Most High School Refs are Terrible

Discussion in 'Referee' started by KeeperKid18, Oct 25, 2003.

  1. KeeperKid18

    KeeperKid18 New Member

    May 3, 2003
    NJ
    Some of the worst I have ever seen in my life. Not only for all of the stupid things they have done during my games which includes a ref asking me(the keeper) how long I am allowed to have possesion of the ball, since he didn't know, but for all the stupid insane things that went on today at another game.

    Alright, I went to my girl's varsity game today since my friend's girl friend(a freshman) is on the team. The game was a championship, I think for the county. Well, it was an insane game, and I cannot get over how bad the refs are. This one girl who I know from some of my classes who is a extremely good soccer player(also a freshman), was dribbling the ball downfield, sort of toward where the 18 meets the goaline. She was having shoulder to contact with her opponent. She then gets knocked over being much smaller, near the end, but the other girl gets mad, and while she is on the ground KICKED HER IN THE FACE/HEAD! the ref said it was an accident, but it was so unbeleivably on purpose, AND the girl was laughing while she was getting treated. It was insane. Later, on a one versus the keeper chance, that another player on our school's team had, she beat the goalie on the dribble, and the goalie tackled her grid-iron style. Yet no call, the ref claims it was "a fair challenge."

    **Done venting**
     
  2. Stupid_American

    Stupid_American Member+

    Jan 8, 2003
    New York, NY
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I hear ya man, I just got done playing high school ball three years ago and I'm sure it hasn't gotten any better. Reason #1,754 why we need to develop a better system for fostering our youth players in this country. (are you listening MLS?)
     
  3. rcleopard

    rcleopard New Member

    Aug 26, 2003
    Lemme ask a question.

    Was this game refereed using a three-man or two-man system?

    If it's the two man, blame your high school for not wanting to fork out the cash for the third ref.

    RC
     
  4. IASocFan

    IASocFan Moderator
    Staff Member

    Aug 13, 2000
    IOWA
    Club:
    Sporting Kansas City
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    You're making quite a generalization about high school referees. All the states have different set ups. How many have you seen? In Iowa, the high schools get basically the same referees as the U19s, U16s, colleges and the adults. Not that any of us are perfect, but we're the best available. I really can't say anything about any referee in any location other than central Iowa, and I've been watching, coaching and refereeing high school soccer here for 19 years.

    So much for negativitism, what are your suggestions?
     
  5. Alberto

    Alberto Member+

    Feb 28, 2000
    Northern, New Jersey
    Club:
    New York Red Bulls
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I must say I believe the quality of high school referees is quite terrible. Especially considering the fact that we are talking about 14-18 year old boys.

    In New Jersey many high school referees are not in it for the love of the game. Many are required to referee soccer, but do other sports. I have seen many referees that even with a two man system routinely blow offside calls. Also many have clear problems with foul recognition and match mangement. I won't even go to the issue of conditioning.

    I have a huge problem personally with the NFHS (or whatever their acronym is) and on principal do not support or belong to them. Their insistence on the two man system, changes to the LOTG and use of American football signals is a disgrace. At least the college game is more respectful of the LOTG. NF thinks they can modify the laws without any accountability to FIFA and they are wrong and what is worst, it is detrimental to the development of players.

    Off my soap box, you may return to your debate.
     
  6. Ref Flunkie

    Ref Flunkie Member

    Oct 3, 2003
    New Hudson, MI

    Agreed, that is pretty much why I am not a HS ref. I must admit, the few times I've been involved in a 2 man system, offside has been hard to keep up with, much harder than a 3 man system.
     
  7. whipple

    whipple New Member

    May 15, 2001
    Massachusetts
    Alberto,

    With all due respect, I believe you do us all a disservice by singling out any group of soccer officials by their affiliation, or by the system of control by which they officiate. Within all there are those with skill and experience and those who need to improve.

    It is important to remember here that high school sports are a school extracurricular activity and must be sactioned by the school system, and could not, under any circumstance be sanctioned by USSF.

    If you want NFHS officiating to be better, you have the power to make it so by joining a high school referee association or board and start taking assignments. Contribute your skill and experinece to make it better. You will find that the dual is not that bad a system if this is what they do in your area. In fact, with a an experineced parter, it can be quite good.

    Sherman
     
  8. Statesman

    Statesman New Member

    Sep 16, 2001
    The name says it all
    I happen to like the dual, it just can't be used for international or pro matches. For youth soccer it works just great though, is cheaper for the schools, so more kids get to play the game and have matching uniforms.

    I also happen to like the NFHS approach to writing out the rules. It wouldn't work in USSF/FIFA, but it works great for high school. Like whipple pointed out, it is an extracurricular activity. The kids are held accountable for their actions by the school as well as the coach. The wordy rules of school soccer, when followed, work very well in protecting the referee from litigation should something unfortunate occur.

    I also happen to like the idea of an IFK being awarded instead of a dropped ball in situations like injury or outside interference. Most referees hate to stop the natural flow of the game for these issues because of the drop ball -- it takes away a big advantage from the team possessing the ball. The teams hate it as well, otherwise they wouldn't come up with such acts of sportsmanship as passing the ball back to the defense or allowing a keeper to simply pick up the drop. With the IFK, nothing too major is lost by the possessing team and thus referees are more relaxed in stopping play immediately to tend to injured players.

    As far as American Football signals, most associations within NFHS just ignore them. The same goes for timekeeping aspects, as most schools won't even provide a timekeeper or have a stadium clock. The profanity rules make it very easy on the referee and keeps the game clean too. The rest of the game is virtually untouched.

    Besides, where else can you make over $50 for a shortened youth game? The competion is great, the schools (out here at least) are supportive, the rules very specific so there is little confusion, and, at least from my perspective, the games are fun.

    So yes the game is slightly different and a few rule changes not really justified, but for the most part NFHS with local associations is a good format for the high school environment.
     
  9. rcleopard

    rcleopard New Member

    Aug 26, 2003
    I'd buy that, Statesman... except for one thing.

    When you have schools forking out $150 each for the (8? ) different officials in a football game, and that school has nearly 90 players all wearing the same uniforms and having the same school bought equipment, and they play six home games a year, you can't expect me to believe that that school can't fork out the extra $300 or so bucks a year that it'd cost to get a third official in soccer.

    I know that the bread and butter is from football.. but around here, they do buy a third official for soccer when the game is critical. But when a crap team plays a crap team in pointyball, how come do they not have a shortened referee system for that?

    It hurts soccer to not have a third ref and to not use the DSC or similar method. It hurts the teams to have two refs that can both call fouls. You get massive inconsistancy. The referees in this area hate it except for ONE thing. MONEY. The pay is on average a bit higher because they're only paying two of them.

    I can understand it if there weren't a football program supporting the athletics for the school.

    Jarrod
     
  10. Alberto

    Alberto Member+

    Feb 28, 2000
    Northern, New Jersey
    Club:
    New York Red Bulls
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I don't lump all officials and clearly there are many good high school officials, but I do stand by my statement that the quality of high school referees is very poor. I know not only from observation of local games, but also because I hear complaints from many high school coaches. Many of whom coach older youth during the spring season.

    The problem I have with the modifications of the LOTG has to do with introducing differences in the LOTG that create a modified game from what kids experience playing youth soccer and then the game they will play at U17, 20, 23 and mens matches as they mature. This lack of consistency is extremely problematic for me. NFHS for other sports does not modify the game so that from HS to College to Pro, the changes are minor, for example one versus two feet in bounds for football.

    Assuming for a moment that I decided to contribute to making high school refereeing in my area better, it would be high comedy if they paired me with an older official (mentor I believe is the term used locally) who did this without the passion and commitment to excellence that I have. Does NFHS recognize experience from doing high level mens matches or US Open Cup?
     
  11. Alberto

    Alberto Member+

    Feb 28, 2000
    Northern, New Jersey
    Club:
    New York Red Bulls
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    An idea to ponder

    One last thing. Under the Ted Stevens Olympic Act, the USSF is recognized as our national association for the game of soccer. That accountability goes directly to FIFA. High school and college are amateur sports. In theory we are violating the Ted Stevens Act by allowing other organizations with no mandate from imposing or modifiying the game.
     
  12. whipple

    whipple New Member

    May 15, 2001
    Massachusetts
    Re: An idea to ponder

    If you don't like NFHS Rules, you would really have hated the old Schoolboy Soccer Rules.

    The point is that it has always been so and for good reason. NFHS and NCAA Rules are not a modifications of USSF Laws, but an independent set of rules for the same game with differences specific to the sanctioning bodies.

    The schools are the ones who are accountable and responsible to the parents and players of the teams competing on all matters related to that activity. They are liable and it is their game, held on their property, where they act in loco parentis, and hire officials as indpedendent contractors to administer thier rules.

    Frankly, I do not have a problem with this. Last Saturday I did two State Cup challenge round matches in the morning with the DSC, under the USSF LOTG, and collected $65 in match fees. Then I jumped in my car, drove 35 minutes to a private school to do an iron man middle for an ISL boys JV for a game fee of $69. The only significant difference was that I changed my badge and that during the match, after an injury, the restart was an IFK, I allowed subs for the team in possession before a corner kick, and both teams were allowed to sub before a throw in if they were at midfield.

    After the match, I walked down to the varisty field and watched the three man (actually two men and one woman) crew finish their match. Our SDI was on one line while a national emeritus was CR.

    There is no lack in consistencey here. Our judgement does not change when we shift from a USSF sanctioned match to a MIAA or ISL match under NFHS Rules or a college match under NCAA Rules. Nor does it, necessarily, change when we go from a single middle, to a dual, to the DSC.

    Granted, there are some referees working HS matches who have no clue, but they are becoming fewer in proportion to those who have a depth of understanding and a committement to the game.

    From my perspective, the core of the problem of inconsistency you cite comes from the local or town referees, who have not had the benefit of continuous instruction, who make up their own rules fail to apply the Laws properly. These are the gotcha ball refs who call legal contact, ball to hand contact, foul throws, etc. and condition players and coaches to expect such calls as they advance into higher levels of play.

    Sherman
     
  13. nsa

    nsa Member+

    New England Revolution; Boston Breakers
    United States
    Feb 22, 1999
    Notboston, MA
    Club:
    New England Revolution
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    While USSF sees me as an experienced referee, referee instructor, and assessor, officially, I am a rookie high school soccer referee this year. :)

    The EMSOA has a pre-season jamboree where the rookies get to work games under the watchful eyes of senior officials. The mentor in my group put me on the pitch to work while he talked with the truly newbies, pointing out the mechanics I used and the positioning.

    As a rookie, my name got put on a list of officials to be assessed. The assessor had nothing to say to me in the postgame discussion except "keep doing what you're doing".

    OTOH, he excoriated my partner, a "Lifetime Member", for failure to signal the direction on throw-ins and free kicks, failure to support play as the trail official (especially on corner kicks where he barely ventured past midfield), failure to get to the goal line, when necessary, in his half of the field. One of the teams was wearing black. He did not have an alternate jersey (I lent him a spare).

    I had the misfortune to work with this guy again last week. Temperature in the 40s. He wore warm-up pants and a jacket over his uniform. Maybe it encumbered him so much that he couldn't run to keep up with play in either direction? Again, the lack of signals for possession resulted in confusion and delays at substitute opportunities. At one corner kick he was actually leaning on the goal post! (Maybe I should just be thankful that he was on the goal line.)

    There are good soccer referees working the high school soccer games. There are also some good social studies teachers and baseball umpires that fail miserably working the high school soccer games. There is no mechanism for culling out the ineffective ones.

    Last year I was watching one of my son's JV games. The visiting team set a physically intimidating tone to the game. The local boys responded in kind. Bodies flying everywhere. The coach of the visiting team pulled his kids off the pitch midway through the second half due to the unsafe conditions (and his boys were losing 7-0 at the time). I taught the USSF referee course that this official attended. He saw me and asked what I thought "on a scale of 1 to 10". I asked if he meant the Richter scale and then talked with him about recognizing unfair challenges, particularly in the air. He has worked a couple of my son's games this year. He reports that the man has improved somewhat (that's high praise from my son, a 7-year referee himself), so there is hope.
     
  14. IASocFan

    IASocFan Moderator
    Staff Member

    Aug 13, 2000
    IOWA
    Club:
    Sporting Kansas City
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    In Iowa, I think the high school refs are either the same or better than the refs you get on U16 and U19 games. The same, because most of the most of the high school refs here are recruited from the good rec refs. The local conferences contract with the local soccer officials association to assign high school refs. I've worked with 3 different assignor/crew chiefs. All are experience refs and try to match up the less experience refs with more experienced. Many of the senior refs are great mentors. Some of them don't say much, but you can learn by watching them. The assignors do a good job of assigning the best crew to some of the more difficult matches. Each crew of 6-10 refs get to know each other over a season or multiple seasons and I've learned a lot working with some very great referees.
     
  15. ralph shelley

    ralph shelley New Member

    Jun 1, 2003
    huntington
    referee

    It would be helpful to all if referee videos were in
    public libraries, so that current refs and interested
    refs can learn the nuances of the business.
    Refs should be assigned games based on ability
    and physical condition over seniority. Exceptions
    should be made for talented crews. Ex soccer
    players who love the game should give it a try for
    its allot of fun if you can handle the varying
    conditions. Players, fans and coaches appreciate
    good officiating. And they know fairly quickly if
    your talented. I get quite a rush from tense games.
    And besides its allot of fun.
     

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