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A RADICAL IDEA

(Why Referee ADMIN. Should Embrace the Four-Goal Game!)

Hey, soccer fans, have you ever wondered if we really need referees in every game? The topic is hot right now in the soccer community, especially with the idea of the 4-goal game gaining traction. Let’s explore why some folks say we could do without refs and how these games could be a training ground for future whistle-blowers.

So, what’s a 4-goal game anyway? Picture this: instead of just two goals at either end of the field, you’ve got two extra ones. Sounds wild, right? But stick with me.

The idea behind the 4-goal game is to shake things up a bit for the U-6 to U-12 age groups. With more goals to aim for, players have to think on their feet and get creative to score more goals. Plus, it lays the groundwork for kids to have more fun and create the passion to play the game for a lifetime. It’s like soccer but with an extra dash of excitement.

Now, here’s where it gets interesting. Some folks are saying we could scrap the refs for these games. Yep, you heard that right. The argument goes like this: with simpler rules and a smaller field, players can keep things fair and square without needing someone blowing the whistle every five minutes.

But hold on; why ditch the referees altogether? Well, think about it. If players learn to play by the rules and settle disputes amongst themselves, it could foster a culture of sportsmanship and respect on the field. It’s like saying, “Hey, we trust you to play fair.”

But fear not, ref enthusiasts! There’s a twist. While we might not need refs in every 4-goal game, we could use them as a training ground for the next generation of whistle-blowers. Imagine young soccer buffs learning the ropes of officiating, guided by seasoned pros. It’s like passing on the torch but with a soccer ball.

And the benefits? Oh, they’re plenty. These future refs get hands-on experience, learning to make split-second decisions and keep the game running smoothly. Plus, it’s a confidence boost like no other. Nothing builds character like being the one in charge on the field.

But it’s not just about training refs. It’s about building a community around the game we love. By getting young folks involved in officiating, we’re nurturing a sense of belonging and responsibility within the soccer world. Who knows, maybe one day, they’ll call the shots in the World Cup!

So, there you have it. 4-goal games and referee training might sound like radical ideas, but sometimes the crazy ones improve things. Who’s up for a 4-goal game?

Pat Ferre

US YOUTH SOCCER (2021 Volunteer of the Year) USSF Referee Grade 15 Emeritus USSF Referee Instructor USSF Referee Assessor USSF Referee Assignor District-7 Youth Referee Administrator (DYRA)

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