As you probably realize, some referees are better than others. There are very few great ones. The one thing that is (or should be) true of all referees is that they don’t care who wins. This means they see the game differently than the players and coaches.
For example, during a game, two players are challenging for the ball. After the challenge, one is dribbling away and believes he made a great play. The other is sitting on the ground and believes he was fouled.
Everyone else who saw that play agrees with one or the other of those players based on what team they are supporting. The sole exception is the referee(s). The referee’s point of view is centered on identifying any infringement of the Laws in that challenge, determining whether or not it was significant enough to affect play, and then whether to stop play or apply advantage.
The single most important phrase in the Laws is “If, in the opinion of the referee,…”. The referee’s opinion is what it is all about. Yes, this gives the referee a huge amount of authority over the game; it is intended to. You don’t have to agree with those opinions. You just aren’t allowed to disagree out loud (see Law 12, the section on Dissent). Therefore, “lobbying” the referee is forbidden.
From now on, remember to let the referee make the calls as they see fit. Embrace the joy of watching your team have an absolutely FUNtastic time while….
Respecting the Referee’s Authority!
John Hodgson is the Commissioner for the California Youth Soccer Association, District VII