I’m resending the week three email as it looks like not everyone received it. The below talks about game control, referee interactions, and developmental and all girls JV/V tournament registration.
Just a few things as we enter into Week 3 of our season:
1. Fall DSL Tournament Registration – Registration is officially open for the Developmental Tournament. I am asking each soccer coordinator to let me know how many teams and at what bracket that they are registering. This Fall’s Tournament will be Saturday October 29 at No Off Season Sports in Russellton. Registration will remain open for 1 month and will close October 15. We will take registrations for the following brackets, 5v5 1st grade, 5v5 2nd grade, 5v5 1/2 grade, 7v7 3rd grade, 7v7 4th grade, 7v7 3/4 grade, 5v5 JV All Girls, 5v5 Varsity All girls. As always, if we fill up (and we tend to fill up at the younger age levels), preference is given to those schools that register first. After October 15 any registrations are considered late and may not be allowed if scheduling is already complete. Attached are the rules for the tournament (please read these, almost all past issues at our tournaments could be 100% avoided if coaches read and know the tournament rules. The first question I will ask you when an issue arises is whether or not you read the rules).
2. Game Control – I received a few emails regarding teams that failed to keep the score in check. I know that it can be difficult, especially for the younger players, to keep the score in check. As a coach though it is your responsibility to do so. Keep an eye on this throughout your game and if it becomes apparent that your squad has more talent, start taking steps early on to control the score. Our line in the sand is 8 goal or more differential– once you are at or exceed that I tend to hear about it and have to get involved. A good coach will start addressing the issue at a 4 or 5 goal lead as that gives you some room to maneuver.
Some tried and true methods of game control include, but are not limited to, getting weaker players more playing time and at the offensive positions, moving stronger players to goalie, defense or to the rest them more than normal, telling players to only use their non-dominant foot to pass and shoot (usually their left foot), playing possession where no one can shoot until all players on your team have passed to one another (including the keeper) without the other team intercepting, playing down a player or two, offering to allow the other team to play up a player or two, and/or lending some of your stronger players to the other team to make a more competitive match.
I am happy to discuss this in more depth with any of you if you have questions. If we get repeated complaints of the same teams running up the score then I will have to take action beyond email reminders. So I encourage any of you who foresee this being a problem to be proactive, plan for this contingency, and if needed, reach out to me with any questions.
3. Referee interactions – On a comparable note, I have also received some reports already at the developmental level of coaches yelling at referees. Let me be clear, without referees we can’t play, and our entire region is in the midst of a referee shortage, largely precipitated by coaches who chase referees out of the game by yelling, threatening, and/or being disrespectful. This type of conduct can result in you being issued a card and getting thrown from the game.
I’m even more troubled though when I hear of this happening at the developmental level as many of the referees are Jr. High and High School players. If you find yourself screaming at a child that is trying to referee a game, it might be worth taking a step back and reassessing some of your life’s decisions up to this point and reevaluate if you are in a good place to coach youth sports.
All referee’s, especially the young ones, can make mistakes. Some of it is a question of them not seeing what you saw, some of it is a question of them making an honest mistake. In any event though, if your goal is to correct the situation, I have never seen a coach succeed in getting a call overturned by yelling at a referee. When and if you find yourself in a situation where you disagree with a referee’s call, the smart coaches that I have seen over the years wait for a stoppage in the game, typically at half time (or the end of the game) approach the referee calmly and respectfully, explain what they saw and ask for an explanation of the referree’s call. If you are handling this in a different manner, you are probably doing it wrong and will not only fail to get your desired results, but run a good chance of having an awkward conversation with me and possibly taking a game or two off from your coaching duties.
That is all from me, good luck with this week’s games and as always, feel free to reach out to me with any questions or concerns.