Where’s the Referee?

Where's the Referee?

By Joe Ulm

Here’s the problem: there aren’t enough referees. And I can tell you with 100% certainty that it’s not for lack of organization or effort. People are working hard, providing opportunities, spreading the word, and encouraging kids to become referees. Oh, and the pay is good, too. Yet, here we are. Again.  Without enough referees.   How can that be?

As it turns out, there is a simple answer to that question – because it’s not worth it.

It’s not worth it to have coaches tell you all the calls you missed; or to have parents berate you at maximum volume in front of 20, 30, or 50 people.  More. It’s not worth having your knowledge questioned publicly – or your abilities, or your general intelligence, and so on. Worse yet, sometimes they’re correct; parents and coaches, with their loud, sideline voices. For all to hear. You made 25 correct calls before that, but yeah, you missed that one and that’s not allowed.  Perfection or failure, nothing else. That’s how everyone’s judged at their jobs, right? 

Being a referee isn’t worth it to many players because this is the culture we’ve accepted. Somehow, we’ve all decided it’s okay to act like this. As if standing on the sideline watching our son or daughter play soccer gives us a divine right to publicly judge someone else’s son or daughter. After all, we’re the adults – we’re the ones who teach our kids the important things…like respect and how to treat others.

If you want referees at your son or daughter’s game then we need to create a different culture.  One in which we encourage and support instead of criticizing – even when the bad call happens.  Even when it happens again.  Because we don’t get both the right to judge AND plenty of great referees.  We get one or the other.  Which is most important to you? 

Stay United, everyone.

Unseen Effort

Unseen Effort

By Joe Ulm

For many of our Select and Academy players, the spring season starts next week.  I love the start of the both fall and spring seasons, however the start of a new season also means schedules, rosters, coaches, equipment and, of course, our fields, need to be ready to go.  Last week I wrote about how Eli Rades, Soli Kothari, and Sam Deibert had done an amazing job preparing the fields for the season.  However, there are two other groups who do work on the fields; work that’s essential for us to play soccer:  The Village of Sussex and City of Pewaukee Parks Maintenance teams. 

The effort these people put into the fields goes mostly unseen, yet the work required to maintain the fields is extensive.  Mowing, weed control, fertilization, aeration, and watering, are just the start. With over 700 players in the club, each spending an average of 80 hours of time on the fields each year, our players put the fields through about 56,000 hours of cleat-pounding wear and tear every year! And that means the fields require constant maintenance. Yet, Armory Park is always in great shape and the condition of the fields at PSC continues to improve by huge leaps each season. That’s pretty amazing if you ask me. 

So if you run across Thom Berres at Armory Park – or if you run across Dan Neubauer at PSC (or any of their team members), consider thanking them for all the work they do.  Because it’s their effort that makes what we do, possible. And, of course, it’s another great way for all of us to stay United.

Stay United, everyone.