It’s up to referees to know the
rules of summer tournaments
This time of year, we referee more tournament matches and league qualifiers than we do regular season games. The rules of competition therefore are more likely different than in these matches than we are used to doing.
When we make ourselves available for these matches, we should seek out their specific rules of competition. These days, tournament rules are usually posted on the website for that league. If a referee has trouble finding these rules, the assignor will be able to provide a location where they can be reviewed.
Most tournaments have a required time frame prior to the match for the referee to check in with the assignor. The excuse, “I was not told,” does not fly. It is the duty of the referee to know what is required for that competition. If the referee is not told or provided the information about the rules, the referee MUST ask. Showing up at the pitch and asking the field marshals or the coaches about the rules gives the impression that the referee crew is unprepared. Each member of the referee crew should know the rules of that competition long before they check in with the assignor at the prescribed time on the day of the match.
The match assignment does not start at kick off and does not end at the final whistle of the match. The referee must prepare prior to the match, knowing not only “The Laws of the Game” but also the rules of the competition. After the final whistle, the referee — along with the help and teamwork form the ARs — must fill out all paperwork properly and accurately before that match assignment is completed.
Let’s be prepared when we referee matches this summer, making it more enjoyable for all. Thank you for all of your help and support in the referee program, as well as in North Texas Soccer.