Friday, May 31, 2013

Somehow this has to be the referees fault. No?

Kicking Back Comments: Ouch. Take a look at the number of related videos too.

Here's one for you all however on a serious note. Does a referee use this later in the match if that player, or others, give a referee grief about a decision?

Fair game?

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Sepp's Sexism On Full Display

Sepp Blatter calls female Fifa candidate 'good and good-looking'

In the week Fifa said it was to expand the number of women-only positions on the world body's executive committee from one to three,Sepp Blatter, its gaffe-prone president, has described one of the candidates for the elected role, Australia's Moya Dodd, as "good, and good-looking".

Blatter made the comment in an address to the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) delegates at Fifa's conference in Mauritiuson Wednesday. Dodd, vice-president of the AFC, diplomatically side-stepped the issue, saying she was, "mainly focused on hearing [Blatter's] comments about me being a good candidate … If he said anything more, then thanks for that, too". ...

See the whole story here, courtesy of The Guardian.

Kicking Back Comments: Oh Sepp. You just won't change will you?

Boy in looking back, it has been a banner week for FIFA. Gotta love when the FIFA Congress gets together.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

FIFA Ethics ... Still A Joke

Blatter Says FIFA Congress Must Enact Changes to Prevent Crimes

FIFA President Sepp Blatter said soccer’s governing body must enact changes to allow the sport to continue the fight against corruption even as some former advisers question the group’s reform plans.

The ruling body’s 209 members will vote on proposed changes this week at FIFA’s annual meeting on the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius this week. Blatter said the process follows an “extensive consultation process” that started in 2011, the year when the Zurich-based body was forced by stakeholders including sponsors of its $5 billion World Cup to reform following graft allegations.

“We have a democratic process in place, we follow it,” Blatter said in an interview with “Between 2011 and 2013, I made a lot of effort to take this reform process as far as I could, but it is now up to the FIFA Congress to decide on these measures.”

Former advisers have criticized FIFA, which Blatter has headed since 1998, for not doing enough to crack down on corruption. ...

See the whole story here, courtesy of Bloomberg.

Kicking Back Comments: It is well summarized in this quote:

"Alexandra Wrage, president of Trace International, a non-profit organization in Canada that provides anti-bribery compliance advice to multinational companies, left the advisory group created by Blatter to suggest reforms. She claimed the work was the “least productive project” of her career."

Sounds about right.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

FIFA Finally Does Something on Racism

Fifa ready to introduce five-game bans for players guilty of racism

Fifa is set to follow England's lead and bring in a mandatory five-match ban for players found guilty of racism, while also introducing points deductions for clubs where fans are serial offenders.

The five-match ban is being proposed by Fifa's new task force on racism and, if agreed by the governing body of world football's congress next week, all 209 member countries will have to adopt the rule. ...

See the whole story here, from the Guardian.

Kicking Back Comments: (5) Matches is not enough ... but it is a start, and better than nothing.

It does pale in comparison to what UEFA has already done in this regard, with a minimum (10) match ban.

Best and worst comments on the topic:

First from Jeffery Webb who chairs this committee for FIFA: 
"Finally, we're having some action on this. This is something that's long overdue."

Uh Jeff ... you chair the committee ... and have the ability to make things happen, right? Any delay, would seem to be of your own, and your boss' (FIFA) making. No whining about delays please.

Next from Michel Platini, president of UEFA:
"This is a great moment in our struggle against racism."

It most certainly is not Michel. It is a pathetic testament to the fact we have the problem in the first place. We should not be celebrating that we are dealing with such a social issue. We should just deal with it. To give it any due serves to celebrate our own barbarism. I for one am willing to acknowledge the fact, work for change, and solve the issue, not pat ourselves on the back for thinking a (5) match ban for racial epitaphs is "doing the right thing" and is a giant step forward.

It is not.

Monday, May 27, 2013

A Happy Memorial Day to All ... Let Us Not Forget ...

America's oldest veteran to spend quiet Memorial Day at Texas home

For his 107th Memorial Day, Richard Arvine Overton, who saw many of his fellow soldiers fall in the line of duty in World War II and even more die over the following decades, is planning a quiet day at the Texas home he built after returning home from World War II.

He wouldn’t want it any other way. ...

See the whole story here, courtesy of Fox News.

Kicking Back Comments: We should all be so lucky to serve our (respective) country with distinction, and live such a long and healthy life.

Here's to 108 Mr. Overton.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Sad, and True

Which Calls (or Non-Calls) Create the Most Disagreements Between Football/Soccer Players, Fans & Coaches and Referees

Offside, Handling & "I was Going for the Ball"

Football (or in the U.S., soccer) players, coaches, and fans suffer from a number of misconceptions about laws or interpretations that cause unnecessary dissent, delay or distraction to ongoing play in matches. ...

See the whole article here, from Yahoo!

Kicking Back Comments: I have to agree with the author here. At the youth level, I would say these are the top 3.

Friday, May 24, 2013

A Bit More Color

Bundesliga CEO rips FIFA over Qatar's World Cup

LONDON (AP) — The head of the Bundesliga criticized FIFA on Wednesday for awarding the 2022 World Cup to Qatar, saying the decision "is not for the good of the game." ...

See the whole story here, from USA Today.

Kicking Back Comments: I shared this story just yesterday on the topic but found the USA Today story that much better. It does bring up the spectre of a revote of the timing of the tournament changes.

I wonder in such a case if we would "cross swords" with the UK to host?

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Bundesliga CEO slam FIFA

Bundesliga CEO slam FIFA

The head of the German Bundesliga has slammed FIFA's decision to award the 2022 World Cup to Qatar, saying the decision "is not for the good of the game."

Christian Seifert, speaking in London ahead of the all-German Champions League final between Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund, said staging the tournament in the tiny desert nation's summer heat could endanger the health of players and fans.

"The priority is always first the health of the players and this is what makes me most upset that the decision was done that ignores probably the health of the players and that ignores what is real in the game," Seifert said. ...

See the whole story here, courtesy of

Kicking Back Comments: Best line in the article was:
""We are really happy that FIFA recognises it's warm in the summer in Qatar. This is a great, great finding," said Seifert, who is also vice president of the German Football Association."

I laughed out loud at the audible of the head of the Bundesliga saying this with as much sarcasm as possible. Just beautiful.

There is mounting pressure to revisit this .... with even Sepp saying last week it seems hard to imagine the tournament being played in the dead of summer ... in a desert.

Clearly they thought the details all the way through ....

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

"The Don's" Latest (really good) Move

Yanks, Manchester City awarded MLS expansion team

In partnership of sports' biggest names, New York City Football Club to play in 2015

Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber announced today that a partnership of global sports powers, Manchester City Football Club and the New York Yankees, has acquired the League's 20th expansion club. The new team will be named New York City Football Club (NYCFC) and expects to begin play in 2015.

"We proudly welcome two of the most prestigious professional global sports organizations to Major League Soccer," said MLS Commissioner Don Garber. "This is a transformational development that will elevate the league to new heights in this country. The New York area is home to more than 19 million people, and we look forward to an intense crosstown rivalry between New York City Football Club and the New York Red Bulls that will captivate this great city." ...

See the whole story here, courtesy of

Kicking Back Comments: Say what you will about MLS and "The Don" (I for one have not always been positive) ... this is a shrewd move by MLS and it makes me happy to see growth in the league ... still.

Other than California, I agree with the point that the New York area should be able to sustain a 2nd MLS team.

Personally I would also love to see an expansion team in the New Bedford (MA), Northern Rhode Island area as well, as I have to believe a team may do well there too.

2018 expansion? 

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

120' Toss

So take a peek at this clip generously provided by MLB. There is quite a bit going on.

So we have Bryce Harper (stats) in the 1st inning of the Nationals v. Pirates the other week. A check swing that was appealed by the Pirates catcher, and was called a 3rd strike by 3rd base umpire, and crew chief, John Hirschbeck (bio).

Based on the account here, Harper gave him the "stink eye" and dropped his bat. From the video Hirschbeck obviously reacted, in an ... unorthodox manner.

It was actually quite clever as it gave Harper the opportunity for pause and just walk away as (in Hirschbeck's words) "... he was trying to show me up."

From there, there were (2) subtle management pieces going on. First was at :12 of the video when the home plate umpire engages Harper from reacting any more than he did already by dropping his bat, it would seem in protest.

Also, at :16, you can see Hirschbeck walk toward home plate, and stop for the 3rd base coach and send him to talk to his player.

From there Harper throws his helment (for the 2nd time this year) and was ejected.

A staggering analysis can be found here at the Umpire Ejection Fantasy League.

So there was good and bad for me in this one from all sides.

Harper was wrong to "show up" Hirschbeck through his actions, and was properly ejected for it, full stop.

Hirschbeck was unorthodox, some say inflammatory, in his actions by raising his hands, and may have done better to just yell and point (being 120' away makes some of this tough), and his action may have been a way to try and bridge that distance. It may have also been an attempted technique that went wrong. (These guys don't get AAA games to try new tactics out remember)

Hirschbeck was still justified to send Harper for his conduct, that was even after being spoken to by the home plate umpire, and 3rd base coach.

Closing comments go to Harper as in looking at the interview here, I though Harper came off a lot better personally ... and in the big leagues folks (future MLS and FIFA guys take note), this stuff matters a bunch.

Monday, May 20, 2013

We Promise!

FIFA guarantees that Sao Paulo World Cup stadium will be ready on time

FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke has guaranteed Sao Paulo's World Cup football stadium will be ready on time, one day after claiming the venue could be taken off the tournament schedule due to construction delay

Valcke met with Itaquerao stadium officials on Wednesday and said he was confident the December 2013 deadline would be met, according to the Brazilian media. ...

See the whole story here, courtesy of MercoPress.

Kicking Back Comments: Bets, anyone? Anyone? FIFA Guarantees .... funny.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

No Wii for U

FIFA 14 not coming to Wii U due to poor FIFA 13 sales

With this morning's revelation that EA does not have any Wii U games in development comes the outright confirmation that FIFA 14 will not be appearing on the system as well.

"Although FIFA 13 on Wii U featured our award-winning HD gameplay and innovative new ways to play, the commercial results were disappointing," an EA representative told Joystiq. "We have decided not to develop FIFA 14 on Wii U. We have a strong partnership with Nintendo and will continue to evaluate opportunities for developing FIFA for Nintendo fans in the future." ...

See the whole story here, courtesy of joystiq.

Kicking Back Comments: I'm not surprised frankly. While I am a fan of the Wii, the Wii U I can do without. I doubt EA is the only one halting development for that platform.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Refereeing Happens Before, During, and After a Match

Take a look at this 2005 clip form Roy Keane and Patrick Vieira.

Even before the match, the referee was right there and rightly involved himself in the discussion to make sure things did not get any further out of hand.

You may wonder too why referees warm up inside the field, and at times chat with players. This is a good reason.

Refereeing is less about "controlling" the match at this level and more about managing the people involved. This clip is an excellent example of the latter.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Soccer violence: Referees under siege

(CNN) -- In the U.S., a referee is punched and later dies. Meanwhile In Europe, a Dutch volunteer linesman is beaten to death, a teenage Spanish referee is violently assaulted, and in Germany a match official is hospitalized.

They are almost as essential to the functioning of the game as the ball they bring onto the pitch for kickoff, but soccer referees across the world are feeling under siege.

Subjected to vulgar insults, threatened, chased off the field, attacked, hospitalized and, tragically, killed.

Read: Referee punched in face by teen player dies

In the most recent incident, 46-year old Ricardo Portillo -- refereeing an amateur game in the Salt Lake City suburb of Taylorsville -- was punched on April 27 after booking a player. He died from his injuries on Saturday. ...

See the whole article here, courtesy of CNN.

Kicking Back Comments: A very worthy read. The author is right on many level in this piece. While I am not a fan of Zero Tolerance as defined in many youth leagues around here, such referee abuse is the largest reason for it to stop it before it even starts.

My earlier question still stands in how far we as referees can go to (physically) stop such an incident before it turns deadly?

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

"That is not acceptable ..." - Sepp Blatter

Italian Federation incurs Blatter wrath over Roma racism sanction

(CNN) -- The head of world football's global governing body has criticized Italian soccer for not cracking down hard enough on a team whose fans racially abused an opposition player.

Sunday's goalless draw between AC Milan and Roma at the San Siro stadium was brought to a halt for several minutes after visiting fans directed abuse at home striker Mario Balotelli.

The Italian Federation fined Roma $65,000, which prompted a forthright response from Blatter.

"What is surprising and is not understandable for me, is that the disciplinary committee of the Italian Football Federation has taken a decision, not even 24 hours after the event, by just imposing a fine," Blatter told FIFA's official website.

"They have not made any investigation of what happened. And just to give a pecuniary sanction is not valid, that is not acceptable. ...

See the whole story here, courtesy of CNN.

Kicking Back Comments: The more I read Sepp's reactions, the more I equate him to a male version of Dolores Umbridge. Here is a brief clip from YouTube to illustrate:

I think it's his feigned outrage about the Italian Federation taking swift (>24h) action that gets me. I do agree with him that a mere $65K is nothing even close to a necessary penalty, but kudos for the FIGC for taking such quick action at all.

As we have learned from FIFA, there is a committee, but no action from it at all, and something is still better than nothing, even if that something is woefully inadequate.

Where FIFA is going to get into trouble is that each federation is coming up with its own set of rules on how to deal with such situations. (Where is the US on this one?) It looks also like no one federation is like another, no one is talking, and FIFA has no control ... 

All that aside, guess who had to make the decision to stop the match in this case?

You guessed it ... the referee.

No blue ribbon pannel, no FIFA representative at the stadium, no team official ... the referee.

Yes folks, we are going to be right on the front like of having to deal with this nonsense because no one else seems to have the courage to stop this vile behavior.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Former FIFA President resigns in disgrace

Joao Havelange, Fifa's honorary president, resigns over bribes

Joao Havelange, 96, has resigned as Fifa's honorary president after a report ruled he had taken bribes.

The Brazilian was described as "morally and ethically reproachable" for taking kickbacks from a World Cup rights marketing agency.

The report by Fifa's ethics chairman Hans-Joachim Eckert also claimed Nicolas Leoz had received bribes.

Leoz, 84, resigned from the governing body's executive committee last week, citing health and personal reasons.

The Paraguayan was accused in the report of being "not fully candid" in his explanations over the affair.

However, while the report says that payments made in the 1990s to Havelange, who was Fifa president from 1974 to 1988, Leoz and former Fifa executive Ricardo Teixeira, Havelange's son-in-law, qualified as bribes, they were not crimes at the time. ...

See the whole story here, from the BBC.

Kicking Back Comments: This both saddens and angers me all at the same time. 

It saddens me as Dr. Havelange was a hero of mine for some time when I was a pup forming the idea I wanted to spend a significant portion of my life chasing a FIFA badge.

It angers me because I question why these resources are investigating a 96 year old man, and former President of FIFA ... why not the man who is there now likely acting in much the same way.

Let's focus on the present actors to set the example for the future ones.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Massachusetts selections to the 2013 Region I Championship Tournament


With special thanks to the Massachusetts State Referee Committee, and SYRA Brian Treanor, I am pleased to relay the last of three announcements appointing referees to the 2013 series of Regional tournaments for Massachusetts!

The final tournament to be announced is the preeminent event for teams and referees in Region I. The Region I Championships bring together the winners of the State Cup tournaments held throughout the 15 state region consisting of state associations from Maine to Virginia. The teams at this tournament are vying for the title of Region I Champion which earns them the right to compete at the US Youth Soccer National Championships in Overland Park, Kansas. Referees attending the regional tournaments must be at the top of the youth soccer ranks. This 5 day tournament is a demanding journey that tests a referee's fitness, endurance, refereeing ability, and the ability to acquit themselves well off the field. Referees who do well at "Regionals" may be selected to work as a Referee or Assistant Referee at the 2013 US Youth Soccer National Championships.

Without further delay, here are the members of this year's delegation:

Thomas Belanger 
Anthony Brossi
Erin Cappellucci
Jordan Cavaco
Nikolas Coelho
Nathanael Dewhurst
Nicholas Grimard
Scott McGrail
Ian McKay
Max Perkins
Eric Schreiber
Igor Senic
Kristin Sundberg 

William Carey 
Elie Nassif
Ed Rae 

Alex White 
Karl Sundberg
Alex Fusco

Brian Treanor will be leading the delegation once again this year as the head of delegation without a role as referee or assessor.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

FIFA: Yes, You Get No Maracas

FIFA 'reevaluating' Brazilian version of vuvuzela


The days of the caxirola, Brazil's version of the vuvuzela, may be over even before the Confederations Cup begins in June.

FIFA and the local 2014 World Cup organizing committee said Friday they are reconsidering whether to allow fans to use the maraca-like instrument during the warm-up tournament. The decision came after police in northeastern Brazil banned the instruments from football stadiums because of security concerns.

It is the second World Cup in a row there has been a controversy involving local instruments used by fan. Throughout the 2010 event in South Africa there was debate about the use of vuvuzelas - plastic horns which created a din that drowned out all other crowd noise. ...

See the whole story here, courtesy of Fox News.

Kicking Back Comments: Take a peek at a video from The Guardian here to see the instrument in action.

No beer, no local cuisine, specially educated prostitutes, no noise makers, stadiums that are half built ... and we are still a year away from the actual World Cup.

Can't wait to see what happens next.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Think review is flawless eh ...

Former WMU baseball player Adam Rosales' apparent home run in Wednesday's Athletics vs. Indians game sparks heated controversy

Former Western Michigan University baseball playerAdam Rosales thought he had hit a game-tying home run for the Oakland Athletics in Wednesday's game against the Cleveland Indians, but a ruling by umpires left players, coaches and fans of both teams stunned.

Rosales hit a high, deep ball in the top of the ninth inning with two outs and Oakland trailing 4-3. Umpires initially ruled the hit, which saw the ball appear to ricochet off a railing above the yellow home run line on the outfield wall, was a double. 

See the whole story here, courtesy of

Kicking Back Comments: FIFA take note, this is your future.

Honestly this was a fascinating result (watch the video to show just how clear this was), and I have to believe that will spark further controversy regarding review (in place since 2008), or particular review of this umpires performance.

This is the future however. A goal may or may not have crossed the line ... let's consult the technology.
Nah, we don't believe that, we're staying with what we think it should be.

Get warmed up to this one FIFA, you may see just this case in 2014 as a referee is empowered to overrule the technology if they feel it is incorrect. Folks are already clanging for a revamp of the replay system here, and provide some evidence that such systems are far from infallible.

Are we ready for a pixel by pixel review of every goal ... and is FIFA ready to see its great GLT experiment fail on the world's stage?

Stay Tuned.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Alright Travis, Now Tackle Baseball

David Ortiz rejects talk of steroid use

“How do you think he does it? I don’t know! What makes him so good?’’

Pete Townshend, “Pinball Wizard”

Hitting is not this easy. Athletes do not get better as they mature into their late 30s. Baseball has been peppered with performance-enhancing drugs for the last 20 years. The cheaters are always ahead of the testers. A number of players from the Dominican Republic have tested positive for steroids. Injuries to the Achilles’ tendon are consistent with steroid use. It is not natural for a guy to hit .426 out of the gate without the benefit of any spring training. ...

See the whole story here, courtesy of The Boston Globe.

Kicking Back Comments: You would think that all the crowing that Travis Tygart, the head of the USADA, has done about doping, and spouting all about how he wants to make things fair and safe for young athletes, he would focus on America's Pastime ... baseball.

It would seem that in this case there is actual evidence in the form of tests that were failed, not coerced testimony from peers, doctors or trainers (and I'm talking about baseball in this case guys). Ortiz himself tested positive in 2003.

Why the hold up Travis? If you want to make a name for yourself and clean up a sport, why not start at home?

I certainly have some suspicions why he is not ...

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Another youth soccer player commits homicide on a referee

Back in December of 2012, Richard Nieuwenhuizen was a volunteer linesman for his son's match in the Netherlands when he was beaten to death by a group of 16 year old thugs at the conclusion of the match.

I gave my opinion here in how these criminals should be treated.

For Richard, there were moments of silence, tears, armbands, and platitudes from FIFA on respect.

It has now happened again, where a U-18 thug from Utah has caused the death of Utah soccer referee Ricardo Portillo by reportedly punching him in the head and neck area. One account of the incident and detail about the Mr. Portillo can be found here, courtesy of CBS. Take a look at the video, it is well worth it.

My question here is not what should happen to this animal who (in the daughter's account) sucker punched Portillo. My question is ... to what limit should the referee go to defend themselves?

Assuming the referee was able to see the strike coming, can they strike first? Should they strike first if they feel they are in imminent mortal danger?

Should it make a difference (as in the 2 cases here) they are youth players? Is there any less danger here?

Here is where folks in the international and professional levels are spoiled, as generally speaking, everyone know they have to get up for "work" the next morning, even if that work is playing soccer. That alone, keeps these surreal things from happening, as well as strong measures from the respective leagues in what would happen should these players batter a referee.

Amateur leagues, youth inclusive, are another matter completely, and are akin to the wild wild west at times. I have been lucky in my career and only hit or spit on a few times by players. While I have been lucky to have others, and generally sympathetic players, come to my aide, if that was not the case, what do you do?

The title "Could This Happen to You?", from the other day was no accident. It is something visceral we as referees need to prepare for.

This could happen to you ... How are you preparing ... and what would you do?

Please also see Paul Levys' piece, In memoriam: Ricardo Portillo, who gives a far more eloquent analysis. I'll be honest, I am just livid and so disheartened at the loss of life over a youth soccer game. While I am clearly not espousing violence of any kind, I do believe that this scenario is one referees must consider.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Grand Tour Season Begins ... NOW!

For all interested, here are previews of the route as well.

Strap in for some cycling commentary over the next few months folks!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

1.21 Giga Watts?

Brazil promises speedy internet for fans at 2014 FIFA World Cup

Soccer fans attending next year's World Cup in Brazil will have no problem going online from stadiums, but they might want to use a local cellphone chip to keep their charges low, Brazilian Communications Minister Paulo Bernardo said yesterday.

Each of the 12 stadiums hosting the 32-nation soccer tournament will have two separate 50-gigabyte networks connected to Brazil's fiber optic backbone, he told reporters. "I doubt that the stadiums will use one third of the capacity that we are installing," Bernardo said.

"Not even Mr Jerome Valcke will use up all that capacity, though he could if he makes a lot of explosive statements," the minister said in reference to the general secretary of FIFA, the governing body of global soccer. ...

See the full story here, courtesy of Tech2.

Kicking Back Comments: "Doubt that the stadiums will use one third of the (bandwidth)" eh ....
We'll see ... who's betting with me that there will be bandwidth issue?

For those who were wondering about the title, it is from the 1985 movie Back to the Future, and is a classic.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Kenyan referee claims sex life ruined by attack

Remember Could this happen to you, from the other day, where a referee was attacked by a youth player?

Well here we have something more extreme by way of damages. Take a look at, Referee sues after coach squeezes his testicles during pitch invasion, courtesy of The Guardian, where a referee was attacked by a youth coach in a particularly gruesome way.

Interestingly, but not surprisingly, the refereeing association is saying they have no responsibility whatsoever in this case.

It is an interesting point, and one that may hold water in many US jurisdictions. While US Soccer does govern our activities, are we employees, or independent contractors?

What type of protections, if any, do we receive as part of being part of the federation?

What is that yellow slip of paper we get with our registration every year that talks about "insurance?"

These are important questions to think about, as if you find yourself the victim of a battery courtesy of a participant in a match, it is unlikely you will find US Soccer or a local association coming to your aide with the exception of sanctioning the player or club with a suspension or possibly a fine if defined in their bylaws.

Everything else, you are likely on your own for, and is between local law enforcement, the courts, and you.

Something to consider next time you go out?

How can you prepare for something like this?

Stay tuned, and I'll toss some ideas out there for thought.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Massachusetts selections to the 2013 Region I ODP Tournament


With special thanks to the Massachusetts State Referee Committee, and SYRA Brian Treanor, I am pleased to relay the second of three announcements appointing referees to the 2013 series of Regional tournaments for Massachusetts!

The tournament to be announced today will be the Region I ODP Tournament. The Region I ODP Tournament is part one of a two part competition that will lead to the crowning of the Region I ODP champions. The tournament will take place from June 7 through June 9. The Region I champions will advance to take part in the National ODP Championships. Referees attending the Region I ODP Tournament may be selected to work at the Region I ODP Finals which take place shortly after the round robin leg on June 7-9. A referee appointed to the Region I ODP Finals may be selected to advance to the ODP National Championships.

I am pleased to announce that this year's Massachusetts referee/assessor delegation to the 2013 Region I ODP Tournament will be:

Anthony Brossi
Joseph Welsby
Erin Cappellucci
Emma Saporito
Jordan Cavaco
Nikolas Coelho
Nicholas Grimard
Karl Sundberg
Brad Weitzel
Fouad Madkour
Zachary Mintz 

Lukengu Jean-Pierre Musanda
One assessor TBA 

David Rodriguez
Mello Barros
Alex Fusco 

The head of delegation for the Region I ODP Tournament will be Anthony Brossi!

Congratulations to all on this significant milestone in your refereeing and assessing career!

Could This Happen To You?

Special thanks to Ken M., and JAFO for bring this one forward.

Soccer ref critically injured after attack by teen player, Utah police say

A soccer referee in Utah was critically injured after being attacked by a 17-year-old player angry about a call made during the game, police said. reports that the 46-year-old ref was injured Saturday morning while officiating a game being played in the fields behind Eisenhower Jr. High School, which is just south of Salt Lake City. ...

See the whole story here, courtesy of Fox News.

Kicking Back Comments: As we will see tomorrow, this referee is likely on their own regarding any medical bills.