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Fundamental Soccer Blog

Interview with a Boys Youth Referee

Editor’s note: Eliel Payan was recently named CYSA District 7 Boys Referee of the Year. These are some valuable insights he had to share.

Question: How/Why did you become a referee?

I became a referee two years ago through a Grade 8 course that they offered near my home high school. I saw this as a great opportunity to start adding experience to my resume and at the same time a way to earn some extra income.

Question: What do you enjoy the most about refereeing?

The thing I enjoy the most about refereeing is the teamwork that makes refereeing. When you are out there refereeing an intense game, you and your team are all dealing with the same pressure together. This creates a bond within each other as you referee more and more games together.

Question: What do you like least about refereeing?

I would have to say the least thing I like about refereeing is the ignorance of some of the parents. Only because their kids are the ones on the field, that does not mean everything they say is right, at the end of the day everyone is out there simply to have FUN!

Question: What do you like least about refereeing?

The thing I least like about coaching is the coaches/parents that take this game to serious.  They put too much pressure on the kids, trying to live through them instead of letting them play their own game and have fun.  We need to remember this is for the kids, I feel as adults that if we stepped back and listened more it would benefit everyone from the coaches view down to the kids point of view.

Question: What words of wisdom/ advice would you like to share or give to…

• Experienced Referees

Go out and guide the young referees; they need you.

• Beginning Referees

Do not give up on this job, many doors will open if you persevere with refereeing.

• Coaches

Have patience with the young referees, they are still testing the waters to see if they like this job, your yelling will not help them make their decision.

• Players

Keep doing what you do.

• Parents

Sit and watch the game, attacking the refs verbally will only cause tension between you and the game official

Question: If you had a magic wand what major changes would you make in youth soccer?

With my magic wand I would have more people involved with soccer in general. Have more teams playing, have the seasons extended, and bring more determined referees out that actually want to do this.