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Interview with a Youth Referee

Editor’s note: Lynlee Davis was recently named CYSA District 7 Youth Referee of the Year. These are some valuable insights she had to share.

Question: How/Why did you become a referee?

I became a referee for Robert to learn the rules of the game and further my knowledge in the sport of soccer. Once I got into it, I realized how much more the job was and that I had a lot of fun refereeing games.

Question: What do you enjoy the most about refereeing?

I enjoy monitoring the youth soccer games as the referee, mostly because it’s fun to see how a player progresses in their skill and knowledge on the game. Without a referee, the game of soccer can be dirty, and I enjoy keeping the youth games clean and fun for the players.

Question: What do you like least about refereeing?

I dislike the snide comments both coaches and parents make on the sidelines, even though I don’t show anything. I believe that one should be experienced in the job before they can start commenting on how a referee does during the games.

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

Though the beginning referees may just be starting out, don’t just believe they don’t know what they’re doing. It’s good to give them tips, because they’ll soon become experienced like you.

• Beginning Referees

Take advice!!! Especially if an experienced referee gives the advice to you. You can only grow as a referee and gain more knowledge.

• Coaches

As a friend once said, “You coach your team and I’ll ref my game.” The referee is on the field and can see the game better than one standing on the sideline with biased opinions.

• Players

It’s good that you’re passionate about the game of soccer, but I am passionate about the games I ref and I call what I see so everyone plays according to the rules.

• Parents

Until you are a licensed referee, please do not try to yell at any of the referees to sway their decisions. They know the game better because they’ve gone through courses to obtain the license.

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

If I had a magic-wand I would like the referees to be given much more respect by others involved with the game. People, especially the parents of the players and coaches, believe they know the game better than the referees do and don’t respect them the way the referees should be respected. With the magic-wand, I would like to open the people’s eyes so they could respect the referee and the job the referee holds.