Here we go again, every year it's the same thing. Let's bash all the refs!! They're fat, lazy, don't know the rules, egotistical, bad knees, out of shape...... You guys, ( and I'm talking to the thousands of people on this forum) but really I'm talking to YOU... Why don't you do something about it. You know the the rules, your in shape, your in the prime of your life. Your a male between the age of 35-50, you have weekends off and are a reliable, intelligent guy. Why don't you step up and become a ref!! Why don't you step up and help foster this fledgling game of soccer here in the USA that you all believe should be a the same level as the European nations. Step up, give up your weekends, go run around in the heat, on crappy fields and listen to guys like you yell at you for 4 hours a day for basically minimum wage. Why don't YOU step up and become a ref?? Oh, I know why you don't....because you're all family men. Basically good guys with a couple of kids at home. You love your kids and enjoy spending time with them. So much so in fact, that you dont have the desire to give up some of the best memories your ever going to have with them. You would rather watch your kids play sports every weekend!! Who wouldn't!!! I don't blame you, I do the same thing!! We would all rather sit back and spend the fleeting moments that we have with our children watching them play sports, than have somebody else carpool our kids to a game while we go voluntarily ref somebody else's kids 30 miles in the opposite direction. It's understandable and nobody can blame you for being a great parent... But...lets stop bashing the men and women who do give up their weekends of watching their kids, family and loved ones play their games!! They do sacrifice a lot to make sure your little Johnny can get his game in. They are in the sun all day, running up and down bumpy fields with no shade. (Have you ever tried running on a crappy field with goffer holes and never looking down to see where you are stepping because you are watching the ball so you don't make a mistake - ITS NOT EASY!). I have yet to see anybody offer a ref a nice cold bottle of water to cool down during the run of play when it's a hundred or an orange slice at half. So... Here's my point: since the majority of the primary ideal work force ( AGES 35 - 50) for refs is sitting on the sidelines being good family men and women, watching THEIR kids play, why don't we stop bashing these refs. Let's show some compassion, be grateful there is somebody to pick up the slack so that you can get that great picture, have that celebratory lunch right after the game, analyze the shortcomings of the coach and other players on the team (that's for SoCalUnited), and spend time with team friends and family that has come to support your child. It's time to change our attitude towards refs, and look at why things are the way they are.....and be grateful for what we have.