The Good – Are uniformly dressed and act professionally during and after the game. They are confident and consistent in their calls and controlling the game.
The Bad – Are semi-uniformly dressed and act professionally most of the time during and after the game. They are not as confident and occasionally struggle in controlling the game.
The Ugly – Are carelessly dressed and act unprofessionally during and after the game. They have no idea what they are doing, they seldom run, they do not pay attention, and they do not take the game seriously.
The Good – Care for their team and do not argue when calls are made against their team. They also care for the referees when offering water at half-time because they know how hard we work especially in hot weather.
The Bad – Show-up and from the very beginning will not leave the referees alone. They try to get the referees to call it their way.
The Ugly – Are constantly getting-in-your-face and will not let the referee do their job. They are consistently red-carded and asked to leave the field.
The Good – Focus strictly on playing their game and never come-in-your-face. And if a teammate does come-in-your face they back-them-off and apologize for their actions.
The Bad – Try to distract you from doing your job. They occasionally come to your face to discuss a call.
The Ugly – Come to your face to discuss any/all fouls. They are usually the players that play the players and not the ball. They don’t have any respect for referees.
The Good – Come to watch the game and do not distract the referee from doing their job.
The Bad – Occasionally try to distract the referee and sometimes even argue with the referees but they know when to stop.
The Ugly – Are constantly trying to distract the referee, question every simple call and don’t know when to stop arguing.
TO PLEASE the GOOD, the BAD and the UGLY…
We (Referees) need to gain the respect of others. We can only do that by being more professional in our appearance, our attitude and our actions. I truly believe that by gaining the respect of others we will eventually face less interference.
Refereeing: the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
by Alyssa Nishikawa
Throughout my life, I have been exposed to many different levels of soccer. As a college student-athlete playing for the Fresno State Women’s Soccer team and also a Fig Garden Youth Soccer League referee, I can claim that I have come across “the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly” of soccer: the referees, coaches, players, and spectators.
As a youth referee, I don’t think referees get the full credit that they deserve. I must admit, it is much harder than it looks. It takes courage, concentration, and responsibility to be an exceptional referee. If these traits are not present, it can result in some ugly situations.
“The Good” of being a referee can be categorized when referees call a fair game and are shown appreciation for their good work. It is always a great feeling when coaches and spectators applaud you for a fairly called game even if they came from the losing side. “The Bad” of refereeing is that they have power and control over the results of the game. It can be a lot of pressure to know that one bad call can dictate the outcome of a match.
“The Ugly” of refereeing can be summed up as an experience I had as a youth player that I just haven’t let go. This refereeing blunder costed me and my team championship medals. One of the sideline referees missed an off-sides call that resulted in a goal and a 1-0 win. This particular sideline referee was caught watching another game on the field adjacent to her. You can bet all of the spectators, my coach and also some of the players were not polite after this play.
In my experience, I have also encountered many coaches. The good coaches I have encountered while refereeing are supportive of their players and display good sportsmanship for all to follow. The bad coaches I have encountered have lost their cool and thrown clipboards and chairs after what they thought was a “bad call.” Needless to say, these instances resulted in red cards. The ugly coaching instances involve when they yell at their youth players because they simply are losing the game. I recall a coach yelling at a U-8 girl “Quit messing with your hair or do you want to come out?” I was taken aback by this display of insensitivity.
Refereeing youth players has taken me down memory lane. I thoroughly enjoy encountering talented young players. Some of these exceptional players are on the road to greatness if they continue their hard work. During my refereeing years I have not encountered “bad or ugly” soccer players. At the competitive level however, there were many instances where bad attitudes were displayed. Players undermining their coaches or arguing with their teammates on the field are common displays of negativity.
I have seen variety when it comes to the spectators of the game as well. I have witnessed many parents of 11-12 year old children acting as if they were spectators at the World Cup Final Match. These parents reminded me of mine when I played youth soccer. The “good” includes the parents who keep their composure and peacefully cheer for their team. The “bad” includes parents who don’t know the rules of soccer, yet still yell at the referee for what they think was supposed to be an “offs-sides call”. I was witness to one “ugly” situation in which a parent yelled at their child, “Just you wait until you get home!” This was an unpleasant situation for me because, as a referee, there was nothing I could do or say.
Through soccer I have grown as a player and as a person. I have learned key life skills such as teamwork, responsibility, leadership, sportsmanship and commitment through being a soccer player and referee. It has shaped my life and kept me focused and well-rounded. I am looking forward to my next years of college soccer and my upcoming spring league as well as many more years refereeing with the Fig Garden Youth Soccer League. In the game of soccer, it is inevitable that there will be some ugly plays and situations. I wouldn’t want it any other way; I love it all, “the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly”.