Respect for Mini Roo REFEREES

Dear MiniRoos Parent, Coach, Manager and Supporter

As we begin a new season please consider the need to respect our junior referees.

In previous years, a number of incidents have been brought to our attention where unfortunately junior referees have been verbally abused by Coaches, Managers, or Parents.

In some cases, this has left the young referee in tears with some of them stating that they do not want to referee again.

This behaviour will NOT and should NOT be tolerated.

We do not expect perfection from our kids as they play the game.  Air swings, fluffed shots and a failure to comply with instructions are commonplace.  As parents and coaches this is frustrating to watch but we understand that these are kids learning to play the game and that they will make mistakes along the way.

There is NOTHING different when it comes to our junior referees.  They are also very young (some are just 12) and they are also learning the ropes.  They will make mistakes and we should show them the same tolerance and understanding that we show our own children.

We CANNOT and SHOULD NOT expect perfection.  Try to remember back to when you were that age and how scary & intimidating you would have found a grown adult towering and shouting at you.

Junior referees often show an extreme reluctance to blow their whistle.  Maybe they do not enforce the requirement to get back to the half-way line.  As a parent or coach you just have to deal with this, frustrating as it may be.   Like players, referees have to start somewhere.  We won’t have any referees in the future if we don’t train junior referees today and let them gain some experience in a non-challenging environment.

Remember that each Club has a MiniRoos Co-Ordinator and there should be Ground Control at every game.  Please approach these people with any problems or issues that may arise.  They are there to help!

I should point out the obvious:  if the kids don’t referee, parents will have to.

So please bear the following points in mind:

1.  Each individual game is important to you and to your kids – but at the end of the day it’s just junior sport, not the World Cup.  Lighten up!

2.  You have to cut the junior referees some slack.  Remember that YOU are the adult here.

3.  If you have a problem with the way the game is being controlled (such as teams not getting back to half-way), raise your concerns with GROUND CONTROL, NOT the referee.

4.  Talk to the opposition coach before the game and agree a common approach on any areas of common controversy, such as getting back to half-way.

Here’s a tip for our coaches.  If the other team doesn’t get back to half-way and the referee and the opposition coach doesn’t make them, loudly instruct your player not to take the goal-kick until they get back.  Once everybody has stood around for 60-90 seconds they generally get the idea.

Remember, if the person next to you is getting “too excited or zealous”, remind them it is only a game.

We don’t want you appearing in at our Judiciary explaining your actions.

Finally, let’s begin the 2014 season in a positive manner by ensuring that both the kids and the referees have lots of fun!



Giulio Di Stefano

SSFA Mini Roos Co-Ordinator

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