer games it sure seems like our opponents today do.  Whatever happened to finesse?

Having lost key players to injury due to "physical" play I cannot see how we in North Texas can become any better at playing soccer if we allow coaches to encourage -even teach - dirty soccer while calling it "aggressive" or "physical" or worse, "competitive". Elbows, slapping, punching and shoving, deliberately kicking an opponents Achilles - that's not soccer. It's bad enough at the U13 level when the girls make a mistake and injure someone by accident, but why do we tolerate coaches and possibly worse, referee's who encourage and/or allow this type of play? To throw the blanket of "it's a contact sport" over the mess is nothing less than insulting to the players. This may well be a contact sport, but when did it become roller derby on grass?

Isn't it enough to see the level of knee injuries that happen during competitive play without coaching players to take the player out first, then pass the ball? To sit here, as a coach, player and referee and have to watch this type of dirty play cloaked in the vernacular of calling it "physical, competitive play" is sickening. Lord forbid the first time someone who's a personal injury lawyer gets a bite of this.

Sadly, I suspect the very coaches and referee's who allow this type of play seldom visit these forums.

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Re: Competitive or Dirty? Can we tell the difference anymore?

Post by SickofStupidity on 05/03/18, 07:29 am

Cue the stream of posters asking if your little Suzie got pushed down this weekend, or reminding you that soccer is indeed "a contact sport".

And the posters who have never seen a coach encourage - let alone teach - dirty play (so it must not happen).  And of course, and every coach and referee they know discourages it.

Heck, you will even see a coach on here defending his players who participated in a fight (but refuse to address the multitude of red cards earned by their team this season).

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Re: Competitive or Dirty? Can we tell the difference anymore?

Post by Zizou on 05/03/18, 08:14 am

Nope definitely happens and is a huge part of soccer in the USA. Not just NTX. College is the worse when it comes to recruiting players. Big, fast, and physical.

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Re: Competitive or Dirty? Can we tell the difference anymore?

Post by ProDallas on 05/03/18, 09:03 am

I'm glad you made this point. IMO, there's absolutely nothing wrong with the "big, physical and fast" aspect of the game. But, there's absolutely a difference in playing that way by the rules and not by the rules. I have also observed that there are certain teams/coaches that consistently have the reputation for playing dirty (leading me to believe it's taught). The real problem, from what I've seen, is that referees don't consistently make them pay a price for their dirty play. There doesn't seem to be enough of a downside for them to change their behavior, so it continues because it gives them an advantage. The only way to change this behavior is for the leagues and officials to make calling the games by the rules a priority. There's also the issue of player safety. Tune into EPL games each weekend and you will see officials who call the games right. They do not tolerate dirty play. The league knows they need their stars on the pitch. If the players are hurt, everyone suffers. Hopefully our local leagues, etc. can do a better job in applying the same philosophy.
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Re: Competitive or Dirty? Can we tell the difference anymore?

Post by formerenforcer on 05/03/18, 09:16 am

Thanks all for the positive comments. As an EPL junkie for 40+ years, IMHO America soccer will only compete, full time, at the international level when we return to finesse and tactics over dirty play and poor enforcement. This starts on the grade-school pitches with the very youngest players and the referee's.

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Re: Competitive or Dirty? Can we tell the difference anymore?

Post by unknownposter on 05/03/18, 09:55 am

I attended my son's first water polo competition this weekend and this sport is physical, much more so than soccer is supposed to be, but the control that the referees had over the game was remarkable. I was wish that soccer had the same quality of officiating.

In the end, it is the referees that are responsible, people are shit and will try to get away with as much as they possibly can, but it is the referee's job to keep things within the rules of the game and unfortunately they fail over and over....

(Que the referee apologists )

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Re: Competitive or Dirty? Can we tell the difference anymore?

Post by ProDallas on 05/03/18, 10:00 am

I will not apologize for them. In my experience, it seems only about 15% of the refs I've seen in the last few years really call the games right when it comes to dirty, physical play.
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Re: Competitive or Dirty? Can we tell the difference anymore?

Post by 5050Ball on 05/03/18, 10:15 am

ProDallas wrote:I will not apologize for them. In my experience, it seems only about 15% of the refs I've seen in the last few years really call the games right when it comes to dirty, physical play.

This is spot on. I know we have a serious shortage of quality referees and assessors, but I think we also need to address the sub-par training we are giving new referees. We used to teach player safety above all else.

Somehow, we have hundreds of referees more concerned with foul throws and whether its ok to say "handball" than player safety or the integrity of the game. The training must also include a session on self-esteem. How else do you explain "verbal" warnings after 3rd and 4th offenses. Pull the damn card out. It has a magical effect on ALL the other players on the pitch.
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Re: Competitive or Dirty? Can we tell the difference anymore?

Post by NorthDallasSoccer on 05/03/18, 11:35 am

I always visit with the refs before games and encourage them to call it very tight, to reward the technical aspects. Then, when for the first 10 minutes there is a foul parade, the parents go nuts screaming at the refs (usually not my parents as they have been instructed to never complain other than in the most respectful manner possible, but there are exceptions). The refs are human, but if we want to reward the skill and make games beautiful it is not just the late, hockey-styled "check finishing" that must be called but also the incessant late over-the-ball ankle stuff that most girls play through, but for some reason parents don't want called. I do not get it.

Every time you hear that "click" of a cleat against a shin guard, that is a foul. And when a player is good enough that they are causing the other team to be late on challenges they should be rewarded every time.


Last edited by NorthDallasSoccer on 05/03/18, 11:37 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : clarity)
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Re: Competitive or Dirty? Can we tell the difference anymore?

Post by Playforfun on 05/03/18, 12:42 pm

When the LHGCL mandatory meeting for new teams at the beginning of the year includes a statement that the referees call it different at the beginning of the game than towards the end, there is your first issue. I played for 40 years. I know what a foul is. Call it from the start and you don't end up carting kids off the fields nearly as often. PS, yes I have reffed and in this day and age you couldn't pay me enough to take the abuse. I have better things to do with my time.

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Re: Competitive or Dirty? Can we tell the difference anymore?

Post by RightWingDad on 05/03/18, 08:35 pm

ProDallas wrote:Tune into EPL games each weekend and you will see officials who call the games right.

I am not disagreeing with the sentiment in the thread b/c I totally agree rough, overly physical play is celebrated and encouraged way to much. That and ref's generally never run to get into position to see what actually happened.

However, regarding EPL and officials always getting it right. Seems some may disagree with that notion. If they fully bring in VAR, then the CR will lose much credibility having replay determine hand ball, goals, offside, fouls, etc.

http://www.espn.com/soccer/english-premier-league/story/3407303/premier-league-to-discuss-use-of-var-at-meeting-with-clubs-report
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Re: Competitive or Dirty? Can we tell the difference anymore?

Post by Medicine Man on 05/03/18, 08:50 pm

Where do they find some of the refs at these games. It's a joke. They are just there to get a paycheck they could care less about calling a clean game or a child tearing their ACL. When you pay these yahoos nothing compared to what profits are being had what do you expect?

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Re: Competitive or Dirty? Can we tell the difference anymore?

Post by Jugglemaster on 06/03/18, 12:36 am

Agree Med

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Re: Competitive or Dirty? Can we tell the difference anymore?

Post by Medicine Man on 06/03/18, 07:58 am

With lack of coaching and refs that are not qualified. It's just a numbers game for the kids playing. Skills went out the door a long time ago when coaching was more important than the bottom line and winning to keep the money train going.

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Re: Competitive or Dirty? Can we tell the difference anymore?

Post by soccertard on 06/03/18, 08:05 am

Possession based soccer is so boring. Smash the ball up the field and when the other team turns their back to chase, throw them to the ground. That's how you win WWE titles.
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Re: Competitive or Dirty? Can we tell the difference anymore?

Post by SickofStupidity on 06/03/18, 08:08 am

soccertard wrote:Possession based soccer is so boring.  Smash the ball up the field and when the other team turns their back to chase, throw them to the ground.  That's how you win WWE titles.  


Been watching KW's team play?

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Re: Competitive or Dirty? Can we tell the difference anymore?

Post by Foxysoccermom on 06/03/18, 08:16 am

Ohhh no you dinnnit! KW created this new style, it's called the knucklehead knockdown.
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Re: Competitive or Dirty? Can we tell the difference anymore?

Post by ProDallas on 06/03/18, 08:43 am

[quote="RightWingDad"]
ProDallas wrote:Tune into EPL games each weekend and you will see officials who call the games right.

I am not disagreeing with the sentiment in the thread b/c I totally agree rough, overly physical play is celebrated and encouraged way to much. That and ref's generally never run to get into position to see what actually happened.

And, so we do agree. Of course the EPL refs are not perfect, they are human. I watched the game with the VAR bungle - it was frustrating. But, as you pointed out, the sentiment is that even for fully-grown men, the refs and league are serious about penalizing dirty and dangerous play. Cards - yellow and red - come out fast for what the Solar coach referenced above. I guess what really irritates me is that it seems in other sports the rules are called more strictly at younger levels so they learn to play the game right. However, in this sport - at least here in our leagues and tourneys - on average, the refs actually let more go, especially in the form of truly dirty play. You know, like leading with spikes up way above the ball, arm-hooking take-downs, push first with fully-extended arms/play the ball second, etc. Time and time again these refs - mostly young - let that stuff go or as another mentioned, they don't see it because they don't bother to move around the field to be in an appropriate position to officiate play.
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Re: Competitive or Dirty? Can we tell the difference anymore?

Post by TxFutbal on 06/03/18, 09:42 am

It all depends on the crew you get. I have seen games where the refs call everything by the book that has resulted in over 20 (yes over 20) PKs given in a game. I have seen games where 8 yellow cards and 2 red cards were given in a match. Generally, the refs like the games to flow and each crew has a line on physicality the teams can't cross. Refs are pretty good at going over the ground rules with the coaches before the match on what they can expect.. I hear it every week from about 70% of the crews.

Soccer like football, hockey, and sometimes baseball are physical sports. Don't kid yourself that the same crap doesn't happen in these sports. The refs could call a foul on every single play in football for over have the guys on the field. Football is way more dirty than soccer (having played both). You have no idea what happens in the football pile at the end of every play or during a play between the O and D lines. It's MMA with pads.

Or what about the kid who slides into 2nd spikes up taking out an ankle or the pitcher beaning the batter cuz he called his mama a (make up a name). Softball same way. You ever see a volleyball match between the #1 and #2 team in the nation going at it? There is a hair pulling, jersey tugging, stepping on ankles, poking, all that stuff goes on at the net.

We all know hormone levels are sky high with our teens/tweens. They get testy and vent their frustrations with their parents, romantic friends, siblings, etc on the field. It doesn't mean dirty soccer is being played, it just means soccer either good/bad soccer is being played.

Besides.. in most cases it's the parents that are encouraging the physical/bad behavior anyway. For my DD team we had to incorporate a nasty comment/yelling/coaching from the sidelines jar where the parents have to pay $5 every time they tell their DD to "don't take that crap" or calling a kid on the other team a nasty little "B".. Yes that happens more often than girls earning yellows. It's disgusting behavior..

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Re: Competitive or Dirty? Can we tell the difference anymore?

Post by Multivitamin on 06/03/18, 05:20 pm



The answer:

We as a country evolved the sport / mimic everything off our most popular sports!

Football
Volleyball
Baseball/Softball

These few sports require - Physcial , Arms&Hands, Power , Aggression

When we have a culture of parents and teachers TEACHING the game of soccer we bring these attributes to this game. We also as a country who forgets to understand how long it actually takes to master an object with your feet versus mastering an object with your hands. On the womens side the rest of the world is catching up to the United States. Why because we have shown our hands ( FAST, STRONG, QUICK ) Sooooo in return what do the rest of the word work on to refine - FASTER TOUCH , QUICKER MOVEMENT , STRONGER VERSATILITY. We adapted to the game and conquered it for a while - But the WORLD has figured us out. Womens BARCA is about to start the revolution and get ready to have our workhorses running miles more than the others come the next four years.

To answer your question - We cant fix the youth system of physical and Brutes until we fix the culture of what is being taught and how to play. You have to fix it because you have Megaclubs that have great players but they get hurt and pushed to the side and never seen before the player can even develop muscles on their little bodies.

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Re: Competitive or Dirty? Can we tell the difference anymore?

Post by RightWingDad on 07/03/18, 12:41 pm

Multivitamin wrote:

The answer:

We as a country evolved the sport / mimic everything off our most popular sports!

Football
Volleyball
Baseball/Softball

These few sports require - Physcial , Arms&Hands, Power , Aggression

When we have a culture of parents and teachers TEACHING the game of soccer we bring these attributes to this game. We also as a country who forgets to understand how long it actually takes to master an object with your feet versus mastering an object with your hands. On the womens side the rest of the world is catching up to the United States. Why because we have shown our hands ( FAST, STRONG, QUICK ) Sooooo in return what do the rest of the word work on to refine - FASTER TOUCH , QUICKER MOVEMENT , STRONGER VERSATILITY. We adapted to the game and conquered it for a while - But the WORLD has figured us out. Womens BARCA is about to start the revolution and get ready to have our workhorses running miles more than the others come the next four years.

To answer your question - We cant fix the youth system of physical and Brutes until we fix the culture of what is being taught and how to play. You have to fix it because you have Megaclubs that have great players but they get hurt and pushed to the side and never seen before the player can even develop muscles on their little bodies.


Ya know, I've always said, we need to figure out a way to get our kids more aggressive and physical with the game of golf. Those Brits are to sissy anyway ;-)
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Re: Competitive or Dirty? Can we tell the difference anymore?

Post by Morekick on 08/03/18, 07:14 am

formerenforcer wrote:
 Today I was told that "if I don't get my girls to play more "physically" they're going to get hurt playing competitive soccer".

A coach said that or a parent?

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Re: Competitive or Dirty? Can we tell the difference anymore?

Post by Medicine Man on 13/03/18, 07:26 pm

If a kid doesn't go out on a stretcher it's clean futbal. This a student of the white wizard.

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Re: Competitive or Dirty? Can we tell the difference anymore?

Post by saints510 on 26/03/18, 02:32 pm

formerenforcer wrote:Where's the beautiful game?

Help me understand, have we, here in the buckle of the american football belt, lost track of how to play competitive soccer and instead encourage (or worse, teach) our girls to play as dirty as possible under the guise of "competitive/physical? play? Really?  Today I was told that "if I don't get my girls to play more "physically" they're going to get hurt playing competitive soccer".... Really? Maybe we should practice playing rugby in between soccer games it sure seems like our opponents today do.  Whatever happened to finesse?

Having lost key players to injury due to "physical" play I cannot see how we in North Texas can become any better at playing soccer if we allow coaches to encourage -even teach - dirty soccer while calling it "aggressive" or "physical" or worse, "competitive". Elbows, slapping, punching and shoving, deliberately kicking an opponents Achilles - that's not soccer. It's bad enough at the U13 level when the girls make a mistake and injure someone by accident, but why do we tolerate coaches and possibly worse, referee's who encourage and/or allow this type of play? To throw the blanket of "it's a contact sport" over the mess is nothing less than insulting to the players. This may well be a contact sport, but when did it become roller derby on grass?

Isn't it enough to see the level of knee injuries that happen during competitive play without coaching players to take the player out first, then pass the ball? To sit here, as a coach, player and referee and have to watch this type of dirty play cloaked in the vernacular of calling it "physical, competitive play" is sickening. Lord forbid the first time someone who's a personal injury lawyer gets a bite of this.

Sadly, I suspect the very coaches and referee's who allow this type of play seldom visit these forums.


As a referee for 14 years and a parent for 17, I totally agree with you about the recklessness of play at all levels. I have two daughters that play competitively and an academy player. I have refereed all aspects from beginning rec to competitive U16. I call a very tight game, and I tell the captains at the toss that player safety is my number one priority.
I was actually being admonished by two coaches this past weekend for calling dangerous play on what used to be known as a "high kick". When little johnny gets his nose broken from a cleat in the face, they will want it called then. When the leg goes above the waist and cleats are out, it is going to be whistled every. single. time! I do not see it being called in higher level games, and it should be called more often. I call anything that is in the "back" or from "behind", because a player cannot defend themselves against that type of play or aggression.
I agree that most referees offer "advantage" way too often, and I think the thought of keeping play going is an issue, as well. If you do not whistle them in the beginning, then it often gets worse. I will say that I had no stoppage in play the second half of that game due to dangerous play, because I called it the beginning! Referees truly need to keep up with play, and AR's need to feel confident to call from their advantage point, as well!
Also, the Laws of the Game should be handed out to every parent when they sign their club contract and given a lollipop, too!

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