Shilin's Referee FAQ
A very good question. Please note that AYSL does not make any specific rule modification regarding goal keeper handling a pass-back. This technically means that we, as referees, are obligated to follow the FIFA laws, which would require an indirect free kick. However, this is not a concept easily taught to in-house U10 players. Therefore, as a matter of practicality, I am advising all of you to let it go at the in-house U10 level, unless both coaches ask you to enforce this law. It may be a good idea to ask both coaches before you start your game. For U12 and above, enforce the law without exceptions
We are all trained based on the FIFA rule book, but please make sure you understand all the rule exceptions for the youth games at different age levels. Particularly in U10 games, a goal keeper is considered to have possession of the ball when he/she puts any part of his/her hand on the ball. As always, safety must be you first and foremost concern. It cannot be emphasized more for the younger age divisions.
Shin-guards & Eyeglasses
And speaking of safety, there are two specific issues I would like to ask all of you to pay more attention to on the field. 1. Players with glasses -- All glasses must be safely secured by either a safety strap (must be tight enough so that the glasses will not come off during physical contact) or a pair of safety goggles over it. Of course the safety goggles themselves must be tightly secured on the player's face. If the glasses are covered by a pair of safety goggles, the player should be allowed to play. If there is only a safety strap, then only plastic-rim glasses are allowed, even if there is a wire-rim embedded in the plastic. Any metal rim must be completely embedded in the plastic rim. Half-rimmed glasses of any kind are not allowed. 2. Shin-guards must be worn inside the socks and be covered completely by the socks. Do not allow players to wear the shin-guards on the outside and then pull their long tube socks down over them. Shin-guards covered like that inevitably get exposed during game play. An exposed shin-guard is a safety risk for other players. Please do not take any safety issues lightly at any age level. As a referee, you need to be firm on safety. Remember, you are the referee and you are the one to decide what is safe. Do not let people persuade you something is safe when it is not, because the same people will be the first to blame you for not taking the safety precautions when an injury occurs. The most common excuse is "the last referee allowed it". Well, you are not the last referee. You are the authority of your game and not the last referee, whoever that might have been. It is sometimes heart-breaking for a young player if he/she is not allowed to play, but you need to do what is safe for ALL players. I have seen injuries caused by eye-glasses and shin-guards at some most improbably moments, and I have had eye-glass injuries myself, and they were not pleasant. So don't take any chances on safety even if the game is not perceived as physical by your standards. And believe me, if you stand firm and uncompromising, parents will find a way to satisfy safety requirements for their children. Just ask them if they want to take a chance on their own children and most of them will come to their senses. And if any of them is so hard-headed as to answer "yes", then let them talk to me.
It is natural progression for more experienced referees to gradually move away from recreational games and concentrate their effort more on travel games. This in turn creates referee shortage at the recreational level. We are desperately short on referees, and the situation will not get better unless we all make an effort to recruit more referees. I ask all of you to actively speak to your friends, relatives, classmates, teammates about refereeing. Let people know that we need youth as well as adult referees. Let them know that AYSL will pay for the classes, and we pay our referees well for their games. Let them know that when there are enough people interested, classes can be arranged in Ashland, so that people won't have to travel far for it. If you know anyone who is interested, don't wait, send them directly to me. Tell them to call me or email me. When and only when all of us give it a little push, will we be able to improve our referee resource. It may not happen over night, but it sure will pay off if we keep up our effort.