I noticed there are a number of threads regarding refs and parental/coach behavior recently. Here's another. Below is a link to a video clip of a recent game I just saw online. Yes, the ref seems incompetent based on this short clip and the craziness of it just reminded me of what I’ve seen every weekend since the fall season kicked off (I’ve watched or coached around 20 games so far). https://www.facebook.com/groups/socalsoccer/permalink/1129930933842712/ It’s nothing to do with sour grapes or moaning because my team or club lost a game (conversely, you’ll see from our CSL record that we are winning most of our games so far and I think that’s important to point out because often ref complaints come about when people are annoyed about a loss), it’s about addressing an issue which is a problem and feels like it is getting worse every season. That could be my personal perspective but based on comments I read and hear regularly from other coaches and parents (and based on games I watch every weekend), it does seem to be the case that refereeing standards (and attitudes, importantly) are certainly not improving, even if at best they are not regressing. This isn’t intended to be ref-bashing by the way; I’ve been a ref myself for a long time and try to support them as best I can. I just feel it’s reached a point where I’m struggling to now support the majority of the referees I see on a weekly basis (it’s not all refs but it is many of them unfortunately) because they are having issues with two things which directly influence how games progress and develop (and this affects the safety of players): 1. The laws of the game and knowing how to interpret them correctly. 2. Attitude and communication with players and coaches. There is a huge ‘us vs them’ issue (perhaps on both sides) and refs are increasingly rude and dismissive, refusing to communicate at all with either players or coaches. The second point might be similar to how people sometimes explain police arrogance and brutality; police have to deal with a lot of sh*t and referees are in a similar position. Often, their decisions are questioned even when correct and so there is naturally probably an element of frustration and lack of patience on many referees’ parts. However, I personally don’t feel this has to be a case of “I know better than you so don’t dare question me” which is how I see and hear many refs reacting to any question, regardless of how the question is voiced. At the risk of sounding arrogant, based on the level I officiated both in the UK and here in SoCal, invariably the opposite is true when I ask a question; I usually already know the point of law but I think it is fair to give refs a chance to briefly explain what they saw. Even better, I hope and pray they will do what I did plenty of times as a ref…admit they made a mistake! It’s ok, we all make mistakes. When you make one and cannot admit it, regardless of the situation (refereeing, life, whatever), invariably your refusal to admit an error makes a situation worse. If referee courses and information encouraged budding refs to be honest and admit errors, I can promise from experience that referees’ lives would be easier. CSL have introduced a center referee rating system that I’m told will be shared with ref assignors so this might help them assign more games to the more competent refs. With the ref shortage though (there is still a shortage, right?), they can probably only do so much on this front. Does SCDSL have anything similar? I saw Michelle's email saying that they deal with ref issues swiftly but does anyone know exactly what they do? Ideas and thoughts anyone? I’m always interested to hear what people’s views are on topics like this and I know this board has a lot of very informed parents and club officials, as well as many respected and knowledgeable referees. I think it's fair to say that everyone contributes towards issues getting out of hand; coaches, parents and referees (even players sometimes). If we can come up with any measures or ideas to make the game experience better for our kids, we should put ego's aside and make it happen.