Soccer America on Refereeing Archive: Can soccer learn from rugby and cricket?

From sideline abuse to VAR, here's a collection of Soccer America articles on referee-related issues. In our recent coverage, Ian Plenderleith and Beau Dure  explore what soccer can learn from other sports. Paul Gardner critiques lenient reffing in the MLS playoffs. Randy Vogt with Joe Machnik advocate for college and high school to give refs control of timekeeping.

Rugby can show soccer the way on 'emotional' dissent by Ian Plenderleith
"Rugby has always been serious about applying its rules on sportsmanship and fair play. In soccer, we pay lip service to those same rules."

What soccer can learn from cricket's transparency -- and other ways to improve VAR by Beau Dure
"Cricket has the most sophisticated tech of any sport’s replay system."

High scoring adds sparkle to playoffs -- but MLS should look closely at faulty refereeing by Paul Gardner
"The referees seemed to be bending over backward to avoid giving penalty kicks or red cards.  As I'm not a fan of conspiracy theories, I shall back away from the idea that the referees had been instructed to keep 22 players on the field. But would they need to be so directed? They are more aware than anyone of the criticism they would face for “deciding the game” with a crucial penalty or red card. What the referees might need is a talk telling them that they have to enforce the rules regardless -- something that they systematically did not do."

Logic demands the NCAA and high school change their timekeeping rules by Randy Vogt
“Unfortunately, time-wasting in soccer is prevalent. The NCAA does not recognize time-wasting during their many substitutions including re-entry. As such, NCAA playing time is generally less than the time played internationally. Yet, the ref cannot add time. Therefore, the spirit of the game is changed as time can expire before a legitimately earned corner kick or free kick is taken and the ref is in a ‘no-win’ situation whether or not to stop the clock. And even worse, time can expire with the ball about to cross the goal line as in this game.”

Why is 'clear and obvious' not clear and obvious? by Ian Plenderleith
"While it was our duty to know the rules by heart, once out on the field the referee was the ultimate judge, jury and executioner."

Coaches should learn the rules -- and here's how by Beau Dure
It's bad enough when coaches abuse refs, and even more atrocious when the coaches are wrong because they don't know the rule.

Ending ref abuse starts with the coaches by Mike Woitalla
"Obviously, there's something about the sports environment that unleashes emotions powerful enough to destroy a reasonable person's sense of decorum."

Soccer's new rule changes -- a ref's view by Ian Plenderleith
"Referees are now be able to show coaches yellow and red cards for poor sideline behavior. The clear use of cards rids the three-stage verbal warning process' ambiguity."

Coaching young players to respect the ref by Ian Plenderleith
"It's therefore imperative to educate young players right from the start about the importance of respecting the referee. It will improve the atmosphere on any team, and consequently hold the players together as a unit if they focus on the soccer, not on the official.

What leagues want from their refs by Randy Vogt

A Ref's View: The Value of a Good Coach by Randy Vogt

Referee mechanics on free kicks: handling delay tactics, the 10-yard rule, and wall scuffles by Randy Vogt

Referee assessment, coaching and mentoring by Ahmet Guvener
Coaching can be done at all levels of refereeing from grassroots to the professional game.

Forty years in the LOTG: Grassroots vs. the professional game by Ahmet Guvener

The requirements of modern soccer officiating (1) by Ahmet Guvener

The requirements of modern soccer officiating (2) by Ahmet Guvener


The misuse of VAR, the sins of goalkeepers ... and a big thank you to Lee Dixon by Paul Gardner
"Is there not a single referee somewhere willing to speak up and protest that, by not making these calls, referees are almost inviting serious injuries?"

Goalkeepers revisited by Paul Gardner

Another colossal VAR gaffe in England by Paul Gardner

The devious problem of tactical fouling by Paul Gardner

A weekend with the VARmints by Paul Gardner

VARs -- a new elite group among referees, something soccer does not need by Paul Gardner

The VAR/goalkeeper mess -- an IFAB production by Paul Gardner

Oh dear, defenders feel threatened ... again by Paul Gardner

Carding the coach will be a rule for the greater good by Ian Plenderleith

Refs impress at coaches' gathering with VAR demos and tales from the field by Beau Dure
"But for all the gadgetry referees have at their disposal today, the game still depends on judgment and what Webb calls 'the feel for the game.'"

How a simple rule change could improve soccer's flow and fair play by Ian Plenderleith
"It nearly always pays to foul in soccer -- momentum is lost, possession is wasted from the resultant free kicks, and the punishments for infringement are too lenient."

'League refereeing' vs. 'International refereeing' by Ahmet Guvener
"The similarity where English FA and U.S. Soccer stand in terms of their low number of FIFA referees is astounding."

Glaring errors in the VAR-less EPL prove the value of video referee by Ian Plenderleith
"When the technology's been properly used, we've become accustomed to seeing clear injustices quickly ironed out."

Become a ref! It's fun, really by Beau Dure
"Obnoxious parents and coaches aside, this is a fun gig, as strange as that sounds."

What it takes to be a world-class referee by Ahmet Guvener
"One thing is clear: soccer refereeing in the USA has been well ahead of its men's national team performance in the last few years."

How do referees improve? by Randy Vogt
"For me, there are five ways that refs can improve and I will describe each way here in order of importance."

Should referee calls be swayed by player reputations? by Paul Gardner
"In soccer, a referee is automatically both cop and jury, and is also allowed some of a judge’s discretion in allotting punishment."

VAR: The World Cup, and beyond by Ahmet Guvener
The number of cameras and their positioning at the stadium make a lot qualitative difference for the VAR system.

Referees and communication: a long history of non-compliance by Paul Gardner
"Referees continue to nurture a closed culture of secrecy (though less arrogantly than in the good old days) and the authorities -- FIFA, that is -- evidently support them."

The Phantom Foul that injured Harry Kane exposes rulebook flaw by Paul Gardner
"It seems so absurd that a player can commit a dangerous physical foul yet the rules declare that the foul simply never existed."

Violent Goalkeeping (Part 1): Players at risk as soccer ignores its own rules by Paul Gardner
Violent Goalkeeping (Part 2): FIFA must radically rethink the goalkeeper's role by Paul Gardner
"Goalkeepers, we are told, need protection. No doubt we all agree. Up to a point."

Should refs call players by name? by Randy Vogt
"He would go to the colleges’ websites and memorize the number and the players for both teams. And he would address the players by first name during the game."

Referees should get a vote! And a rulebook would be nice by Mike Woitalla
"The 150,000 U.S. Soccer-registered referees have experience at all levels of the game, and interact with every sector of the soccer community -- players, parents, coaches, administrators."

Reffing according to the score? by Randy Vogt
"Often the winning coach asks my advice on what to do to not continuously score goals."

How to Retain Referees (Part 1) by Randy Vogt
How to Retain Referees (Part 2): Start by getting coaches and refs in same room by Randy Vogt
"We lose most refs in their first two years of refereeing with verbal abuse by the adults in youth soccer being the No. 1 reason for refs quitting. "

Ref abuse isn't a consumer right by Greg Winkler

For all of Randy Vogt's youth refereeing columns, go HERE.

Next story loading loading..

Discover Our Publications