Soccer Refereeing

Soccer Refereeing

Refereeing is a great side job or volunteer work for anyone that enjoys soccer. Refereeing can have a lot to do with whatever area you live in but there are a lot of things in common also. In the following sections I will discuss how to become certified as a referee, they benefits of being a soccer referee, and the downsides of being a soccer referee.

How to become a referee:
The first step to become a soccer referee is to become certified. Having certification is a requirement for most work at a higher level than recreational soccer. On a side note, some recreational soccer leagues require you to be certified anyways. Becoming certified is simple. If the city you live in is big enough and there are soccer leagues, chances are there will be certification at least once a year. If not you may have to travel to a different city to get certification. Becoming certified to referee recreational games or do sideline club games is the first certification. This certification is quite simple to anyone who has played soccer competitively before. However, it is necessary to learn the proper method to make calls. At the end of certification class, there is a test that evaluates your understanding of the rules of the game and proper way to make calls. If you pay attention during class and understand soccer rules, this test shouldn't be to difficult for you. After receiving certification, it is your job to find an assigner to get you working. They often will give the local recreational league soccer assigner at this first level of certification. If you wish to referee club, high school, or even college level soccer, more certification is needed. This certification requires you to wait and take a bridge course and test. As you become more certified you will have to be assessed before moving up to the next level and the classes will cover more technical procedures and rules.

Benefits of Refereeing
There are many benefits of becoming a soccer referee. First, most referee jobs pay well. Most rec soccer refs start making between 10 to 20 dollars per game, which on average last less than an hour. Refereeing club games will get you more, high school soccer will get you paid more, and college will get you paid even more. As you get higher certification as a soccer referee the skill level of the games will become increased making them more enjoyable to spectate but more stressful to referee. You also have to be more fit to referee higher level games.

Downsides of Refereeing
There are a couple downsides of refereeing. The first is start-up cost. If you think you might want to referee but aren't positive, becoming a soccer referee might not be the best idea. The first certification, uniform, watch, whistle, referee shoes, and gas to get to games costs money. I would estimate the start-up cost would be around 150 dollars unless you can find a used or hand down uniform. Low hours can also be a downside to some people. Although refereeing is a great side job. It doesn't always have the best hours. Tournaments are the main exception to this. Most rec leagues run two or three days a week and allow you to work three games, totaling about 6-9 games per week. However, if a lot of cities there are multiple rec leagues, which could potentially allow you to work double the games and even referee two or three club games on the weekend. There are also usually 6-8 months that have competitive soccer per year further reducing hours. At the first certification soccer referees will make less than somebody working at a minimum wage job that works 30-40 weeks, however it is fewer hours. The last downside from refereeing is the stress. You occasionally make a bad call when refereeing. This will sometimes cause you to get yelled at. This causes you to be attentive but other jobs when you are dealing with people are just the same.

In conclusion, referring soccer is a great side job if you enjoy soccer.
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Head's Up: Concussions in Youth Soccer

Head's Up: Concussions in Youth Soccer

Nearly 18 million children play youth soccer in a given year, and according to the American Journal of Sports Medicine, soccer is the number one sport for high-school girls' concussions. It is the number two sport for overall youth concussions, ranked only after boys' football.

In fact, one in ten of all athletes will sustain a concussion this year, although this number may be low because many are never diagnosed or reported. The risk of permanent damage to young people is terrible, and many parents and coaches need to be educated further on the topic.

In soccer, the majority of concussions are not caused by heading the ball, as is commonly believed. In fact, over 70% of concussions sustained while playing soccer are caused by player-to-player contact.

Be aware of the symptoms of a concussion and look for them after every head incident.

1. headache or feeling of pressure in the head
2. nausea or vomiting
3. loss of balance or dizziness
4. double or blurry vision
5. overly bothered by light or noise
6. feeling sluggish, foggy, hazy or groggy
7. Difficulty paying attention
8. Memory problems
9. Confusion
10. Does not "feel right"

In the event that any of these symptoms present after a head injury, take the athlete out of the game. Do not attempt to assess the child yourself, but seek a health professional immediately. MRIs are common tests for diagnosing a concussion. It is imperative that you seek professional advice, because these injuries are hard to diagnose, may present even days after the incident, and may last for a long time.

A concussion is a traumatic brain injury, and should be treated with the utmost seriousness and care. Do not ever make light of a player who has banged her head and complains of a headache. Get help immediately.

Most treatment for a concussion includes monitoring and rest. And by rest, we mean both physical and cognitive. A child with a concussion may be kept home from school for a period of time, and may not be permitted to indulge in any activities which require concentration and attention, such as watching television, playing video games, or even sending text messages on her cell phone. While boring, this enforced leisure is extremely important, to give the brain time to heal fully. Most symptoms completely disappear within three weeks.

People who have suffered a concussion tend to be susceptible to a second, even if the second injury is a lesser injury than the first, and this is especially true if the symptoms from the first have not completely resolved. Thus it is critical to make sure that the injured child is fully healed before permitting her to play again.

Awareness and prevention measures should be taught to the athletes. At this age, players should not be encouraged to head the ball. Too many neck and spinal injuries are also possible, in addition to concussions, when athletes are not fully developed and in control of their bodies. Collisions among players should be avoided if possible, by players paying more attention to where on the field the other players are, and by not deliberately running into other players as a tactic.

With some education and preventive care, perhaps we can cut down on the number of young athletes who are injured in our sport each year.

Darcey Deeds is a freelance writer out of Austin, Texas. She currently has teamed up with Avila Soccer which is the leader in summer soccer camps Austin for both kids and adults.

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Arsenal - Can We Still Say "In Wenger We Trust"?

Arsenal - Can We Still Say "In Wenger We Trust"?

Expert Author Michael Maiolo
Arsenal is probably one of the most successful clubs in the world even though fans and football purists might think otherwise. Yes, there are rumors doing the rounds that Arsene Wenger, its longest serving manager, is destroying the club by selling off its players.

Thanks to a good relationship with Barcelona, both Henry and Fabregas left, and then it was Nasri, and at the close of the last season, both Alex Song and Robin Van Persie both bid farewell to the club for a lot more money.
It's a sinking ship, as some would have it... just reading Piers Morgan rants on Twitter about Van Persie's betrayal is more than enough to set off Gooners fans around the world!

But is that really the case or are fans player-obsessed instead of being club-crazy?

Regardless of which player stays or leaves, Arsenal will always remain Arsenal - only true fans remember that. And regardless of Wenger's decisions to sell, his contribution should not be undermined - and yes, only true fans remember that as well.

We seem to have 'plastic' fans who have forgotten that this is still one of the best football clubs in London... even though it would be wise for Wenger to look at his wage policy all over again, which pays every player, regardless of performance, around the same wages per week.

Arsenal: Nothing to Complain about?

Yes, the complaints all revolve two words: no silverware. But if you look at it closely, Arsenal didn't do so badly last season even though they didn't do great. Of course, winning silverware is all that counts these days yet it's not so bad to finish third in the Premier League and reach the quarter-finals on the European stage, if you ask me.
And with the recent draw in the Champions League with Schalke 04, Montpellier Herault and Olympiacos, it doesn't look like the result, in comparison to last year's performance, is going to be any worse - but could in fact improve, thanks to new signings.

In the absence of players like Robin Van Persie (c'mon, he's 29 years now - it's now or never to cash in!) or Alex Song, Wenger has already brought in 'fresh blood' such as Olivier Giroud, Santi Cazorla and Lukas Podolski. And there's always promise when a team has world-class players such as Rosicky, Wilshere, Diaby and Oxlade-Chamberlain.

With that being said, it should be obvious that there is any guarantee that we will win silverware this year (much like any other team) but as always put in a great performance and hope for the best.

Can We Still Say "In Wenger We Trust"?

Fans don't seem to understand that Wenger didn't really have a choice in selling Song, Fabregas and RVP - it's just good business.

Considering the Financial Fair Play rules that will kick in two years time, getting used to the idea of making profits from players is not such a bad idea considering the fact that spending will be restricted to the profits that the club makes - as opposed to reckless spending that we have seen as a trend.

Let's hope that Wenger knows what he is doing [which he sure is - from the FFP point-of-view] because it sure looks like a smart one keeping these new regulations in mind.

And while it seems that there are creative ways to work around FFP, what remains to be seen is if Platini will not give into the pressure of big clubs like Chelsea, Manchester City and most recently, PSG that continue to spend with gay abandon.

Never mind - in Wenger we trust!

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Why a Soccer Field Is Called a Pitch

Why a Soccer Field Is Called a Pitch

As I started my research for this article I had no idea what I was going to find. I do not watch soccer and did not know that the field was called a pitch. When I heard about the odd name of a soccer field I got very interested in finding the answer to the question why a soccer field is called a pitch.

What I found out is that there is not a lot of information available about this subject. I also found that there are two different answers to the question. The first one that I will talk about is vastly more popular than the second. Even though there is wide gap between these two schools of thought I thought to present them both and let you decide which sounds more feasible.

The first explanation for why a soccer field is called a pitch comes from the beginnings of both soccer and cricket. This is possibly why this is the most popular answer for the question we are asking. Most people believe that a soccer field is called a pitch because it refers to the fact that the goals had to be pounded, or pitched, into the ground. This is similar to using the word in the context of "pitching a tent." The fact that a cricket field is called a pitch as well goes a long way to imagining that this could be the actual way a soccer field started being called a pitch. Also, from what I could find, all playing fields in England are called a pitch.

As I said the second explanation for why a soccer field is called a pitch is far less popular than the first one. Being a writer this answer appeals to me, and actually feels like this could be the real reason a soccer field is called a pitch. This explanation comes from the Oxford English Dictionary. In the Oxford dictionary the definition of a pitch "is an area of ground marked out or used for play in an outdoor game." This can also be a good explanation for the reason that all playing fields in England are called a pitch. In England a "field" is defined as an open space that is used for agricultural. In the US we call all large expanses of land a field, whether they are used for games or farming. In the UK they differentiate between the two by calling a farm field a "field" and a playing field a "pitch."

What this means, is that this is just a difference in Americanized English and what the English call the Queens' English. There are many examples of these differences in our languages. For instance we call fuel for our cars "gas" and they call the same fuel "petrol." We use the word garbage, they call it rubbish. You could go on and on with examples of the different words that are used in each country. These are the two different reasons I could find as to why a soccer field is called a pitch. I presented both of the explanations so that each reader of this article can make up their own mind which one they believe is the correct reason.

Darcey Deeds is a freelance writer out of Austin, Texas. She currently has teamed up with Avila Soccer which is the leader in indoor soccer Austin for both kids and adults.

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Why Soccer Is A Great Sport

Why Soccer Is A Great Sport

Soccer, or football as it is called in most countries, is arguably the most popular sport worldwide. The sport has its origin in England. It is a team sport played both at the national and club level and it usually provides a great spectacle for its fanatic followers.

In general, the game of soccer attracts huge audiences both at home through live broadcasts on television or at the stadium. More often than not, a few goals will be scored during a soccer match. Goals scored during a soccer match provide one of the most jubilant scenes one would ever experience amongst a set of players and fans in any team sport. Ironically, goals are also the source of so much pain and despair amongst the conceding team and their set of fans.

Apart from goal scoring, there are a number of aspects of the sport that would appeal to the fans. There are skillful players on show who help to create goal scoring chances for their teams and make the game more interesting, there are also individual and team awards for the outstanding performers. Nonetheless, supporters still rate their most captivating matches according to whether their team won or lost.

In current times, soccer tournaments such as the World Cup, European Cup, African Nations Cup and the European Champions League, have become some of the most followed sporting events in the world. The FIFA World Cup in particular, is a global showcase that brings together the best national soccer teams around the world. The first FIFA world cup was played in 1930 with only 13 teams participating in the competition - it has since grown in stature as 32 national teams now participate.

The FIFA world cup has a rich history that soccer fans can relate to. The most memorable World Cups are those which had some captivating matches with great teams and players involved. Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina, Italy, Germany, England and Spain, have all been involved in some of the unforgettable matches, each one of them having at least a FIFA World Cup title to their name.

One of the main advantages of soccer is that it unites countries and continents especially at the World Cup level. For instance, Spain's victory during the 2010 World Cup brought together a divided nation in celebration of the victory. Similarly, African fans closely followed and cheered the continents' participants in the tournament in unison, with Ghana being the most impressive having reached the quarter finals.

At the club level, rivalries are what appeal most to the fans. Club teams constantly try to out do each other by recruiting the best players to compete in the domestic leagues and continental championships. In tournaments such as the European Champions League great rivalries exist between the leading teams such as Manchester United and Barcelona. These teams also participate in domestic cups such as the FA Cup (England) or the Kings Cup (Spain). The beauty of such domestic cups is that the smaller teams get to match up with the more established teams in knock-out games. Over the years, upsets have been common in such match-ups.

From the above manifestations, it is therefore very easy to say that soccer is a great sport. Although some people fail to embrace its grandeur, many people around the world swear by it. No one has ever put it better than the great Pele who termed soccer as "the beautiful game."

Darcey Deeds is a freelance writer out of Austin, Texas. She currently has teamed up with Avila Soccer which is the leader in Austin soccer camps for both kids and adults.

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