Join Now  | 
Home About Contact Us Privacy & Security Advertise
Soccer America Daily Soccer World Daily Special Edition Around The Net Soccer Business Insider College Soccer Reporter Youth Soccer Reporter Soccer on TV Soccer America Classifieds Game Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalk Soccer America Confidential Youth Soccer Insider World Cup Watch
RSS Feeds Archives Manage Subscriptions Subscribe
Order Current Issue Subscribe Manage My Subscription Renew My Subscription Gift Subscription
My Account Join Now
Tournament Calendar Camps & Academies Soccer Glossary Classifieds
Ref Watch: Are All Games Equally Important?
by Randy Vogt, March 18th, 2014 9:27PM
Subscribe to Youth Soccer Insider

MOST READ
TAGS:  referees, youth boys, youth girls

MOST COMMENTED

By Randy Vogt

During the 1990s, I worked as a Senior Art Director at Manhattan ad agency Lowe McAdams. One of my first assignments there was for a pro bono client, the Pharmaceutical Advertising Council. Pro bono (meaning "for the public good") work was done on a voluntary basis by Lowe McAdams and other agencies as we received no compensation.

We worked very diligently on this account and produced excellent results. One of the clients, Ken Jones, sent a thank-you letter to Lowe McAdams stating that we worked as if “we were their top client.” Our agency received great publicity, I received a promotion shortly thereafter and another client from the Pharmaceutical Advertising Council, Dick Sawyer, became a reference when I started looking for a new job at the turn of the millennium.

Yet not everyone at Lowe McAdams was pleased with our work. A longtime employee there who constantly made mountains out of molehills (any of my former co-workers will know exactly who it is if they are reading this!) complained about the time we spent on this account instead of just concentrating on the paying clients.

Still working in advertising and marketing but having left behind the many hours of ad agency life more than a decade ago (in part so I could concentrate more on refereeing), I find two very different attitudes on this topic. Many executives believe the $10 million account is 10 times more important than the $1 million account. Many employment agencies would rather place a position paying $100,000 than $30,000 as the commission would be much higher. And many realtors would much rather sell an apartment on Park Place than on Baltic Avenue.

Bringing this topic to refereeing our favorite sport, are all soccer games equally as important? My answer is an emphatic yes. The Division 6 game is just as important as the Division 1 game. You as the referee might be officiating six or seven games that weekend (in part because of a ref shortage in many places) but the kids are often playing one game that weekend and it means the world to them, no matter which division they are in.

Sadly, I have seen some referees place more importance on the games involving the better teams. Just as bad, I’ve seen refs officiating boys and men much more seriously than the same refs’ often lackadaisical approach when refereeing girls and women. Their body language tells me and everybody else that they do not want to be there.

No matter what the level of the game, people talk. Officials who work hard for all games get good reputations. Officials who take off a game or two do not.

I advanced because soccer’s version of Ken Jones and Dick Sawyer saw me working hard and realized that I had some potential so they wrote complimentary letters about me to the local referee association and league. If I had worked very hard only for the top teams or the highest-paying clients, I doubt that I would have ever moved up, both in and outside of soccer.

(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/)


6 comments
  1. feliks fuksman
    commented on: March 19, 2014 at 12:45 p.m.
    Enjoyed reading the story.
  1. feliks fuksman
    commented on: March 19, 2014 at 12:54 p.m.
    Moreover like the comparison; I guess it's the way you are, how you act, treat others (don't matter who they are), etc.
  1. Chris Morris
    commented on: March 19, 2014 at 3:08 p.m.
    Good article, Randy. Joe DiMaggio was asked why he always played hard even in an “unimportant” game. He famously replied, “Because there might be people there who have never seen me play before, and might never see me again.” Point being that motivation should come from within, not from external circumstances.
  1. Kent Pothast
    commented on: March 19, 2014 at 8:19 p.m.
    I only refereed kids but there was a difference in my officiating. I spent more time explaining the whys and wherefores of the calls to the "lesser" teams. Their coaches appreciated the help.
  1. Kent James
    commented on: March 20, 2014 at 4:59 p.m.
    While there are important differences in the difficulty of refereeing games, so that assignors will try to put the best refs on the most difficult games (which are not always the games at the highest level), once you've been assigned a game, and you are going to spend the time to do it, it should be a matter of pride and professionalism to do the game to the best of your ability. It's mostly a matter of attitude.
  1. Tim Jones
    commented on: March 25, 2014 at 9:34 a.m.
    I run a basketball league at the elementary school where I teach. I use former students that are still in middle school or high school as referees. I always have to remind my referees that the games might seem silly and unimportant to them, but they are important to the kids that are playing.

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




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Youth Soccer Insider
Tennessee SC's Ronnie Woodard: 'Start teaching and stop yelling'    
Last year marked the first time a club from Tennessee won a U.S. Youth Soccer national ...
Hugo Arellano is latest player from 2015 U.S. U-17 squad to make first division debut    
Hugo Arellano, the USA's captain at the 2015 U-17 World Cup who signed a Homegrown contract ...
The Ghana Connection continues: Osman is national boys player of the year    
For the third time in six years, the Gatorade National Boys Soccer Player of the Year ...
Schalke's U.S. teens eye first-team promotion    
Missing from the U.S. team that reached the quarterfinals of the 2017 U-20 World Cup were ...
Drink up: Hydration tips for summer soccer    
In a previous Youth Soccer Insider we discussed recognizing signs of heat illness. Now we will ...
Tab Ramos is bullish on USA after U-20 World Cup performance and DA progress    
The USA won its group at the 2017 U-20 World Cup and advanced to the quarterfinals, ...
And the Refs Who Do Care    
Recently, I wrote about the refs who don't care. They are the refs who do as ...
Heat Illness: How to recognize it in young athletes    
I am often asked this time of year about some strategies for coaches and parents to ...
The Refs Who Don't Care     
I was appalled as I saw my colleagues officiating. I was to ref the next game ...
USA has the momentum at Under-20 World Cup -- but toughest foe awaits    
The 17-year-old Josh Sargent has, for U-20 World Cup quarterfinalist USA, scored with his right foot, ...
>> Youth Soccer Insider Archives