Soccer Coaching Blog | Professional Soccer Coaching Advice

Who’s the female in the black?

How appropriate is it on Valentine’s Day to talk about referees? Not at all you say… well not according to our under 12s.davidclarke1.gif The team has been hosting a referee that has got them all in a spin. They all take great note of what the referee says and never answer back. Even the dads on the touchline have been quiet of late. The referee is 19 and female. She has refereed the last three home games and is likely to referee more of them. The thing is I don’t think she has made one single bad decision in any game. But maybe I’ve got that wrong because one of the mums told me she thought the ref was hopeless. Then she said her son had a crush on her and talked more about the referee on the way home than the match, something to do with knee length socks and black shorts… or was it one of the dads that said that.

Anyway that got me thinking. Maybe here at Better Soccer Coaching we should be championing female referees to keep the shouting at youth soccer games to a minimum rather than the Don’t Cross The Line campaign.

Imagine it. Women in uniform running the game, mums running the line. Who would start shouting about offsides and cheats when the rather alarming mum with sunglasses perched on her head, lipstick clad mouth wide open “OFFSIDE REF” has the flag held high in her hand even though there were two defenders between the opposition striker and the goal. Dads watching the referee rather than the game. No swearing or shouting, no one threatening to “deck that cheating referee”. Just the odd wolf whistle.

There is a serious point in all this. Saturday mornings have been much better without the usual shouts at the referee and that’s not just because my head is heavy from the Guinness of the night before. You can think clearer, you can get your message across to the boys better and the whole general atmosphere is a lot more friendly. And the boys have shown the confidence to run and dribble with the ball more. Is it coincidence? Has anyone else experienced this phenomenon?

It might not work for the Manchester Uniteds or Real Madrids but at grass roots level there might be something in it.


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