Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Wheels are coming off the FIFA cart

Acting CONCACAF chief trying to fire Blazer, accuses whistleblower of ‘gross misconduct’

ZURICH — The acting president of CONCACAF says he has fired Chuck Blazer, whose bribery allegations touched off a corruption scandal that has shaken FIFA.

Lisle Austin says Blazer’s conduct was “inexcusable and a gross misconduct of duty and judgment,” and the American is no longer fit to be CONCACAF’s secretary general. But it wasn’t immediately clear whether Austin has the authority to remove Blazer, also a member of FIFA’s executive committee. ...

See the whole story here, courtesy of the Washington Post.

Kicking Back Comments: WOW. It has been an exciting 24h in FIFA-land. Sponsors are pissed, National Associations are pissed, people are being fired ...

My $10,000 question is ... does Sepp postpone the election? Better yet, does someone do it for him?

FIFA Imploding, Bin Hammam Out, and Blazer is on Fire!

See it all here, courtesy of the NYT.

Kicking Back Comments: I am waiting for the "mushroom cloud" over Zurich ... and will be happy to see it come with the hope of ushering in some sanity. Not what we get from Sepp.

From the article ... and this one says it all folks:

“I am the president of FIFA; you cannot question me,” Blatter said Monday.
There it is folks, right there for all to see. 

Monday, May 30, 2011

With Eternal Thanks This Memorial Day

Thank You All!


It was about a year ago today Kicking Back was started with the post "West Virginia ... or Bust." [Yes I get the pleasure of going back to Regionals this year too, in Lancaster, PA!]

As I sit here 365 days and 427 posts later I still find myself somewhat nostalgic about THE game and my refereeing career "back in the day."

A lot has changed over the last year. Finishing law school, moving forward in my career, getting fit again as I am cycling a tremendous amount these days.

So much has also stayed the same however, like my love for THE game, and all of its participants, even in my newer capacities as assessor, administrator, coach, and mentor.

It has been an interesting road to be sure, but one I am glad to have taken. One also I am happy to share with you all.

My sincere thanks to everyone for reading, and I look forward to the next year ahead of us.


Sunday, May 29, 2011

Not so illusive after all

So for anyone who has been following hockey recently, the other night we were treated to an event so rare, it defies reality ... a perfect game for the referees.

On Friday, May 27th 2011, Referees Dan O'Halloran, Stephen Walkom, Kelly Sutherland, and Linesmen: Steve Miller, Pierre Racicot, and Jean Morin officiated a pro hockey game with exactly zero penalty minutes. Outstanding.

See the full box score here, courtesy of USA Today.

How did they do it? Here is an opinion.

They didn't really do anything except recognize why the players were there.

To play.

Basically they got and kept the heck out of the way and quietly managed the game to allow the players to play.

That's all the players really wanted.

You see, here to me is the strongest case of all that the referees have very little to do with the outcome of a game, how many fouls occur, or if a players gets injured.

If the players want to play, the game takes care of itself.

Don't believe me? Take a look here for the following quotes from the NESN article.

"I don't think I've ever been in a game where there's been no penalties, but I think that was the best way to go. The refs did a great job of just letting us play and letting the best team win."

"I mean, they complained before Game 6 about the referees and we had some words about it before this game. I'm happy they let us play. I don't feel like it was a dirty game at all. Maybe there was one or two calls that they could have made, but it was great that they let us play and play to the finish. It's just fitting with how the series has gone that the game went the way that it did and it ended off the way that it did."

"I think the refs realized the situation and wanted the players to decide the game," Kelly said. "That's the way it should have been, especially a Game 7."
Here is one end of the spectrum of respect and understanding for referees. I will show you the other in a day or two, straight out of the MLS.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Timing is everything

A FIFA Fiasco: Accusations Lead To Investigations, An Election On The Brink

Soccer’s global governing body, the Fédération Internationale de Football Association, said it is opening an investigation into claims that its president, Joseph “Sepp” Blatter, knew of alleged payments made to influence a coming election to lead the organization, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The probe into Blatter stems from allegations made by Qatar’s Mohamed bin Hammam, who is Blatter’s main rival for the FIFA presidency. ...

See the whole article here, courtesy of the WSJ.

Kicking Back Comments: Well. Let's just see how many friends Sepp has in other National Associations. Is this the final straw? If not, they might as well plan to bury him under the headquarters in Zurich as it would see that will be the only way he will be forced leave.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Just remember you saw it here first ...

... but there are some other interesting details in the blurb from Soccer America.

See them all here.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Kudos to Tom Weir (USA Today) and the Chicago Bulls

Often times I rail and whine here about the need for adults to act like adults and stop blaming a referee for their own circumstances. Tom Weir and the Chicago Bulls did exactly that ... they did not blame the referee.

In Weir's story (Did refs hose Bulls last night? Not really) he provides a thoughtful analysis of the free throw situation across the series thus far, clearly indicating that the result was "fairly predictable" that the Bulls did not get to the line that much in game 5. He actually used facts, real facts to show that:
Going into Game 4the FT tries were near even, with Miami holding a 68-67 edge. That wasn't to be expected, given that Miami was one of the NBA's best teams at getting to the line during the regular season. The Heat's 2,288 FT attempts ranked third, behind only Denver (2,429) and Oklahoma City (2,401). The Bulls ranked 11th.
Equally heartening was that the Bulls did not play "the ref card", as Weir calls it. There were several great quotes from the Bulls who, I think, had a very enlightened view of what happened.
The Bulls didn't play the ref card. Carlos Boozer told the Chicago Tribune that, "We've never been an excuse team. We're not going to start being an excuse team now. They got fouled, I guess we didn't."
Added Taj Gibson: "Whatever happens, you can't argue with the ref. They're going to make the call, so you have to keep playing. You can't hang your head and whine about the call. You have to keep playing."
It gave me great hope that there are some level heads out there that at least recognize, even if the referee is wrong, that you have to keep going. Believe me, referees reflect deeply on mistakes they made, and even ones they did not, to make things better. Having a player or coach bark at you in the press does not make things any better, or help the overall situation.

Kudos to Mr. Weir and the Bulls.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Easy as 1, 2, 3, 4 ...

There are times when the WWW is just silly. Here is an example.
I wish I had known this when I was working to become an MLS referee. =/

How to Become an MLS Official

Major League Soccer (MLS) is a soccer league for 13 top soccer teams in the United States and Canada. The group was founded in 1996 and has experienced major growth; by 2010, they hope to be made up of 16 teams. Follow these steps if you love soccer and would like to become an official in the MLS.

Moderately Challenging


    • 1
      Become a referee in the MLS. To become an MLS referee, you must be a National Referee in the United States Soccer Federation. You can only hold that position if you have officiated in over 500 games in a period of not less than 7 years.
See the full 4 step plan here, courtesy of eHow.com.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Wearing the black hat

The other day I was reminded of old spaghetti westerns, really most westerns where good guys wore white hats, and bad guys wore blacks hats.

As most of you know I coach a youth soccer team that Jr. is on. As part of that I work with all the players on a variety of topic and tend to things during the match like strategy (as much as their youth minds will absorb) and just general care and nurturing of players (e.g. bringing oranges and tending to minor injuries).

With memorial day weekend coming up, we played a Saturday/Sunday set to be able to take that weekend off. Saturday I was a coach and wearing the white hat, Sunday I was pressed into service as a referee and was clearly wearing the black hat.

Don't get me wrong, most of the kids on Jr's team were great and got what I was doing and in what capacity I was there. There were some however who were just outright mean at the prospect. After the match I tried to talk with them in a person to person context. They would have none of it.

I was shocked honestly that even just wearing a referee jersey changed me from approachable and helpful to shunned and suspicious.

Sometimes people forget that under the uniform (player or referee) is a person and that regardless of what color hat they wear, should deserve fundamental respect as a person.

I don't fault these kids, they are good kids and I know better, but they are learning it from somewhere. When I watch adults at these matches berating teenage players and referees however, it is no surprise that young players act the way they do, and that we are losing these young referees at a 50% rate year on year.

Paul Levy in his blog (Not Running a Hospital) summed it up nicely in his post, "Dear Coach."

Next time your out, keep in mind those little sponges are picking up everything we do as adults, and trying to mimic it in a way appropriate to them as very young kids. As you can imagine, it does not work out too well.

Just take a second and reflect before hurling that barb. You may end up saving a player or referees career in the process.

Monday, May 23, 2011

3 US Referees Selected for 2011 Gold Cup

Special thanks to Jeff for bringing this one forward.

Well folks the Gold Cup will soon be here. The tournament opens June 5th in Dallas. A schedule and tickets are available here.

In total, 15 referees and 15 assistant referees have been selected to referee in the tournament, pending successfully completing a fitness test the week prior in Dallas.

Further, our own Brian Hall in his capacity with CONCACAF is holding an Elite course in preparation for upcoming Champions League and World Cup qualification matches.

Among the list, found here, are US referees, Jair Marrufo and Baldomero Toledo, and US assistant referee Charles Morgante.

Best of luck to them all.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Legal or not?

Take a look at the video clip below, or here.

Legal under the LOTG?

If yes, no problem.
If no, misconducts? Restart?

Please share your comments below.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

There's an app for that

The other day we spoke about concussion awareness.

One of our readers (Thanks Frenchie) brought forward an app that can help detect a concussion before bringing such a person to a medical professional to evaluate. Please note, no application is a substitute for a qualified medical opinion, except for the EMH program on Star Trek Voyager. But if you have one of those this whole thing is probably a moot point.

Take a peek ... it's free, and it takes up very little space (~9M) on your device.

It can be found here on iTunes.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Concussion Awareness

Kicking Back Comments: It is important for a referee to know the signs of a concussion in the event they run across a player who may have suffered one. Please note, referees are generally not Medical Doctors, and if they are, they can not successfully discharge both duties.

If there is doubt, ANY DOUBT that a player is injured, have them evaluated by a coach or trainer as soon as possible (i.e. stop the game). As I have said before, always err on the side of safety and no one can fault you.

See the good essay below from friend of THE game, and avid blogger, Paul Levy for a perspective from a youth soccer coach.

Really? A Concussion?

This is an essay written by Aub Harden, a fellow Under-14 soccer coach. It has an important message. Concussions are not just the province of professional football players, and they are not always obvious.

It’s Monday morning and we’ve just received a call with the verdict: "Yes, your daughter definitely has a concussion from her soccer game on Saturday."

Really? A concussion? ...

See the whole story here, courtesy of Not Running a Hospital

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Open for debate

Fifa TV Debate: Add Your Support To Campaign

Sky News viewers are being urged to back a campaign for a televised debate between the two candidates for Fifa president.

The current chief of football's world governing body, Sepp Blatter, is still to respond to an invitation to take part in the head-to-head.

He received our invitation 46 days ago, but has yet to give a 'yes' or 'no' - despite growing support for the televised discussion.

When pressed for his answer last Wednesday, a spokesman for the 75-year-old responded by email to say: "We are still in (the) planning process and I will assure you to come back to you shortly." ...

See the whole story here, courtesy of Sky News.

Kicking Backs Comments: Well it's not a national football federation that is bringing some pressure, but having Sky News pushing on you is no small thing. I'll bet FIFA is not happy about this one. I'm waiting to hear from @FakeSepp on the matter. I doubt we will here from the real McCoy, unless it's "Bones" McCoy of Star Trek fame.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Deny and make counter allegations

FIFA executive committee member Worawi plans legal action over bribery accusations

BANGKOK, Thailand — FIFA executive committee member Worawi Makudi says he will file charges against former English Football Association chief David Triesman for making bribery accusations.

Worawi, also head of the Football Association of Thailand, has denied Triesman’s accusations that he demanded the television rights to a proposed Thailand-England friendly in exchange for supporting England’s bid to host the 2018 World Cup. ...

See the whole story here, courtesy of the Washington Post.

Kicking Back Comments: You had to see this one coming. In my opinion, the one thing some of these FIFA execs like more than money and power, is their pride. I am predicting that this suit will go nowhere. It is just a way to create more confusion to distract us from watching an organization circling the drain.

There way be a couple of problems with the FA's stand against FIFA however. First, the FA itself is bogged down in corruption charges. Second, the FA alone can not change FIFA, it needs help. An interesting article is here that discusses these points.

Is there another brave national organization in the world willing to do the right thing? The time is now, as the FIFA presidential elections approaches. 

Sunday, May 15, 2011

You know it's bad when ...

... The Economist is picking up on how corrupt FIFA is. Check out this article, it is certainly worth the read! Personally, I think they are onto something as it would certainly make the process more transparent.

Time to blow the whistle and put the right to host the World Cup on eBay

WHEN it comes to long, rancorous and pointless rows, few things are in the same league as the world’s favourite sport. (Note to American readers: we speak of the game you call soccer.) Arguments rage for days—decades—after the final whistle. Was the ball over the goal-line? (Note to German readers: maybe not at Wembley in 1966, yes in Bloemfontein in 2010.) Was that sending-off deserved, or a gross miscarriage of justice? Was the referee brilliant, blind or bribed? ...
See the full article here, courtesy of The Economist.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Read and Reflect

U.S. Club Soccer has changed radically in 10 years

This year marks the 10th anniversary of U.S. Club Soccer, which since gaining U.S. Soccer Federation membership in 2001 has served as an alternative to U.S. Youth Soccer. We spoke with U.S. Club Soccer chairman Phil Wright about the past, present and future of the organization that now has member clubs and leagues in 50 states, runs national and state cup competitions, a player identification program (id2) and the girls Elite Clubs National League (ECNL).

SOCCER AMERICA: I’ve heard it said that U.S. Club Soccer’s aim is to drive U.S. Youth Soccer out of business. …

See the whole article here, courtesy of Soccer America.

Kicking Back Comments: So lets think about this for a second ... Here is an excellent example of how THE game has changed over just the last 10 years. Do we as referees believe that we have adapted to that change? Is this change that we as referees need to worry about (e.g. organizational changes for youth soccer)? Has the refereeing organizational world kept up, or exceeded its mandate making sure its population is well cared for?

Granted some goals are different between the two entities, but the root of the question remains ...

Do US Soccer referees get what they need to evolve with THE game?

Thursday, May 12, 2011

FIFA ... Corruption ... Again ... I'm Shocked ... LOL

Special thanks to Dr. Rice for bringing this one forward.

Six From FIFA Are Accused in Bribery Case

Soccer’s world governing body, which has little international oversight and has long faced charges of corruption, found itself embattled again Tuesday when six of its top officials were accused of participating in a bribery scandal related to bids for the 2018 and the 2022 World Cups.

The news was particularly embarrassing and perhaps threatening for FIFA’s president, Sepp Blatter. Though not accused of corruption himself, Blatter faces re-election next month as his reputation continues to suffer and the organization he runs continues to be plagued with accusations of illicit behavior. ...

See the rest of the story here, courtesy of the NYT.

Kicking Back Comments: I sure hope someone wakes up and takes some action in June for the FIFA presidential elections. We have gone past silly, into ludicrous. Reminds me of that bit from SpaceBalls. A clip showing how silly ludicrous speed is, can be found below and here. Please draw your own conclusions about art imitating FIFA life.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Home Depot Center to host MLS Cup 2011

The Galaxy has played in Major League Soccer's championship event five times, successfully claiming the MLS Cup twice, but never in front of a home crowd. The team will have another shot at it this year as the MLS Cup 2011 will be take place at Home Depot Center on Nov. 20, the league announced Tuesday.

"We are extremely pleased to be able to once again host MLS Cup, our league's most important game, in the premier soccer stadium in this country, the Home Depot Center," Galaxy President Tom Payne said. "We would like nothing more than to be playing in MLS Cup 2011 at home in front of our fans." ...

See the whole story here, courtesy of the LA Times.

Kicking Back Comments: Well the venue is set ... any bets on who the referees are going to be? I have some thoughts ...

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Change FIFA ...

Special thanks from Kicking Back to Jeff for bringing this one forward.

An interesting read and full of self evident truths. Very passionate for sure, and clear that there are folks around the world that are done with FIFA in its current form. Misguided in some of their other posts (e.g. Barack Obama can force change in FIFA and the World's game), but good reads regardless, as some points are spot on (e.g. Nike and Adidas rule the world).

Take a few minutes and decide for yourselves and remember folks, like here, it is an opinion piece.

March 29th, 2011

ChangeFIFA Calls On FIFA And Its’ Members To Live By Their Own Credo Of “Fair Play” And Give Legendary Football Player, Elias Figueroa, The Opportunity To Run For FIFA President

Washington, D.C., U.S.A. – Tuesday, March 29, 2011 - ChangeFIFA has asked football legend, Elias Figueroa, 64, to run for President of FIFA and now calls on FIFA and its’ Members to live by their own self-professed credo of “Fair Play” and allow Mr. Figueroa to run for President.

According to FIFA’s own Fair Play Code, opponents are a necessary part of every competition and should be given the same rights and respected. It states: “Winning is without value if victory has been achieved unfairly…Fair play always has its reward, even when the game is lost. Playing fair earns respect, while cheating only brings shame…Without opponents there can be no game. Everyone has the same rights, including the right to be respected.” ...

See the whole article here, courtesy of Change FIFA.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Is there an MLS team in the house?

Rongen out as U.S. U-20 coach

When the U.S. men's Under-20 national team failed to qualify for the U-20 World Cup for the first time in seven tries, and with one of the best collections of talent in recent memory, head coach Thomas Rongen was at the top of those facing blame for the failure.

That failure has cost Rongen his job. After 10 years at the helm of the Under-20 team, Rongen has been relieved of his duties, U.S. Soccer confirmed to FOX Soccer on Thursday.

There is no timetable on finding a replacement, but former U.S. national team star Tab Ramos is handling head coaching duties on a U.S. Under-20 team trip to France later this month. Ramos is not the interim head coach, though he could conceivably be considered a candidate to replace Rongen. ...

See the full story here, courtesy of ESPN.

Kicking Back Comments:
I wish Thomas well. We have dealt with each other before and he has always struck me as a classy guy. It did remind me however ... There are times that coaches get particularly animated. Sometimes it is because they have a bee in their bonnet about something completely unrelated to the game at hand. Sometimes they are upset about something inside the field for that day. Sometimes they are concerned for their job and the match you are refereeing can make a difference.

As a referee, we need to be empathetic to the fact that coaches are paid at the higher levels, even the club level, and their continued employment often is contingent on what a team's win-loss record is. While not the fault of a referee if the ball does not roll the right way that day, it does have an impact, a real life impact, on the paid staff.

This is not to imply that a referee need do anything more than what they are to manage a match, except be aware that someones livelihood may depend on the results. Yes it is a game, but for some, it is also a job they feed their family with.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Whistle ... check. Flipping coin ... check. Hazmat suit ... check.

Contamination closes soccer field
Tests at Salem's McGrath Park reveal lead and cadmium

SALEM — The discovery of contaminated soil has forced the city to shut down part of McGrath Park, the main field used by Salem Youth Soccer.

Soil tests done for a construction project revealed "elevated levels" of two metals, lead and cadmium, at the lower field at McGrath Park, according to Jason Silva, chief administrative aide to Mayor Kim Driscoll.

The upper field will remain in use since tests there did not reveal a problem. ...

See the whole story here, courtesy of the Salem News.

Kicking Back Comments: This is a little spooky (all puns intended related to Salem MA rich occult history) as the metals found can cause serious health issues. Kudos to the town for taking such immediate steps to restrict access to the kiddies and helping them find a new field.

I wonder how many local towns are going to subtly do a soil test now looking for issues such as these?

Thursday, May 5, 2011

That's it !!??!!

So apparently FIFA is "giving in" and is set to adopt goal line technology for the 2012-2013 season as reported here by Guardian.

There were some funny things in this article:
Fifa has recognised the shortcomings of the previous testing environment and, in a tender document circulated on April 20, stated: "The tests will be conducted in two phases at a football stadium selected by the respective technology providers, in consultation with Fifa."
How were these tested previously? Not in a football stadium? The engineer in me is coming out and really wondering what happed here the first time around that somehow the testing would not be accurate?

This next line was hilarious.
To proceed to the second round, technologies must demonstrate a minimum of 90% accuracy in recognising whether both a static or a moving ball is across the line.
90%. That's it !!??!!

Frankly, what a joke. While I don't have a hard number, anecdotally if referees had a 10% margin for error on this stuff they would get in deep, deep trouble.

That is an outrageous and unacceptable number! For all the whining that has been done about referees missing crucial goal line calls, and the solution ...

We will get it right 9 out of every 10 times at least ... please.

Give me a live referee 10 out of 10 times.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Massachusetts 2011 Appointments to the Region I Tournaments

One of the most exciting things for me in my young career as a referee was to travel to matches in different states, see different teams, and work with other referees.

As we approach the thrust of the Spring 2011 season there are several young referees who have distinguished themselves to earn the privilege to attend some of the most prestigious youth tournaments in this part of the country, and may earn the opportunity while there, to go even further.

Please join me in congratulating all the referees below for their upcoming appointments.

President's Cup (May 27-30, 2011 - Saratoga Springs, NY):

Jordan Cavaco

Cory Cloutier

Mike Filios

Ron Judd

Aaron Lewinter

Max Perkins

David Rixham

Eric Schreiber

Kristin Sundberg

Brian Trischitta

Matthew Visconti

ODP Region I Tournament - (June 10-12, 2011 - Rider University, NJ):

Kenneth Koopmans

Anthony Brossi

Corson Fidler

Nicholas Grimard

Aaron Lewinter

Cara Pember

Max Perkins

Jo-Ellen Rowley

Kristin Sundberg

Brian Trischitta

Sarah Wooley

Matthew Visconti
Danielle Kaminski
David Rixham

Region I Championships - (June 30 - July 5, 2011 - Huntington, WV):

Anthony Brossi

Cory Cloutier

Michael Dee

Nathanael Dewhurst

Randall Kelley

Kenneth Koopmans

Nelson Machado

Jennine Regan

Peter Ries

Eric Schreiber

Kristin Sundberg

Alex Wallach-Hanson

DJ Corey
Sarah Wooley
Danielle Kaminski
Aaron Lewinter

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

CONMEBOL to back Blatter

CONMEBOL to back Blatter

South America's confederation (CONMEBOL) will back Sepp Blatter in the upcoming FIFA Presidential campaign against rival Mohamed Bin Hammam.

Blatter's recent criticism of the organisation of World Cup 2014 to be held in Brazil saw suggestions that he would not be a popular choice in South America, but Argentina football chief Julio Grondona told the CONMEBOL executive board he was in no doubt as to who he would be voting for next month. ...

See the whole article here courtesy of ESPN.

Kicking Back Comments: Interesting if true. I also wonder if this was a way for Brazil to get FIFA off its back regarding the upcoming World Cup. A promise for a vote in exchange for some silence?

We will see next month ... 

Monday, May 2, 2011

I Dunno ...

For those who have been following me for a time, you will recognize that I often reflect on scenarios that happen to me when coaching Jr.'s soccer team. Recently we spoke about advantage and injuries in "Stop, Drop, and Roll."

Today's installment involves cautions, and making sure to get something for them.

First, some history:
As some may know, the modern day misconducts were created by Ken Aston. As the story goes slowing and stopping at a traffic light, Mr. Aston created the modern day caution and send off misconducts, a scheme that was first introduced in the 1970 World Cup. For a nice article on the topic, take a look here.

Now our scenario:
During Jr.'s match a player on Jr.'s team committed (in my opinion) a foul. As a result, both players went down in a lump as the opponent was hurt. Kudos to the referee for stopping the match right away to attend to the injury.

After attending to the player, the referee called the player who committed the foul over and seemed to have a word with him, took out his book, and wrote something down. Okay ... that was weird. Maybe the referee was recording the injury.

After this players shift I sat with him on the bench and asked a couple of questions. Here they are with the responses ... keep in mind this is a very young player.

PK: Looks like you got tangled pretty good with that player. Everyone OK?
Teammate of Jr.'s: Yeah, I guess I kicked him in the back of the leg. He's OK.

PK: Did you mean to?
Teammate of Jr.'s: No! (a little shocked) It was an accident.

PK: Did the referee show you a yellow card?
Teammate of Jr.'s: Yes. I dunno why though. He didn't really say.

Friends, foul aside, and wisdom of cautioning a very young player aside (they deserve it sometimes), what concerns me is not even the player receiving the caution themselves knew what was going on.

A caution is a signal that a referee is nearly out of options on how to control a player or the match. Conservation of such punitive actions are hallmarks of exceptional management. That said, there are times that you just have to give the caution. Sometimes the LOTG mandates the misconduct, sometimes THE game needs one to "slow things down" as Ken Aston discovered slowing down for a traffic light.

When a referee gives that caution however, they should be seeking a quid pro quo, and getting something tangible back for showing the caution. It should be a sign to all that the conduct the player demonstrated is not acceptable and will not be tolerated in this match. This should be made clear to the player who committed the act as well as everyone else to the EVERYONE know this was over "the line."

Sometimes we will see referees providing some theater to make the point by pointing to several points of the field to indicate a persistent infringement caution, or maybe placing their hand over their mouth for dissent. All of this acting is to let not just the offending player know, but all players in the park, and for that matter everyone watching, no more of that!

Once everyone is on notice, it becomes much easier to take additional actions if another player performs the same act, or the same player persists.

If the player who received the caution does not know what it is for, how can we expect to get the right reaction from the players to stop that type of behavior?

We all know the answer. We can't.

When you caution, get something for it, and make sure everyone, EVERYONE, knows it happened, and the behavior is not acceptable.

With that, you get something back for your effort.