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Imagine a D-7 mandate for referees to wear conspicuous colored shirts to act as a visual reminder resulting in a paradigm shift in adult behavior.

Young referees have started wearing purple shirts in a bid to cut out the verbal abuse they often get. The Cheltenham Youth Football League initiative puts referees aged 18 and under in brightly colored shirts to act as a visual deterrent.

“They see we’re kids, and we’re not going to get everything right,” said one young referee.

The Cheltenham Youth Football League reported, “Abuse has dropped from seven incidents last season to just one incident this season!”                                                                           

The following flyer is used to educate and remind everyone of this initiative…

Would it not be wonderful to have this initiative approved nationally and help us avoid situations like this…?

“I was once a coordinator of a group of referees at a particular location. This location was where all Under 10 Boys and Girls played [recreation soccer]. My son was in his first year of reffing. He was the center referee. As a coordinator, I walked around the fields during the day, especially my son’s. This one day, a parent was giving my son an earful.

I walked over and asked him which son was his. He quickly pointed him out. I then asked, “Hey, so is it okay for me to yell at your son like you are yelling at my son?” The dad asked, “Who is your son?” I proudly pointed and responded, “That referee.”

This dad looked at me, didn’t apologize or say anything, and just walked away from me.” Lance Eber

Dear Reader: The Cheltenham Youth Football League has obviously provided a rather unique idea for us to consider!  Imagine having young referees wear conspicuous colored shirts to act as a visual reminder resulting in a paradigm shift in adult behavior … Priceless!

 Take Action! Please send this article to your: Referee Coordinator, Director of Coaching, Soccer Parents, and Soccer Community. Insist that they take this very simple step to improve the game for all!

Finally, do you have any suggestions on what WE Can Do Together to assure that this initiative becomes a D-7 Mandate?