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Post by 10sDad 11/04/16, 09:33 am

North Texas Soccer this weekend - Team A scores real early, Team B responds by abandoning soccer, and starts going for blood... ref lets it go. Team A has enough and then starts responding in kind because obviously the ref is not going to stop it. Coaches and parents sideline are losing their minds. No cards, no talking to the players by the ref. Three broken bones later, the referee returns to the referee "camp" at the field, and is congratulated on a good game by his peers. REALLY? Am I missing something here? I always thought the primary responsibility of the referee was the safety of the players? Or am I wrong here?

NTX refs are a joke - and why NTX skills are nothing but a mere afterthought - To heck with skills, give me big and fast with a big foot. Skilled players get pushed aside (literally), and some of our most talented soccer athletes choose to play other sports during the time when big and fast is king (around age 9-14), and then when skills become important again in the teenage years, they have already left the beautiful game and have no interest in going back. Then we wonder why we don't have much NTX representation in the top leagues?

Messi would have struggled in the NTX system due to his underwhelming size. Just put a big, fast aggressive player on him to knock him down everytime he gets the ball - foul called? no prob - its in the midfield, not the box, so do it again. Still no card? keep doing it. Oh look...now he is injured. Good - we don't have to worry about him now. We are teaching this folks!

Physical play is part of the game, but it comes naturally in their mid to late teens without having to teach them about it. We need to be overly strict on the rules while they are learning them at the younger ages, not teaching them how to fight. All we end up developing for college coaches are "enforcers" - which each college coach only really needs one or two of. Ultimately, they go get their skilled players in other parts of the country/world where skills are valued over physical prowess.
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Post by Coach 11/04/16, 11:04 am

We got the complete opposite on Saturday.
Over 50 fouls called. Silly non foul calls.
If girls bumped, it was a foul.
Look at the other player, you bet it was foul. Ha.
KILLED the pace of the game.
He managed to throw 1 yellow on us.
And never explained to the player or coaches why it was a card.

They were more concerned with making sure the subs were EXACTLY at midfield and that the player did not step one foot onto the field until the other player was off.
Simply Ridiculous.


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Post by progressiveparent 11/04/16, 11:11 am

"Skilled players get pushed aside (literally), and some of our most talented soccer athletes choose to play other sports during the time when big and fast is king (around age 9-14), and then when skills become important again in the teenage years, they have already left the beautiful game and have no interest in going back. "
AGREED

As posted by Coach "Over 50 fouls called"
Not the common experience...

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Post by soccerjack 11/04/16, 11:16 am

10sDad wrote:North Texas Soccer this weekend - Team A scores real early, Team B responds by abandoning soccer, and starts going for blood... ref lets it go.  Team A has enough and then starts responding in kind because obviously the ref is not going to stop it.  Coaches and parents sideline are losing their minds.  No cards, no talking to the players by the ref.  Three broken bones later, the referee returns to the referee "camp" at the field, and is congratulated on a good game by his peers.  REALLY? Am I missing something here?  I always thought the primary responsibility of the referee was the safety of the players?  Or am I wrong here?

NTX refs are a joke - and why NTX skills are nothing but a mere afterthought - To heck with skills, give me big and fast with a big foot.  Skilled players get pushed aside (literally), and some of our most talented soccer athletes choose to play other sports during the time when big and fast is king (around age 9-14), and then when skills become important again in the teenage years, they have already left the beautiful game and have no interest in going back.  Then we wonder why we don't have much NTX representation in the top leagues?  

Messi would have struggled in the NTX system due to his underwhelming size.  Just put a big, fast aggressive player on him to knock him down everytime he gets the ball - foul called?  no prob - its in the midfield, not the box, so do it again.  Still no card? keep doing it.  Oh look...now he is injured.  Good - we don't have to worry about him now.  We are teaching this folks!

Physical play is part of the game, but it comes naturally in their mid to late teens without having to teach them about it.  We need to be overly strict on the rules while they are learning them at the younger ages, not teaching them how to fight.  All we end up developing for college coaches are "enforcers" - which each college coach only really needs one or two of.  Ultimately, they go get their skilled players in other parts of the country/world where skills are valued over physical prowess.  


This pretty much sums it up. The next poster will now say there are way too many calls made.
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Post by CBTeamworks 11/04/16, 11:16 am

I agree with 10's. Refs swallow the whistle for the most part. I never saw one card this entire season and I watched at least 40 games. I saw two coaches get ejected for complaining to the ref for allowing play to be too physical. I agree that we have a referee problem. Is it that they ref both boys, girls and all ages? Are they not properly trained? Is it so hard to get refs that our leagues just take what they can get? I don't know.
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Post by abc000 11/04/16, 11:26 am

Coaches are as much to blame as refs.... nearly every team has one of their most skilled players watching from the bench while the boxcars and steam trains careen about the field. Then coach complains when other team is playing the same way. NTX soccer is a joke 90% of the time. Have heard with my own ears "You are undoubtedly the most skilled and technical player on the team, but you need to push first not just be willing to absorb yoiur oppenents pressure." SAD

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Post by CBTeamworks 11/04/16, 11:50 am

Sad truth is that coaches are rewarded for winning more than developing players. With winning comes recruiting and an even easier path to winning. Coaches adjust strategy to the conditions (ref style). If physical is rewarded then the coach matches the physical style or they lose and are eventually fired for lack of success. I'm not speaking about the way it should be (a developmental model) but rather the model we currently have. We can always change our model by improving our refs and dictating that skills get rewarded over physical size and style of play. I saw zero cards (neither yellow nor red) issued this season in over 40 games. If we want this to change then it's up to us to do something about it. But what to do? I don't know. Leagues are ruled at the top with very little input from the teams that play in the leagues (unless you're a large club).
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Post by Hersoccerdad 11/04/16, 12:20 pm

That's exactly why I'm happy with our team/coach. Our team is taught skills first and physical second. We win our share of games, and I don't mind losing some here and there if what our team is taught is going to benefit them much more in their future years.

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Post by go99 11/04/16, 12:50 pm

interesting story. I remember showing my son a video of messi when he was young dribbling all over the defense. I thought wow this is amazing. After calmly watching it he just shrugged and said meh never would have worked here because the defender wouldn't have been going for the ball. They just would have slammed into him, knocked him down, and then took the ball. How true and how sad
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Post by newbiefornow 11/04/16, 03:11 pm

The game is physical and there is a level at which, just like basket ball, players need to keep their feet when being bumped or play around a bigger opponent. The Senior Game as played by the USWNT has plenty of physicality. My personal objection is to older male Ref's that assume girls can't or won't play dirty. They can and they do. It's a fine line that I feel some refs get right and others get wrong. My preference would be for more fouls called and more cards given but I've seen that be a real game killer and I've seen kids play for the foul in or around the box.

Conclusion: No wonder it's hard to get Refs and harder to keep them.

Get to the higher levels of the game and you'll get better Refs. That should be motivation for any DD. Until then assume kicked ankles, cleat scrapes and bruises.

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Post by CBTeamworks 11/04/16, 03:30 pm

I don't think you get better refs at a higher level per age group. I think the higher the level within the age group the easier it is to ref because everyone is on a more equal physical level. The high skilled but smaller and weaker kids have already been weeded out.
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Post by soccerjack 11/04/16, 03:45 pm

newbiefornow wrote:The game is physical and there is a level at which, just like basket ball, players need to keep their feet when being bumped or play around a bigger opponent. The Senior Game as played by the USWNT has plenty of physicality.  My personal objection is to older male Ref's that assume girls can't or won't play dirty. They can and they do. It's a fine line that I feel some refs get right and others get wrong. My preference would be for more fouls called and more cards given but I've seen that be a real game killer and I've seen kids play for the foul in or around the box.

Conclusion:  No  wonder it's hard to get Refs and harder to keep them.

Get to the higher levels of the game and you'll get better Refs. That should be motivation for any DD. Until then assume kicked ankles, cleat scrapes and bruises.

What do you consider a higher level?
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Post by nolanryan 11/04/16, 04:30 pm

I totally agree with the posts.  The problem though, just like with any employer/employee situation is that of accountability.  The referees are not held accountable.  Because they aren't, they don't work hard (running up and down the field to be near the play, card players and make a record of it, etc).  A kid on my DD's team trucked a goalie yesterday, not on purpose, but didn't get carded (should have been a yellow).  2 years ago, I saw a retaliatory play where a throw-in was sent to the feet of an opposing player so that the "thrower" could then flatten the player who was focused on the ball...arms up.  The kid was knocked out cold.  No foul, no card.  Later that same game, the same player made into a human missile on a corner and nailed the goalie (never got the ball).  The goalie got a concussion.  No call.  A complaint went to Plano and NTX from: Coach, trainer, parent.  Nothing.  There was video of the play.  Nothing.  

These kids are given a great stage to play the sport they love whether it's ECNL, LH, PPL, APL, or High School (and I've seen terrible officiating there).  It's a shame that paid and or non paid board members don't or won't hold game officials accountable.  There are some good ones, but the bad ones far outnumber those that are capable and it usually stems from laziness.  This results in a safety hazard for these girls and a lot of frustration for parents...on both sides. What it boils down to is just a matter of asking people to do their jobs...even just adequately.
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Post by Handled 11/04/16, 04:46 pm

There seems like there is two simple solutions to this problem:

(1)   Pay refs more to attract better qualified people; and/or

(2)   All of us who complain about the refs should start signing up to be refs.


Refs make $20-35 per game.  A lot of them are either very young or grossly out of shape (meaning they are never in a position to make a call).  There is not a huge number of refs in the pool, so there are going to be games where you get the lower end of the pool.  A lot of the younger refs are clearly intimidated by the situation and pressure associated with intense games.  And, maybe most importantly, the game is structured such that refs are given a very broad range of discretion in what constitutes a foul/worthy of a card (and you are not going to change that).  

And, while I am sure none of us actually do this, I hear a lot of parents tell their DD "If they are not going to call it, give it back to them" when a game gets rough.

There are bad refs out here for sure, but the physicality of the game is not all their fault.

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Post by CatchyUserName 11/04/16, 05:44 pm

"And, while I am sure none of us actually do this, I hear a lot of parents tell their DD "If they are not going to call it, give it back to them" when a game gets rough."

What other recourse is there then? If a ref is allowing such dangerous play to happen without any calls being made, sometimes the only recourse against a player that is "headhunting" is to give it back to them. sucks, hard, but my dd has to protect herself.
All of this could be solved simply if the referees did their jobs. (period).

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Post by Guest 11/04/16, 05:47 pm

Is the NTX game too physical at young ages? No question.

Does that have anything at all to do with NTX skill levels? Doubtful.

For one, the game is just as physical in other areas commonly lauded for their contribution to national teams. You'd have a hard time distinguishing NTX physicality from that seen in socal, east coast, midwest/michigan, etc.

And the entire argument small players are weeded out might have had merit 10 years ago, but has NONE today. US Soccer wants to copy barca and japan, and has swung the pendulum completely the other way. If anything they are putting more focus on bringing in smaller players than anything else. Majority of the recent NTX call ups to YNTs have been small, quick kids with skill.

Speaking of which, there have been a ton of them across most age groups in the past few years. The argument NTX is lacking skill because of lack of NT call ups can't be made anymore. So all of a sudden, a few coaches in the ussf pipeline have texas connections and magically a ton of NTX kids start getting called in?...some of which are getting called in for the first time after they're freshmen in college after having been ignored when they were dominating in their youth club careers?

Says to me using NT call ups as a barometer for skill is a fool's errand. If USSF had hired waldrum instead of ellis, there'd be twice the # of texans in the pools....and their quickness and speed of play would've still mattered far more than their size.

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Post by CBTeamworks 11/04/16, 06:30 pm

It comes down to refs low supply + high demand = lack of oversight + lack of consequences.
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Post by newbiefornow 11/04/16, 07:58 pm

How much would you need to get paid to Referee an NTX Soccer game?
Could the Clubs afford to pay that?

Would the clubs sponsor a visiting Referee to provide feedback on games to the existing Referee's on how they are interpreting the rules and how they might improve their officiating?

Perhaps we could pay for the whole thing by fining teams for inappropriate comments to the officials and have the visiting referee issue the citations to team managers.

I'm encouraging my DD to become a Referee for the younger games but that's because I want her to be an Investment Banker. That kind of tough minded misanthropy takes time and practice to acquire.

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Post by Father of the Wall 11/04/16, 10:41 pm

Ok, I will bite.  10sDad, since "NTX refs are a joke" I guess you will be first in line at the next referee class that is available.  I am assuming you would like to use your expert insight that you gathered sitting in your folding chair on the sideline to help drastically improve the NTX Ref situation.  My daughter is a ref and a D1 select player.  She sees it from all sides.  When she plays, she does not always agree on the refs calls but she is respectful of their position.  When she refs, parents rarely agree with any call she makes and there is very little respect given.  It is really a no win situation for any ref that is involved in any game.  I am not saying that refs do not have bad games or miss calls.  Its going to happen. Unless you are in the same position on the field as the Ref you can't tell what they see.  Did the player flop?  Was the ref's view obstructed by several of the 22 bodies that are on the field between him and the alleged foul? Was the reason the player got knocked down just simply physics?  Two players collide and the one with the most mass won?  Normally, these guys ref because they love the game of soccer.  Believe me it is not because of the paycheck.  I suggest everyone take the ref class.  When I helped my daughter study to become a ref it really provided insight and actually taught me the real rules of the game.  Not the Soccer Mom or Soccer dad opinion of what the rules should be.  I cant tell you how many select games I sit and listen to parents yell "hand ball" at the ref just because they saw the ball hit the hand or "off sides" when a player is all the way across the field, not involved in the play?  How can a parent complain about a missed off side call from their chair clear on the opposite end of the field? If you feel so upset about the refs calls then don't cry about it on a message board. Man up and get involved. Become a ref.  Walk a mile in their shoes.  Make a difference.

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Post by Guest 11/04/16, 11:10 pm

I have to say that I believe officiating has improved over the last couple of years. This year has actually been pretty good. I look for consistency. There are some referees who make more calls and some who let them play (hopefully with the players protection top of mind). As long as it's consistent both ways in the game, that's officiating. The way the game is called won't always be consistent game to game at ANY level. Many of the people complaining on the sidelines have vague knowledge of the rules of the game as it is and have no room to criticize.

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Post by newbiefornow 12/04/16, 08:24 am

Being a Referee is just a tough gig. I admire anyone who does it and a small fine of the team for misbehavior paid into a pool to provide additional feedback and compensation might not be a bad idea. Everything about the game in NTX is getting noticeably better even in the last few years.

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Post by FCD14 12/04/16, 09:48 am

I used to one of the worst parents when it comes to being hard on refs. Then I decided to become part of the solution instead of part of the problem and took the ref class and have been calling games for a few years now. I have a whole new perspective of what it takes to be out there putting up with what they have to put up with and I'm no longer that obnoxious parent on the sidelines. Can it improve? Sure it can, just like with anything else but screaming at a ref all game long while they are trying to call a game will never make it better. Trust me.

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Post by SocDad 13/04/16, 10:59 am

I thought 10sDad was kidding.....

But apparently one of players did suffer a broken arm in this game..... What a Face
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Post by Rico_Passe 13/04/16, 08:25 pm

I agree with many of the posts here on both sides of this issue--side one being the refs are more often than not "pretty bad", and side two being its a tough row to hoe being a ref....

HOWEVER--I will say that my DD is an older player having been in countless games at all levels of intensity and importance and I have to say out of 10 games, parents from both teams usually walk away complaining about the refs 9 times--and it usually because they DO NOT call a tight enough game. It is true that skill often does not matter because of Miss Brut on the field going for the player and not the ball. Just read the rules of soccer, and call the game accordingly. And this coming from a parent whose DD tends to be pretty physical on the field and has had her share of fouls called and even more that should've been.

I am a middle of road type--I think if more refs would just tighten it up just a little without getting whistle happy, it would set a good tone for the games they are calling.  There is nothing worse than an unused whistle hanging around a ref's neck--and the girls DO base the tone of the remainder of the game on the ref's early calls or non-calls.  A slightly tighter game, IMO, is better than an out of control game with concussions, bloody noses, and blown knees.


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Post by Guest 13/04/16, 10:29 pm

It's a rough sport...hence why most cultures around the world frown on women playing it. The young ladies who play all the way through our youth system, survive high school, and are good enough to play college are TOUGH chicks. All of them. Even the skillful, small ones (especially). Our game is a crucible, and the finished product has no choice but to have a serious element of hardness.

I've noticed  parents complain about the physicality allowed until their kids get a certain age. At some point we have seen enough battles and enough injuries to our kids or their friends that we accept the sport has significant physical risks, and these are risks these warrior chicks take on because they love it. Focus shifts from parents blaming refs to  just hoping / praying for the safety of all participants. Refs can't reduce the physicality in the game. That has to come from our soccer culture...i.e coaches, admins, assignors, parents, players, etc. All refs can do is call fouls. The game is not rough because of refs.

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