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The Darien Soccer Association is dedicated to providing our youth players with an enjoyable and educational athletic experience.  We provide players of all skill levels a structure built around sportsmanship, dedication and individual development.

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Youth Soccer Referees Need Support-Not Harassment
05/21/2017
"Youth soccer referees arguably have one of the toughest officiating...
Tryout Dates
05/11/2017
  You Must be Registered to Tryout, Registration Ends 5/15th...
Heads Up: Concussions in Youth Sports
04/22/2015
"Heads Up: Concussion in Youth Sports" is designed to help...
 
Youth Soccer Referees Need Support-Not Harassment

"Youth soccer referees arguably have one of the toughest officiating jobs in comparison with basketball, football, baseball, or hockey officials..."

 

“Call it both ways!!”
“You’re blind!!”
“Blow your whistle!!”
“Open your eyes!!”
“You need glasses!!”

Do these phrases sound familiar? They probably do if you’re a referee, or if you’re a parent trying to enjoy your child’s soccer game on the sidelines.

Contempt and disrespect towards game officials continues to plague both sidelines, from disgruntled spectators who feel that everything is being called against their team; to screaming coaches who seem to have a better view from 60 yards away.

Needless to say, there is a very high probability that the majority of these “sideline officials” have never bothered to take a referee class, or made an attempt to read the Laws of the Game.

Being a sports referee is not an easy task; it is something that requires concentration, patience, excellent communication skills, fitness, and most of all judgement based on the rules of the sport. It is this judgement that usually comes under extreme criticism often regardless of the level of competition.

Youth soccer referees arguably have one of the toughest officiating jobs in comparison with basketball, football, baseball, or hockey officials. This is due to the number of players involved (assuming an 11v11 game), the large area to cover, the continuous action, and the split second decisions which are usually correct only 50% of the time based on sideline remarks.

Given these circumstances, one would think that both coaches and spectators would be more understanding when a call is either missed or judged incorrectly.

Youth soccer leagues all over the country lose referees, especially young referees, every year due to harassment and intimidation from spectators and coaches. Once the shouting and crude remarks aimed at officials begins from the sidelines, it is certainly to be followed by the players on the field.

Referees are not perfect and even though some may be assigned to officiate a game above their ability, no one deserves to be verbally or physically abused. Parents have a responsibility to teach their children the importance of being respectful to a person in authority, and in a soccer game, the referee is that person; regardless whether it is a 13-year old or a more senior person.Copy of Register for the upcoming Webinar (1)

It is time for youth soccer leagues all over the country to take a stand against referee abuse, especially when the target is a young official.

I propose that leagues require persistent offenders (parent or coach), those individuals who consistently yell at referees, to become certified and work several games before being allowed to return to the field as a spectator. Another suggestion is to implement a parent education program that requires parents to attend a preseason meeting where sideline behavior is addressed; including a no tolerance policy towards referee abuse.

One other idea is to have parents officiate in-house games at the youngest ages where results really do not matter; this may even encourage them to work more competitive games. The more parents can see the challenges associated with refereeing, the more understanding they will hopefully be when, as spectators, a call does not go their way.

Ideas as those mentioned above may not lead to a large inflow of officials but it might result in the recruitment of a few new officials for your league; not to mention the possible removal of a screaming parent from the sideline. If further encouragement is needed, consider the following reasons for becoming a referee:

  • Only job you’ll have where you’re the boss once you show up.
  • Better understanding of the game.
  • If you’re a parent of a child who travels frequently to out of state tournaments, it is a magnificent way to cover your travel expenses; including mileage, hotel, and meals. Most tournaments are always in need of referees and are willing to cover some or most of these expenses.
  • Great way to save for the holidays or a family vacation if you’re a parent.
  • Excellent pay for kids and an perfect way to learn the game from a different perspective

Could your soccer league function without referees? Probably not!

It is critical for leagues to encourage its membership to learn all sides of the game. So next time you reach your boiling point at a game due to what you consider to be poor officiating, ask yourself the following questions,

“Would I be yelling if my child or other family member was the referee?”
“Can I do better?”

I would like to say that in most cases, the answer to the first question is most likely “NO”, but as we all know, there are always exceptions to the rule.

If the answer to the second question is “YES” and you are not currently a certified official, then make sure to register for the next referee class, purchase the necessary uniforms and accessories, and become part of the solution.

If the answer is “NO”, then do us all a favor and just keep your mouth closed.


by posted 05/21/2017
Tryout Dates

 

You Must be Registered to Tryout, Registration Ends 5/15th (before late fees)

 

TRYOUT DATES FOR FALL 2017 SEASON

(TENTATIVE)

 

 

Boys                  
Birth Year Division   Tryout #1 Time Location   Tryout #2 Time Location
2009 U9   Monday May 22nd 4pm-6pm Sono Field House   Monday June 5th 4pm-6pm Royle
2008 U10   Monday June 5th 4pm-5:30pm MMS Upper   Wednesday June 7th 5:30pm-7pm MMS Upper
2007 U11   Monday June 5th 5:30pm-7pm MMS Upper   Wednesday June 7th 4pm-5:30pm MMS Upper
2006 U12   Tuesday May 23rd 4pm-5:30pm MMS Lower   1 tryout only    
2005 U13   Thursday May 25th 4pm-6pm SONO FIELD HOUSE - UPDATED   1 tryout only    
2003/2004 *U14/U15 Combined   Wednesday May 31st 4pm-6pm MMS Upper (updated)   1 tryout only    
                   
Girls                  
Birth Year Division   Tryout #1 Time Location   Tryout #2 Time Location
2009 U9   Tuesday May 23 4pm-6pm Sono Field House   Tuesday May 30th 4pm-6pm Royle
2008 U10   Tuesday May 30 4pm-5:30pm MMS Upper   Thursday June 1st 5:30pm-7pm MMS Upper
2007 U11   Tuesday May 30 5:30pm-7pm MMS Upper   ThursdayJune 1st 4pm-5:30pm MMS Upper
2006 U12   Tuesday June 6th 4pm-5:30pm MMS Lower   Thursday June 8th 4pm-5:30pm MMS Lower
2005 U13   Thursday June 8th 5:30pm-7:30pm MMS Lower   1 tryout only    
2003/2004 *U14/U15 Combined   Monday June 5th 4pm-6pm

MMS LOWER (updated back to Lower)

  1 tryout only    

 


by posted 05/11/2017
Heads Up: Concussions in Youth Sports

"Heads Up: Concussion in Youth Sports" is designed to help coaches, parents and fellow athletes recognize the symptoms of a concussion and provides actions that need to be taken when an athlete is showing signs of a concussion.  Materials are available and include:

  • An online training for coaches;
  • A fact sheet for coaches;
  • A fact sheet for athletes;
  • A fact sheet for parents;
  • A magnet with concussion facts for coaches and parents;
  • A poster with concussion facts for coaches and sports administrators; and
  • A quiz for coaches, athletes, and parents.

See here for information:  CDC/Heads Up

Take a concussion training course: Online Training

 

Player/Parent Concussion Awareness Form

 


by posted 04/22/2015
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Useful Links

3. Connecticut State Referee Program

7. You Make the Call

Blue Wave Kickers

5. U.S. Soccer Federation