Vision Problems? Join Us!

By: Mr. Wilson on February 25, 2009
Soccer officiating is a great way to stay in shape, make some money, and support youth sport activities. Depending on your age and ability level a variety of opportunities ranging in intensity from relaxed to hyper-competitive are available. Soccer's basics are easy to learn, so new referees can get started after just a little study. The real fun part (in my opinion!) is that soccer's complexities will continue to challenge you for a lifetime. The high school soccer season is only weeks away and we need new referees in Lincoln and surrounding areas. Our referees work games for Lincoln Public Schools; Lincoln Lutheran; Lincoln Pius X; Norris; Waverly; and, for the first time this year, Seward. Game assignments are flexible according to your needs and abilities. If you would like to get started refereeing or if you have questions, please contact me at mrwilson at lincolnite dot com or post in the comments.


See what your friends and neighbors have to say about this.

February 25, 2009 at 2:45PM

Abuse officials.  Whether they are soccer officials or basketball referees I love to yell at the officials.

My all time favorite line is:

If you had one more eye you would be a cyclops…........

Any other good ones out there?

Mr. Wilson
February 25, 2009 at 3:03PM

Oh so you’re THAT guy, are ya? 😊

Just don’t be the person who abuses youth officials. I HATE that person and I have been known to engage in some pretty vicious public shamings at their expense. Furthermore, the Nebraska State Soccer Association takes youth referee abuse very seriously. They don’t hesitate to ban offenders or even to press criminal charges.

Old guys like me, on the other hand? Bring it on! I just ask that you keep it creative. Nobody—spectators, players, coaches, or referees—likes a heckler with nothing original to say. I can’t tell you how many times a player has apologized to me for her obnoxious dad / mom / grandpa / etc., but nobody ever has to apologize for the creative hecklers.

Dave K
February 25, 2009 at 7:00PM

<i>They don

Mr. Wilson
February 25, 2009 at 7:38PM

“What kind of criminal charges have been pressed?”

I’d better back off a bit and just say that I know that police involvement has been discussed in several instances over the past few years. I can’t say with certainty if charges were ever pursued. But to illustrate some of what happens:

* My father was shoved by an adult player five years ago or so. He refused to press charges, but that player will never again play sanctioned soccer in Nebraska.
* One of my assistants was spit on by an adult player last spring. I don’t know how the police involvement panned out, but again, that player will never again play sanctioned soccer in Nebraska.
* Two years ago a youth referee was bumped by a spectator. The last I heard the referee’s parents did intend to press charges. The spectator received a lifetime ban from all NSSA-sanctioned events.

Those events (and a few others I am familiar with) are just from Lincoln.

To be clear, this isn’t just a soccer problem. I have officiated other sports and I can confirm there is plenty of stupidity all over. Still, when you factor in the number of participants and the number of opportunities for trouble, the incident rate is remarkably low in this region. Local efforts—e.g. the “Let ‘Em Play” campaign—have really paid dividends.

The average sports official these days is very unlikely, in any given season, to be party to or even directly observe a “major” incident. I’ve been involved in sports officiating for 15 years. In that time I have witnessed exactly one such incident: the spitting incident I mentioned above. There aren’t actually that many war stories out there. Most of them are the same story recycled.

February 25, 2009 at 7:55PM

“Hey Ray!”


“Ray Charles! Love your tunes, dude but you sure can’t ref!”

I once coached kids baseball and got the boot for laughing at an ump.  The pitcher dropped the ball and he called a balk.  There were no runners on base.

Mr. Wilson
February 25, 2009 at 8:10PM

Oh please PLEASE tell me he sent the batter to first base. That would totally complete the story. 😉

Full disclosure: In my first season I caused all sorts of havoc by confusing “foul” and “foul tip”. I’m sure coaches are out there right now telling stories about that stupid kid umpire.

I umpired baseball for several years. Very, very few people truly understand the rules (umpires included). I am proud to say that before I stopped umping I knew the rules and their interpretations inside and out. I could even cite rule numbers.

Dave K
February 25, 2009 at 11:03PM

That reminds me—do you happen to know what happened to the dude who did the Daniel-san to my man region? I was hoping he’d be suspended for a very long, if not banished forever.  That could have very seriously injured me, and I would have definitely pressed assault charges had I been.

Mr. Wilson
February 25, 2009 at 11:35PM

lol @ “did the Daniel-san”

No, I don’t know what happened to him. I do remember writing a full report on the incident. Some red cards just get a simple report, a la “Player X broke law Y when he did Z”. That incident deserved (and received) a more thorough report, complete with the magic keywords that ensure the report gets a second look. (Variations on “violent”, “assault”, and “fight” are three.)

So based on that, my knowledge of how some other situations have been handled, and the fact I haven’t seen the guy since, I have to assume he received more than your standard punishment of a one game suspension. Beyond the initial game report referees rarely have any say over what happens to a player. However, if we do our job correctly with the game report, the Powers That Be almost always get the punishment right.

February 26, 2009 at 2:27PM

Just wanted to note that your daily blog titles always crack me up!

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