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Game-fixing; Turf wars; Silly ref gesture; case for school ball
by Mike Woitalla, June 9th, 2011 2:57PM

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TAGS:  high school boys, high school girls, youth boys, youth girls

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By Mike Woitalla

THE FIX WAS IN. The coach of an Omaha FC U-13 girls team resigned after it was revealed he instructed his team to allow the opponents, a team from the same club, to score the game-winning goal that would send them to the state final.

Marjie Ducey of the Omaha World-Herald reported that Coach Doug Trenerry's team was out of contention to reach the final so w ith three minutes left in a scoreless tie he had his team intentionally concede a goal.

The Nebraska State Soccer Association ordered a replay of the games among the three teams in contention for a spot in the final to decide who advances to the regionals.

"No matter what the sanction or forfeits, somebody would have been penalized," said Jeff Hulbert, executive director of the state association. "Let the three teams left, for the good of competition, play the game and win or lose on the field, not in a hearing. The coaches have agreed and are moving forward with the competition."

The incident was reported by Jacque Tevis-Butler, the coach of the team that would have benefitted from the gift goal, after Trenerry told her what he had done.

* * * *


TURF WAR. A teacher in Rocky Point, N.Y., who also heads the Rocky Point Youth Soccer Club, is in hot water after sending an e-mail to fellow teachers asking them to not send students home with a flier advertising another league, reports the North Shore Sun.

The e-mail read: "I am asking everyone for a big big big favor. Please please please please... Support Rocky Point Youth Soccer and DO NOT SEND HOME THE SOCCER FLYERS THAT ARE FROM FJS SOCCER or other towns. They are NOT a Rocky Point-based program. Just send home flyers that are only from Rocky Point Youth Soccer Club."

* * * *


FROM THE FIELD: REF WATCH.
I've seen refs do this in pro games and don't get it. It made even less sense when I saw it on several occasions during a youth tournament last weekend:

A player goes down and the ref deems it wasn't because of a foul, so he gestures and tells the player to "get up!"

What's the point of that?

There's no rule that players have to hurry off the ground after they fall. And what if the player is hurt? Certainly rushing them to get up isn't wise.

My guess is the youth refs are mimicking the high-level refs without considering how nonsensical this is.

* * * *


HIGH SCHOOL vs. CLUB. Last month's item on elite clubs encouraging their players to skip high school soccer prompted this response from former U.S. national team star and MLS coach Brian Quinn.

Quinn, now a San Diego-area youth coach and girls high school coach, has had five of his children play both club and high school ball.

"I feel that the 'developmental' aspect of the game is a veil for the inadequacy of some of our coaches at the club level," Quinn says. "High School soccer is great for kids. The approach for the three months that the kids play should be to enjoy every minute with their friends -- and if they do, they get so much out of it.

"There are so many more opportunities for kids to become 'leaders' at high school than there are at club level because of the built in hierarchy that does not exist at club level. No one wants to tell their peers at club level what to do or how to do it. At high school the expectation is for the seniors and juniors to lead and mentor and guide the younger players. This does happen!

"There is no magic formula in producing the 'fantastic players' other than the drive, ability and determination of the player. This is why I believe we tend to overrate coaching when in effect we only need to provide the environment for kids to thrive -- it does not matter where it is."

* * * *


... Thirteen people, including children, were injured during a youth soccer tournament in Oceanside, N.Y., last weekend when three inflatable "bounce houses" blew away in strong winds. Most suffered minor injuries but one woman was critical condition, according to the Long Island Press. ...

... AYSO welcomes George Kuntz as its Player Development Technical Advisor. He will remain head coach of UC Irvine's men's team, which he has coached for 17 years. John Ouellette recently retired as AYSO National Coach but steps into another newly created position as AYSO National Coach Instructor. Amid the professionalization of American youth sports, Ouellette's leadership for nearly two decades in AYSO's coaching education program has helped keep the volunteer model alive and ensured that hundreds of thousands of American children still have access to low-cost youth soccer. ...

... Our video of the week features an 11-year-old from Herndon, Va., coolly scoring with a scorpion kick. Watch it HERE ...


(Mike Woitalla, the executive editor of Soccer America, coaches youth soccer for East Bay United in Oakland, Calif. His youth soccer articles are archived at YouthSoccerFun.com.)



0 comments
  1. Ken Sweda
    commented on: June 9, 2011 at 6:07 p.m.
    Number one ranked girls program in the country (a local club) likes to enter two teams in the same tournament age group, then manipulates the players on each team (mysteriously sitting some out at various times) to ensure the brackets unfold to their advantage. Happened at the U10 level at a local tournament last year. Coach from a team that got nudged out of the semis by this tactic noticed it, told an opposing coach about it (one whose team also suffered from this tactic), and was so affected by the situation and the other team's classy handling of it that he decided to bring his team over to the other team's club en masse the next season so they could find a way to beat the number one team. When you have coaches going to these lengths (legally and fairly, but still extreme)to combat unfair manipulaton of the process, you know you have a problem.

  1. Kent James
    commented on: June 10, 2011 at 12:12 p.m.
    Referees who tell a player to get up are essentially telling the player to "stop pretending you were fouled, I'm not buying it." While this may have some utility (discouraging dives or letting the non-diving team know that you won't be fooled), it had better be used very sparingly (kind of indicating to the player that "I'm not sure enough that you dove to give you a card, but it's pretty close and if I see it again, you will be carded"). When used unwisely, the ref can add insult to injury; nothing like missing a foul and then telling a player who was truly injured by the foul to stop faking it. Such actions generally don't help a refs credibility so I'd generally recommend against it; the reward is not worth the risk.

  1. James Madison
    commented on: June 14, 2011 at 12:25 a.m.
    In youth play, in case of doubt, a referee should regard a player who goes down as injured. However, in their zeal to copy from adults who put a ball out of play when a player is injured in the absence of a natural stoppage, young players may put a ball out to stop play when a player goes down even when the player is not injured. An alert referee who sees that the player down is not injured can forestall such unnecessary stoppages by getting the down player up.


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