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Virginia Soccer Board


Joined: 11/06/1999 Posts: 17451
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"Trifling" is the key word pounded into us at higher levels.

Players/coaches want to keep playing. How often do we hear coaches yell "keep the ball moving!" In my pregame to ARs that I have not worked with the discussion is "No trifling flags. Unless there is something huge on a throw in I just dont care. Get the ball into play. Same with fouls. Make sure you peek at me before popping a flag." And the newer refs, tempted seeing a foul will peek and see me shaking my head "no." Players want to play, and boys have always wanted to be physical. Think of the difference of how males hug vs females. Females wrap up, heads, together with gentle squeeze's. Guy Bro-hug with arm flexs and big slaps on the back. Imagine hugging your wife the way you hug your buddy. She would surely call foul.

We define trifling as anything the players can continue to play through. We try to allow the players to set the level of trifling. Often, while fans are yelling about something on the sideline I might be saying (loud enough for the players involved to hear) "I see it, I see it" to the player being held or clutched and then if they can play through and get the advantage they are happy and if not, a whistle. Other times after a quick small foul and advantage they will hear me say :"I saw it...keep going...I have his number in my head..."

Had a game with Skyline U19s, a pretty high level of soccer. At one point two players ended up down on the ground for a bit fighting for the ball. No one wearing angel wings and all the fight/hold/tugs etc were essentially 50/50. Parents on sideline yelling "where's the whistle, they are playing on the ground! That is ILLEGAL!!!" So, playing on the ground is no more illegal than a foot at the height of someone's head, as long as the play is not dangerous. The players could hear me "stay on the ball boys, good...good...stay on the ball" and then the ball popped free and they bounced up and were off and running. Game still going, players happy and without issue. Fans yelling at me like I am an idiot.

The tough part comes when you have a skill team playing a physical team. Trying to keep the ball moving while not letting the skill team get frustrated and knowing that if the skill teams begins to match the physicality the other team will get even more frustrated. Call all the chippy fouls and constantly let the other team set their defenses and I am giving them the advantage. Dont call enough of the chippy fouls and the skill team gets frustrated and the other team gets the advantage they seek. So we try and find a couple easy quick chippy fouls at midfield that will not impact the game, lets the skill team know I see them and lets me chat a bit with the other team. Tough line that is not always drawn correctly by us. Meanwhile the skill team fans are yeling for foul after foul and when a whistle blows the physical teams fans are yelling "let them play..."

I am a pretty big guy for a soccer ref with a very big voice.. When the fans get too mouthy at me or ESPECIALLY my ARs, I will get near them and let them hear what I am saying. Something to the AR like "WELL DONE LETTING THEM PLAY THROUGH THAT!" Settle the AR and more than a few fans. That said, I am getting old. My last NCAA game was back in the Nico Cocaluca days. Dude was a head case. My days at work begin way too early to be driving home for 3-4 hours after a shower when a game ends at 9:30PM or later.

Best refs these days are John Pitti on our side of the pond and Bjorn Kuipers on the other side.

Personally, I hate the Euro hoops rule that allows a crap foul at mid court on a break away to stop a layup or dunk. Let the player score, blow the whistle and give him a free throw on top of it.

(In response to this post by Clark2)

Posted: 09/26/2021 at 06:50AM


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