Handbook for youth games...Should there be LOTG specifically for youth games?

Discussion in 'Referee' started by R.U. Kiddingme, Jan 7, 2013.

  1. R.U. Kiddingme

    R.U. Kiddingme Member

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    This came up on another thread but it brings up something I've thought about for some time.
    Would it make sense for USSF or FIFA to codify laws for all age groups pertaining to field size, ball size, length of halves, substitutions, throw-ins etc?
    Seems like every club or tournament has their own set of rules for different ages and half the time nobody sure which ones to go by.
    Would save a lot of headache if we all had one standard to go by.
    Seeing how the overwhelming % of refs apply LOTG that have been modified for youths, perhaps this would make sense.
    Do other sports do this?


  2. socal lurker

    socal lurker Member+

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    Are you kidding? Can you name another sport that has an international orgainization that asserts the power to control all games played in the sport over the entire globe?

    Different leagues, tournaments, school organizations, etc., have different objectives and goals. Never gonna happen that you'll see a universal set of youth rules.

    For example (and perhaps not the best choice, as AYSO has it's own referees, though many of the more experienced ones also do USSF or HS), AYSO limits substitutions only for injuries, at half time, and half way throough each half [at most levels]. There is only one reason they do that: to make sure every kid, in every game, plays half the game. That is a core philosophy of the organization -- but many other organizations don't care about that, and find the rule simply absurd. (Even within AYSO, at the youngest ages have a lot of variance on the threme as to field size and number of players -- dependent on what is available locally in terms of space, number of kids, etc.)
  3. R.U. Kiddingme

    R.U. Kiddingme Member

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    Re-reading my original post, I hope you didn't get the idea that I was proposing that all ages have the same rules. Perhaps that wasn't what you were addressing either.
    It's just that this is an issue at every single tournament-substitutions especially.
    I make it a point to go online and know all the tournament rules ahead of time but that doesn't mean that the ref before me hasn't applied them incorrectly, therefor everybody's screaming and hollering when I apply the rules correctly, allowing a substitution at any stoppage (if that's tournament rules), for example.
    I make it a point to have a print out of the rules since I invariably will have to show it to the coaches before the game as I discuss the laws.
    Once even had an occasion where the coaches were sent different rules.
    I do see your point of local control, but there again also I see situations where tinkering too much with a pretty darn good set of rules can lead to problems.
  4. Barciur

    Barciur Member

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    I had a situation recently that I was put on the spot by an AR that I would prefer not to describe as I get a bit angry still..

    So the rules of the tournament say that you can only sub on your throw possession. The coach yells at me for not letting his player on, I explain the rule, he tells me "the other ref in my last game didn't so did the rules change mid-tournament?" I explain what the rules say.. and the AR decides to jump in and tell me that the coach is right :eek: It's extremely uncomfortable, but obviously I'm not gonna run to my bag where I actually have the rules printed out and I stick to my rules and we get on with it.


  5. socal lurker

    socal lurker Member+

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    *sigh*. . . with friends like that, who needs enemies . . .
    SA14mars and Barciur repped this.
  6. socal lurker

    socal lurker Member+

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    It's simply reality. I don't disagree that local rules are often confusing and written by people who don't think through unintended consequences or how they will be applied, but we can't even get HS or NCAA to play by FIFA rules, we're never going to get youth groups to all play by the same rules.

    (But it's not just local youth leagues that can draft really stupid "local" rules -- I can't recall the precise details, but there was professional tournament in which it was more advantageous to win in OT than to win 1-0 -- resulting in a team leading 1-0 deseparately trying to score against itself in the waning moments because it thought it needed that extra point in the standings . . .)
  7. R.U. Kiddingme

    R.U. Kiddingme Member

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    I admit that starting this thread was more of a rant then an actual suggestion as I had no serious aspirations that FIFA would take me up on this.
    Perhaps the LOTG allowances for ROC already handle this.
    They already make allowances for ROC where necessary but the ones that are not are usually best left alone.
    I have reffed leagues that require a mandatory cooling off period after a caution and cannot return until after another restart. OK, sounds good maybe to perhaps lessen the tension, but what happens if only 7 (or the minimum NOP) show up for the game and someone gets a caution? Puts the ref in a sticky situation.
  8. Yale

    Yale Member

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    Actually, FIFA has in essence already done exactly this. AYSO has official permission from FIFA to publish a modified LOTG specifically for youth games (and in fact is the only organization in the world permitted to do so). So the AYSO lawbook is actually endorsed by FIFA for use in youth games—at least those conducted by AYSO.

    Most of the changes have to do with small-sided games, and as socal mentioned above, substitution rules. However, the key points are all there. You will never see an AYSO game conducted using the dual system, for example.
  9. Errol V

    Errol V Member

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    Would it make sense? No, it wouldn't make sense, because it wouldn't make business sense.

    USSF is not the rightful and appointed supreme overlord of US soccer, they are just another one of the thousands of associations in this country which charge dues for the products and services which they provide to their customers. Having some amount of business sense, USSF has performed a valuable service to their youth organization members by providing them a very well conceived and comprehensive set of match rule recommendations for youth soccer organizations to use. Requiring members to follow these recommendations would not be a customer-friendly move.
  10. Eastshire

    Eastshire Member

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    Swiming - FINA
    Athletics - IAAF
    Volleyball - FIVB
    Tennis - ITF

    and so on. Soccer is in no way unique that there is an international body that sets a standard rule set which is used globally.
  11. Barciur

    Barciur Member

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    And then there is hockey, which the US and Canada don't give a crap about whatsoever. :)
  12. Dr. Gamera

    Dr. Gamera Member+

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    From the "Throwing a match" thread:
    nsa repped this.
  13. fairplayforlife

    fairplayforlife Member

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    I feel like it would be an exercise in futility even if it was enacted, which I don't agree with. It wouldn't matter if we had "youth" rules/laws people would further bastardize and modify them.

    Some have said it already but almost every sport has an international rules body but they aren't as popular or powerful as Fifa because their version of the world cup aren't as popular.

    We already have so many last week referees, why can't we all just use the same laws or put in the effort to at least learn the modifications. Is that really that hard?
  14. Barciur

    Barciur Member

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    Becuase from what I see on the fields and people I meet, we on forums here are the minority. A great amount of referees don't really care, they are there just to make money and get out of here. And since Grade 8 requires just about nothing but the basic understanding of the laws, that's what ends up happening.
    camconcay repped this.
  15. fairplayforlife

    fairplayforlife Member

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    It doesn't make it right. I'm pretty short with referees that don't put forth the effort. They are doing a service to anyone but themselves so I don't see them as saviors of the game for being paid to not try just for the sake of having a game.

    I'm not picking on you I just was making the point about the idea of refs not wanting to care about what they're doing.
  16. Rufusabc

    Rufusabc Member+

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    I can't begin to tell you the number of variations to the sub rule that I ran into last season. But, if you don't print out the ROC before going to a match, you are your own worst enemy.
    MrPerfectNot, Barciur, nsa and 1 other person repped this.
  17. techguy9707

    techguy9707 Member

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    In reference to Rufus's comment about printing the ROC, I know I would have been lost without them for the last tournament i work. The length of the game/halves was different for each of the gender/age levels. This meant the u10Boys played different game length than the u10Girls, same issues with the U12 and U14, boys and girls were all different.

    When the referee team met before the game, we had to pull out the ROC and look them up for every game to ensure we were playing the right number of minutes.
  18. iron81

    iron81 Member+

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    I don't know how this is going to help you other than as a last minute cram session before the game. If you have to pull the RoC out of your bag during a game to prove a point, it's too late.
  19. Errol V

    Errol V Member

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    I am always a little irritated when I get to the referee tent at a tournament and they ask me if I need a printout of the tournament rules. If it were me I would say "have you studied the match rules?"
  20. Law5

    Law5 Member+

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    Actually, USSF is the 'rightful and appointed supreme overlord of US soccer,' [school sports excepted] as determined by the US Olympic Committee, which has that authority under the federal Olympic and Amateur Sports Act. (This act grew out of the Tonya Harding case, where the governing body for figure skating had no procedures to deal with participant misconduct and tried to make them up after the fact. Congress likes to see due process take place, if only because so many of its members are lawyers.)

    Reading the Laws of the Game's statement on "Modifications," it would appear that only USSF could order competitions to use only certain modifications to the Laws in the specified areas. However, given the politics of USSF, the chances of that happening, for the convenience of referees, are somewhere between slim and none. "Da 'utes" have roughly 30% of the vote at the USSF AGM. Referees, as such, have zero votes. Why would the other groups (adult amateur, professional teams and "the athletes") want to pick that fight with a group that feels their members (i.e. the state associations and the clubs that belong to them) should be able to do what they want to do at their events? There's nothing in it for the non-youth groups.
  21. Barciur

    Barciur Member

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    Right and I'm not saying it's right or wrong, the point of my post was just to give one of the reasons for what's happening out there.

    True, but I'm not gonna run over to my bag and argue with a coach with my printed ROC in the middle of the game, either.
  22. socal lurker

    socal lurker Member+

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    "No thanks, I never read those..." ;)
  23. Rufusabc

    Rufusabc Member+

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    What i meant you clowns was the simple fact that there are guys who show up to referee without even looking at the ROC. I have it with me. I bet Iron81 knows every ROC of every league cold. This isn't to argue with coaches because BEFORE the match starts I make sure the coaches know the rules for subbing in that match. Sorry if you don't do that, but i do. Stops any argument and stops "last game, the ref let us..." Comments.
  24. iron81

    iron81 Member+

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    Only because the leagues in my area cooperate to a large extent on the RoC. I recall one embarrassing conversation I had as AR1 with a coach where I was wondering if a tournament's RoC require substituting out a player who gets a yellow. Fortunately, the center knew he didn't.

    This is why I allowed for the possibility of last minute cramming.
  25. Errol V

    Errol V Member

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    Are people not free to organize youth soccer without any relationship at all with USSF?

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