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August 04, 2012


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I am guessing that in J leagues two yellow cards mean immediate ejection. In professional soccer you only sit the next game that follows, but I'm guessing again that since you pay to play the sport that that would be unfair.

This is a great summary of some areas that I only learned over time since I hit the no-experience-with-soccer parent scenario you describe. Thanks from one who won't mind that you deviated from finance for a post.

When I was really young they'd let me be the person who calls out of bounds on one sideline. I had no clue what I was doing in retrospect. It is a good thing it was just a fun league :)

Are you in charge of calling the game if the weather is bad? If so, how often does it happen and what is the worst case you've had to deal with?

This is an excellent summary of the rules.
I grew up playing soccer at a boy's grammar school in England and really enjoyed it even though I wasn't a very good player. These were intramural sports where every student had to participate. One variation that I really liked was "Six per side" tournaments. With only six players it's a much more open game and you get to run around a lot more.

The problem with football is that the injuries can be so much more serious. We are now finding out a lot more about brain injuries even though the helmets are very well designed to prevent injury. My son played PAL (police athletic league) football as a young boy. He was a defensive back and not big and heavy like some of the offensive players. After getting run over several times by far heavier players going full speed right at him and getting knocked unconscious we encouraged him to give it up, which he did.

The great thing about youth sports is that it helps build a good relationship between father and son. You mention "angry parents". In Little League on one occasion after the game ended and everyone was leaving, as one mother and father were passing by the umpire they both yelled obscenities at him and the mother swiped him in the face with her purse, then the umpire and the father got into a big fight in front of everyone. Parents are often guilty of being very bad sports, whereas the players are not.

This explains why when I watched the Olympic soccer game Britain vs. United Arab Emirates, one of the Britain soccer players were "out of bounds" at the ball was, what looked like, touching the white line. It probably was touching a couple of blades of grass, too.

Also, I wasn't aware of the "advantage" foul. The next time I watch soccer I will have a better understanding. I, too, thought the referees were making a mistake.

Noah --

Yes, referees are in charge of calling the game for bad weather.

If you see lightning or hear thunder it's an automatic 30-minute wait. Every time the thunder/lightning re-occurs, the clock re-sets. There has to be 30 minutes with out either of the two in order to re-start the game.

Also, anything that makes the game unsafe would be a reason to call the game. An example: very high wind.

That said, soccer is played in all sorts of weather conditions: rain, sleet, searing heat, etc. As long as it's not unsafe, the game goes on. We often get rained on and it's often cold (think early spring or late fall in Michigan.) But we have all the equipment/clothing needed to withstand almost any weather conditions.

We've had to call off one game due to recurring thunder and had to wait it out in another instance, but very few games get called because of weather.

Luis --

I think it's either a one or two game suspension for a red card in our youth leagues.

I wish more people understood offside from the standpoint that it is related to where the person receiving the ball is when the ball is served, not where he is when he receives it.

I've played in some pretty nasty weather. We played in the remnants of a hurricane once. No wind, just rain. Rain so hard the entire game that we had to tell our own goalie and fans when we scored, because they couldn't see that far.

Jon --

Regarding offside: exactly!!!

As for the weather, we've never had rain that bad, but it's certainly come down in buckets on us several times. It's not great to ref in, but the silver lining is that the rain sends parents heading for their cars, so the game is less "noisy". :)


Sometimes less parents is nice :).
Do you ref indoor at all? Plexiglass makes for a nice sound barrier to crazy parents.

Being a Brazilian myself, it's very sad to see that soccer is so small here in the US. It's such a beautiful and emotional sport, and every 4 years brings the whole world together. You don't see that with any other sport. Hopefully, one day this will change.

Drop the baseball, softball and golf. (who watches them anyway! :) )

Luiz --

Are you going to the next World Cup? How cool will it be to have it in your home country?!!!

Jon --

We don't ref indoor because you only have one referee and my son and I like to work together. Plus the games pay poorly so they aren't worth the time.


Yes, I'm planning to go and hopping that everything goes as planned. It will be an awesome moment to watch it live being soccer fanatics as we are.

Great reading, thank you for sharing.

Hi, FMF,
I don't really play or watch soccer very often, but I enjoyed reading this post! Maybe when my kids are old enough to play organized sports I can avoid being "that guy."

Great summary. I have spent many hours watching soccer games over the past 15 years. All three of my sons play or have played soccer. My oldest son played traveling soccer at the premier level, was involved in ODP and still plays college soccer. Traveling soccer at the highest level was very expensive!

Now they referee soccer together (oldest-- grade 7, younger two-- grade 8). It’s nice to see them working together this summer and making good money.

I have thought about becoming a referee at least at the rec level but decided that it's nice to be home in the evening with my husband while our kids are at work.

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