To be an outstanding WCSOA soccerofficial you must master and maintainthree skill sets:1. Knowledge of the rules2. Physical fitness3. Courage and understanding to make the right calls
1. Knowledge of the rules• Applying rules to critical areas (special situations): a. Offsides b. Fouls and misconduct (yellow/red cards), which includes dissent c. Penalty kick decisions d. Challenges with the goalkeeper e. Equipment violations f. Substitutions g. Injury management, i.e. possible concussions h. Restarts (safety of the player is most important)
Knowing the rules enhancesyour confidence in calls youwhistle or do not whistle
2. Physical fitness• Developing and maintaining fitness is the most challenging of the three tasks.• Officials need a good on-the-field presence. A positive physical appearance provides a solid foundation for coaches and players to respect you.• By being fit you can use all of your thought processes to use the rules and make the right calls.
• Allows the official to “get to the play”: a. Coffin corner as the trail official b. Boxing in the area of the ball c. Helping out on restarts after a foul as the trail official d. Corner kicks:trail just outside the penalty area e. Lead official always being even with the second to last defender
Thus, be fit enough to handle your assignedmatch. If you are close to the play, coacheswill have a hard time complaining about calls,and you are making things easier for you andyour brother official by having much bettercoverage in the two-man system.Making wrong decisions because you can’tkeep up with the pace of the match will makeyour job much more problematic, not only foryourself, but for your brother official as well.By being close to the play it makes it mucheasier to “sell the call”.
3. Courage and understanding to make the right calls• Soccer is more than a set of rules. It is a series of judgments and interpretations.• Be preventive and pro-active in dealing with challenging situations on the field (courage).• Develop an assortment of verbal and non- verbal means to deal with coaches and players.• Be prepared to use all your tools (including cards) when needed in the match. Do not hesitate, but act with confidence.• Be in control of the match-control the “controllables”.
• Stay mentally focused for 80+ minutes. You have to be “on your game” before it even starts. Start out the match at 100% and then get better as the match progresses.• No match is ever the same and soccer allows us the ability to make constant improvement.• Recognition: a. Persistent infringement b. Contact with the goalkeeper c. Narrow focus on two opponents d. Tactical foul i.e. breaking up an attack e. Off ball fouls f. Constantly watch players during dead ball periods (critical times): 1. After a goal is scored. 2. On a free kick after a foul.
• Trouble in most matches occurs when officials either do not sense trouble “brewing”, or do not act decisively when it becomes fact. If you can recognize these critical areas then you are on your way to a well managed match. An official’s quantity of calls does not equate to courage, but his or her quality of calls does. Remain in charge with proper utilization of people and situational management skills.
When you are working a soccer match:• You need to be both mentally and physically fit and focused on doing the right job.• Know the rule book and be able to execute decisions in a split second.• Strive to get every call right.• Be consistent with your calls throughout the entire match. (If it is a foul in the 1st minute of play, then it is a foul in the 80th minute).• Make players safety most important. There is no better feeling than knowing that you gave everything you had for 80+ minutes. Art Hamm, WCSOA Interpreter
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