Request for Feedback:
This note came to us last week. I am posting it here to ask for feedback from fellow referees on their reactions to this state of affairs. Feel free to circulate the note to others, or to direct them to the site.

Please give us input by posting the same way you would send a question. We will post the most useful responses here as well. This is a wonderful opportunity to teach one another and to provide our less-than-accomplished fellow referees with the means to do it right.

Many thanks to all.

Jim Allen

The Note

I thought that if I became an official, I would learn to appreciate what they go through, and stop hating them so much. Now, I’ve made a lot of friends, but, as I still play in Adult leagues, I still hate officials when I step between the lines as a player. Being in this unique situation as I know all the guys and work with them, I have been reflecting on why I still am so angered by officials. It came to me after a Men’s over 30 match this past Tuesday. We are our own worst enemies out there. Guys refuse to properly apply the laws of the game. We all know them-hell the best officials, supposedly, in the world know them, and, yet, we saw how this worked in the World Cup. Is it lack of fortitude? Is it officials worried that the players won’t like them, and they’ll get poor ratings if they call the game as it should be called? I don’t know-the truth is probably somewhere in between. 

I have many issues with this, but let me just give you one so I don’t take up too much of your time. Team B commits a foul on Team A. Team A sets the ball to begin the re-start. Player or players of Team B purposely delay the re-start by lining up in front of the ball clearly not giving 10 — hell 3 yards in many cases. How should this be handled? I know how I handle it, and I would argue with anyone that I do it correctly. The problem is, hardly no one else does it the right way. Furthermore, because I am, basically, the only one who does it correctly, players become used to the wrong way and the proper way looks strange. I do youth and adult matches, and play in the adult league and all players from a young age to seasoned guys who played at high levels in college and professional, truly believe that the team that got fouled must ask for 10 yards. They believe that because, my fellow officials screw it up and do not apply the laws properly. I got into it with a guy on the other team the other night because his team did this all game and the center refused to address it. I pleaded with him to stop allowing them to delay the re-start; especially in our offensive third when we have a potential goal scoring opportunity of the quick re-start. Please help me-I am so frustrated with this, and I want all my fellow officials to apply the laws properly, so we can start to re-train the players. Please provide me with exactly how you handle the situation I described above, both the first time it happens, and subsequent occurrences. Also, how you handle it when Team B actually touches the ball before it travels 10 yards ie. quick re-starts where a player for Team B purposely touches the ball before a travels 10 yards, and when a wall is lined up less than 10 yards away and the ball strikes the wall.