Foul, an unfair play or move within a sport. It’s a fairly simple definition, but still when a team is playing there is some debate over whether or not the referees are calling the right ones. When a team is playing a sport, they trust a referee to keep the game fair. They trust that if they get fouled it will be called. After all, no one wants to play a game where they keep getting thrown to the ground, but are the referees calling what they should? This year it has become apparent that some referees just aren’t making the calls that are needed.
As the season progresses, it is becoming clear that the referees are an issue. Both coaches and players are frequently outraged by a call, or the lack thereof. In one varsity soccer game, Coach Alex Reilly and Coach Dan Reilly were both carded for arguing with the ref over the call he had made. One question this event might raise: Are the referees being put through enough training?
What training is needed to become a referee? According to The Eastern Massachusetts Soccer Officials Association, for soccer the only requirements to become a referee for a high school or middle school level game are that the person is older than 18 and has completed a one-week online course. The referees have no previous knowledge of soccer. However, if they do have knowledge of the sport, it could be possible that the referees are merely memorizing the names of plays and calls to pass a test. A referee can be paid up to $80 per game and can ref up to five games a week.
Whether it be intentional or not, referees seem to be receiving the bare minimum of training. One could argue that these referees are making the wrong calls because they lack training. What are players to do? They can’t argue because they get carded. Are players just expected to just sit around while a referee makes calls that aren’t correct? Will this streak of interesting calls continue?
It’s not just the soccer teams, there can be problems with the gaming officials in all sports, at all levels. Players, and fans alike, can only hope that the calls improve and that the game officials step up their game in order to keep our game safe and fair.
Savannah Houdeshell, Staff Writer
Freshman Savannah Houdeshell is a staff writer for the 2015-2016 Colonel. She participates in Operation Smile and is on the soccer team.