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The Game We Love


Referees, coaches and parents together have an enormous impact on the lives of youth soccer players. While each parent must be accountable for their actions and teach their own son or daughter to do the same, referees, coaches and parents form a trio of role models from which many of our youth learn behaviors that they will carry into adulthood. Cooperation, respect and maturity among the adults in soccer will encourage those qualities in the players.

REFEREES: What can referees do to make the game of soccer better for the players? 

  1. Know the Laws of the Game and the Rules.
  2. Be professional; i.e. on time, in proper uniform, prepared, fit, etc.
  3. Study the game and the spirit of soccer.
  4. Attend meetings, clinics and seminars.
  5. Show respect to players, coaches, parents and spectators.
  6. Explain rules, when needed.
  7. Help less-experienced referees.
  8. Play the game to better understand it.
  9. Seek evaluation from coaches/players.
  10. Be assessed regularly.
  11. Smile, and enjoy the game.
  12. Be firm, fair and honest.
  13. Be consistent.
  14. Accept only the number and level of assignments that can be done well.
  15. Be neutral.
  16. Know and use proper procedures.
  17. Always remain calm.
  18. Take each game seriously.
  19. Implement good management techniques.
  20. Show courage and confidence; avoid arrogance.

Referees come in contact with thousands of youth players every year. Their ability to influence fair play is greater than that of most other adults.

COACHES: What can coaches do to make the game of soccer more enjoyable for the players, and easier for the referee to manage? 

  1. Take a course on the Laws of the Game.
  2. Be accepting of the referee's decisions.
  3. Remain calm.
  4. Do not make loud, offensive remarks.
  5. Concentrate on coaching, rather than on the accuracy of the referee's decisions.
  6. Be a role model of fair play.
  7. Be positive; avoid confrontation with any official.
  8. During games, leave the decisions to the players.
  9. Attend coaching classes to learn the most effective ways to conduct practices.
  10. Give good guidelines to parents.
  11. Set high standards.
  12. Be firm with parents at games.
  13. Teach skills and fair tactics.
  14. Discourage unfair gamesmanship.
  15. Communicate with parents often in meetings and social gatherings.
  16. Play the game, and encourage parents to play and to referee.
  17. Referee games.
  18. Delegate responsibilities.

PARENTS: What can parents do to make the game of soccer more enjoyable for their children... and other people's children too? 

  1. Be knowledgeable of the game.
  2. Encourage fair play at home.
  3. Be supportive; i.e., be sure the player attends practices, pick him/her up on time.
  4. Attend games.
  5. Be positive or quiet at games.
  6. Be respectful, and expect your own children to be respectful.
  7. Focus on good nutrition.
  8. Volunteer to help the coach.
  9. Become a referee.
  10. Play the game of soccer.
  11. Be calm and have good manners.
  12. Support the coach's and referee's decisions.
  13. Encourage communication between coach and parent.
  14. Ask you own child to describe his/her role, and what new skills have been learned.
  15. Watch practices; focus on new strategies.
  16. Find soccer videos, and watch them with your children.
  17. Concentrate on praising other people's children during games.
  18. Read newspaper articles about older soccer players' successes; provide models for your own children.

Parents' daily modeling of fair play, conflict resolution and the "Golden Rule" encourages players to calmly play with skill on the field.

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