Gentlemen, has there ever been any instructions, memo, etc., on the procedure that the referees must follow in respect to what their duties are on monitoring the handshake process that the youth players and coaches do after the game is completed?USSF answer (March 30, 2007):
Here is what the Federation has to say on the matter, excerpted from the USSF publication “Advice to Referees on the Laws of the Game”:
5.2 REFEREE’S AUTHORITY
The referee’s authority begins upon arrival at the area of the field of play and continues until he or she has left the area of the field after the game has been completed. The referee’s authority extends to time when the ball is not in play, to temporary suspensions, to the half-time break, and to additional periods of play or kicks from the penalty mark required by the rules of the competition.
The custom of exchanging handshakes after the game is not universal practice. It is an invention of American youth soccer–and not even followed at all levels of American youth soccer. There is no accepted format.
Referees are instructed to leave the field quickly and quietly when the game has been completed. This is to avoid problems with coaches, parents, and players. If the handshake ceremony is a rule of the competition, then referees would likely have to remain behind to monitor it–but only if the rules of the competition explicitly require it.