I play for a U19 girls soccer team, and we played a game today that many of our fans, coach, and players felt that it was an unfairly reffed game. The team we played for had a referee that additionally works at that teams club. I’m not positive because I was pretty sure that you can not ref a game for a club you work for…that would be an unfair bias. He additionally called about 11 obstruction calls on our team whenever we got within the 18 yrd box of the opposing team(the club he works for team) If I am mistaken again but I thought obstruction would be typically called on the defending team.

We also got called for an obstruction call on the goalie when a teammate of mine stood in front of the goalie on a corner(not even touching her) We got called for another on a girl who did not have the ball yet and then once on our own 8 yrd line our defending player got called for obstruction for playing typical defense on a corner….what exactly is this obstruction rule and why is it being used, I have never heard this rule in my life but once? Lastly I would like to know if there is a way to report a referee somehow, because I think he should not be allowed to ref for a club team for the club he works for.

USSF answer (October 17, 2010):
If you have problems with a referee, then the best thing to do is to submit a report to the competition authority (the league, cup, tournament, etc.) that is responsible for the game. You will also want to send a copy of that report to the state referee authorities in your state.

In general, refereeing a game in which you have a vested interest in a team (such as working for that team or club) is considered to be a conflict of interest. In such a case, you can also file a complaint with the state soccer association responsible for that particular competition. Look on the U. S.Soccer website for Federation Policies, in particular Policy 531-10 — Misconduct of Game Officials, Section 2, Procedures. You can find the Federation’s Bylaws and Policies (and Amendments to the Policies) at this URL: .

There is no such foul as “obstruction,” although there was such a foul until the major editing of the Laws in 1997. It would appear that the “referee” for your game has not read the Laws of the Game since 1996. Either that or he (a) paid no attention in training classes or (b) is not a referee at all.

“Obstruction” became “impeding the progress of an opponent” in 1997. impeding the progress of an opponent is defined in the Laws of the Game: “Impeding the progress of an opponent means moving into the path of the opponent to obstruct, block, slow down or force a change of direction by an opponent when the ball is not within playing distance of either player.” It is punished by an indirect free kick for the opposing team. In addition, “It is an offense to restrict the movement of the goalkeeper by unfairly impeding him, e. g. at the taking of a corner kick.” In either case, if contact is initiated by the impeding player, this is considered to be the direct free kick foul of holding.