Addressing Your Referee Shortage

I am still admiring your energy in publishing these monthly Komments—what a work.  Still, so many things are different from how we approach youth soccer in Holland vs. the USA.

This time the article of Mr. Ferre, “Officiating Games Using TWO Referees,” made me smile.  Especially when he wrote, “Its use has become necessary due to the constant decline in the number of licensed and available officials..”  This statement surprised me the most.

Maybe you know this already, but here is how we organize our games in Holland.

  • U8, U9 — (Play 6 VS 6 on 1/4 field).
  • U10 — (Play 8VS 8 on ½ field).

The home team manager, “de spelbegeleider” (game supervisor with no whistle), walks/ jogs on the sideline during the game. Parents are on the opposite sideline and can only cheer for the players.  No other comments are allowed!

There is no offside, and when something happens, he calls “STOP” and looks at the players’ reactions and what they want to do next.  In 90% of these situations, the players know, and the game automatically restarts.

So, we have no problems with referee shortages here in these age groups. Official referees are not used until we play 11 vs. 11.

I wanted to share our successful approach with Mr. Ferre and hopefully help him solve his referee shortage dilemma.

Have a great day,

Kind regards / met vriendelijke groet,

Ton de Hoop, Owner-Counselor Winning Mood (35 years),  Emeritus UEFA “A” – “B” Instructor for KNVB and CIOS.