Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySoccer World DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America Classifieds
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
Refereeing the Hot Areas
by Randy Vogt, May 14th, 2014 1:58AM

MOST READ
TAGS:  referees, youth boys, youth girls

MOST COMMENTED

By Randy Vogt

In soccer, most people are actually very logical and realize that referees cannot get all their decisions correct. Yet it’s very important that the officials get the great majority of the calls correct, particularly with the situations in the hot areas.

If I asked Soccer Americans to name the two hot areas of the field where it’s vital to make the right decisions, I think that most would know that one of the hot areas is the penalty area. After all, a decision here often leads to a goal or disallowing a goal. If it’s a penal foul committed by the defense inside the penalty area, it’s a penalty kick, most of which are converted. If it’s a foul or offside committed by the attacking team, the free kick is in the other direction, sometimes after a goal is disallowed.

The other hot area of the field is by the team’s benches as the team’s coaches are there as well as their substitutes (if they are not warming up).

When I started refereeing in 1978, there was a referee and two assistants, who were called linesmen at the time. Pro soccer than added a fourth official and UEFA has added additional assistant referees in the past few years. How interesting that these additional officials were added in the hot areas of the bench (fourth official) and by the goal (additional assistant referees).

It’s a pet peeve of mine but I have seen far too many referees allow much more contact, especially by the defense inside the penalty area, than they allow at midfield. I agree with Soccer America columnist Paul Gardner that too many referees favor the defense. I am still told by a number of refs in pre-game instructions to “make sure that we do not allow an illegal goal” while they do not mention to “make sure that we do not disallow a good goal.”

We have probably all seen refs applaud the AR for raising the flag in making a good offside decision. I try to also applaud the AR when the flag is left down as the player running onto the ball was onside while the player in the offside position is not interfering with play, an opponent or gaining an advantage.

I have never been an additional assistant referee but I have been a goal judge in the old Major Indoor Soccer League. The concept is the same although if I screwed up in the MISL, I did not have millions of people suddenly know my name and that has happened with the AAR who goofed (during the Ukraine-England game). So that he can escape the limelight, I need not put his name here but he was the ref for the Austria-USA friendly last November in which the AR did not see that a USA shot had just gone over the goal line.

I have been a fourth official which I do not enjoy as much as being a referee or an AR as I like to run. But no matter which position I am assigned, I always try to do my best.

Whether the ref has the help of AR’s, a fourth official or additional assistant referees, it’s very important to be vigilant in the hot areas.

(Randy Vogt has officiated over 8,000 games during the past three decades, from professional matches in front of thousands to 6-year-olds being cheered on by very enthusiastic parents. In his book, "Preventive Officiating," he shares his wisdom gleaned from thousands of games and hundreds of clinics to help referees not only survive but thrive on the soccer field. You can visit the book’s website at www.preventiveofficiating.com/)


1 comment
  1. R2 Dad
    commented on: May 14, 2014 at 11:26 a.m.
    Well put. I don't see the wrestling-in-th-18 on free kicks in the youth game like you'd see in a U19, men's league or the professionals, thankfully. It's one of the most difficult situations to deal with: 10-18 players inside the penalty area, all moving at the same time, with incidental and blatant contact, while the ball is in the air. How do you stop 4 or 5 defenders from wrestling with their marks, all at the same time? I've listened to FIFA referees give clinics and they're very zen while at the same time hyper-vigilant--it's like they belong to a religious order, don't know how they do it.


Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Youth Soccer Insider
Screaming at Children -- A Ref's Eye View     
It's amazing that no matter how many games you ref, no matter how much you prepare ...
Is it OK to play in pain?     
"What's the difference between discomfort and pain? And is it OK for me to keep playing ...
The benefits of pool play vs. traditional leagues for U-10s     
The Youth Soccer Insider asked Sam Snow, Technical Director of U.S. Youth Soccer, to explain the ...
Ref Watch: Why three is so much better than one     
When I moved to Florida for business 27 years ago, I lived and worked in Orlando ...
Tab Ramos auditions new talent for U-20 World Cup     
Coach Tab Ramos has called up three players to the U.S. U-20 national team, which is ...
George Altirs boosts New Jersey-area youth ball     
As a boy, George Altirs spent his free time playing as much soccer as possible in ...
Are tire crumbs on fields a cancer threat?    
Some environmental and health advocacy groups have claimed that the crumb rubber infill, used in artificial ...
A World Cup for Richie Williams, better late than never     
Richie Williams might just be the USA's most successful player who never played in a World ...
USA avoids debacle in U-17 World Cup qualifying    
Ultimately, the USA's quest to qualify for the 2015 Under-17 World Cup hinged on shots from ...
Americans down to one last chance at U-17 World Cup qualifying    
One of the U.S. national team program's consistencies for nearly three decades was that the USA ...
>> Youth Soccer Insider Archives