U.S. Soccer PLAY ON
On June 1st, U.S. Soccer launched a new educational campaign called U.S. Soccer PLAY ON to help safely guide our soccer community back to the field and play. Through PLAY ON, U.S. Soccer will be sharing a range of resources across return-to-play phases. These phases, from Phase 0 (no organized activities; stay home) through Phase IV (no playing restrictions related to COVID-19), come with specific recommendations and a suggested duration, to ensure that clubs, players, and referees have the opportunity to appropriately adapt and implement safety measures.
While U.S. Soccer is providing this information as recommendations, these guidelines are intended for consideration by national and state soccer associations, clubs, players, coaches, referees and parents as a consistent and risk-mitigation pathway to return to play. At all times, please defer to your local and state public health authorities for specific modifications and/or alterations.
As we progress into and beyond Phase I, the campaign will grow to include helpful videos, info graphics and other resource materials, including Spanish translations for key documents. Just as the situation continues to evolve, so too will the information we share. All of the resources will be available in a virtual information hub, www.ussoccer.com/playon.
As a reminder, at this time we are still in Phase I of PLAY ON. Also – decisions about referee registration fees for 2020 are being debated presently – we hope to have a formal decision in the next two weeks.
In keeping with public health guidance, each of our institutions has put in place physical distancing protocols, limits on travel on and off campus, and limits on the size of on-campus gatherings. Consistent with these policies, the NESCAC Presidents have decided unanimously, though with great reluctance, that NESCAC conference competition for fall sports must be canceled for fall 2020.
Full press release can be found here.
Please review the Game Assignment priority policy frequently. Please reach out to your assignor or any member of the SRC should you have any questions.
Follow [this link] to open the Game Assignment Policy dated March 19, 2020.
The Minnesota Referee Committee has created three excellent videos that we encourage all referees to watch:
Part 1) Laws of the Game changes / clarifications (25 minutes)
Part 2) Showing Cards to Coaches (25 minutes)
Part 3) Handling (20 minutes)
During this transition
period of the State Referee Committee, there have been many inconsistent pieces
of information that are floating around. We would like to take this opportunity
to address all topics of interest:
1) Game Officials is no
longer recognized as the source of referee registration. Currently certified
referees are * required * to create an
account on the US Soccer Learning Center website (https://learning.ussoccer.com).
All recertification courses will be advertised and hosted on the Learning
2) Individuals who wish to become a certified referee * AND * are at least 13 years old will also create an account on the Learning Center website. There will be more information about future New Referee Courses posted on the Learning Center later this year.
3) Individuals who wish to become a referee who are * NOT * at least 13 years old should contact their local Referee Coordinator to obtain information about local recreational referee programs. A list of all Referee Coordinators can be found at this link:
If you have any other questions, please contact either Mark Oliver (email@example.com) or Juan Montalvan (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Amilcar Sicaju April 2 at 9:09am · Cumberland On May 16, 2015 I walked into the field for my first NWSL game between The Boston Breakers Vs. Portland Thorns FC; my first professional game of my career. I was the … Continue reading
Congratulations to our Amilcar Sicaju for passing the fitness test and the final hurdle to becoming a Grade 4 National Referee.
In addition to the U.S. Soccer Federation Polices 531-1 and 531-6, officials should take steps to prevent any appearance of a conflict of interest.
- Disqualify themselves from participating in any match where there is a vested interest
“Vested interest” is defined as when the official or a member of the official’s family (spouse, child or parent) or that person’s team may be affected by the outcome of the proceeding or match.
By Randy Vogt
I have seen many soccer games when the referee made an important call — sometimes correctly, sometimes incorrectly — and loud dissent followed since the ref was 40 yards away from the play. Just as with phones, long-distance calling can be very expensive. The preventive officiating technique is to be fit enough and to hustle each game so that you are close to the play. Should the ref blow the whistle far from the foul, the ref needs to continue running toward the foul so it could look like he or she is closer to the foul than when the whistle was blown.
Teams are much more likely to dissent from referee decisions when the ref is far away than with the same decision when the ref is 5-10 yards from the ball. After all, presence lends conviction.
Take a recent older girls youth soccer game that I was refereeing. Blue dominated play for most of the game but yellow scored two goals late in the second half to lead 2-1. A blue attacker, the left forward and the team’s best player that day, then dribbled up the touchline and when she was five yards inside the penalty area, there was some contact between her and the defender. But I was just five yards away and determined that a trip had not occurred. It would have been denying an obvious goal scoring opportunity if a foul had been whistled as well as a penalty kick for the penal foul. But because I was five yards away and the team was sporting, nobody argued the non-call and a player and the coach remarked after the game, a 2-1 loss, that they thought the game had been officiated very well.
The referee’s diagonal that he or she runs goes from corner flag to corner flag. In nearly every game played in the United States, the diagonal is from the left forward’s position on one team to the left forward’s position on the opposing team. But I like to think that the referee’s positioning isn’t a diagonal as much as it is a modified version of a half-open scissor — corner flag to corner flag and penalty arc to penalty arc. The referee is not a slave to this positioning, but it is a rough guide to follow, especially for the newer referee.
A rigid and inexperienced ref could run from corner flag to corner flag and miss a number of fouls by adhering exactly to this positioning. Worse, a lazy, unfit or fatigued referee will run from penalty arc to penalty arc and miss even more fouls as well as some of the assistant referee’s signals.
In the games I have officiated plus observed recently at all levels, I’ve noticed that the referee has done a good or at least an adequate job when he or she can get to the left of the left forward on occasion and the ref did not officiate the game well when he or she was always to the right of the left forward. How interesting that a little extra amount of running can make the difference whether the game was refereed well or not.
Getting to the left is important as fouls by the left touchline (near the corner flag and penalty area) should not be missed plus experienced players will know that the ref is there and watching them. Also, the ref will be facing toward the assistant referee and could see the AR’s signals clearly. Many of the AR’s signals for offside are missed when the ref is standing in the middle of the field, the ball is played to the left forward and the ref does not turn to look at the AR. When the ref is to the left of or even behind the left forward, this is not a problem. Plus I also believe that teams dissent less when they see that the ref is hustling.