So one half of my Father’s Day weekend was a bust! Well not completely, but when I get kicked of a side-line by a ref…that’s enough to ruin my day.
Honestly, I’ve been a spectator of soccer now for a majority of my life. I love kicking the ball around. It’s my sport…often mocked, but as you see…it’s slowly becoming more mainstream in America and that’s a wonderful thing. That said I often feel change comes from a local level. We have not progressed as a nation quick enough to rival the worlds finest. Why? Ego, arrogance and mixed up priorities, at the local level.
How excited was I to spend 8 hours of my Saturday at Covenant Soccer Fields? EXTREMELY! Coach Tod asked my 2 boys to participate in this World Futbol Tour 3v3 tournament. Other than chilling out pool side or couch side…there’s nothing better than cheering on my boys or my girl playing soccer and hanging out with other awesome parents doing the same! But this World Futbol Tour was not that. The parents were handed a flyer upon registering, stating “No Coaching” but we could cheer positive encouragement. Huh?! Immediately I was told watch my “cheers”…which immediately put me on guard and set the day off onto the wrong path. First off, I run my mouth for a living…secondly, last time I checked it’s my 1st amendment right; I’m not endangering anyone’s safety. Terms such as “Do it again” were deemed coaching. I found myself cheering “Play Soccer” “Have FUN” “Keep Smiling”!!! Even my kids were like, “Dad…what’s wrong with you”? BTW, this was a 3v3 format of soccer. This to me is not soccer. 3v3 has its own set of rules that both my boys’ teams were not totally versed in (our fault), so some coaching would have really benefited the boys. This in turn would have benefited/challenged the opposing teams. Rather than giving them free goals for random unknown rules, leading to undeserved wins.
So now when Jack’s team was playing and confusion arose, the ref was questioned by our coach for a clarification. I was right next to him, wearing my US National team jersey…I guess this kid/ref assumed I was coach too…he answered me. The 3 of us engaged in friendly conversation regarding the rules…the kids on the field were getting annoyed for the delay in game play. Game play resumed, as did the cheering from the side line…someone said “again or do it again”. Whatever it was, the ref stops the game, penalizes one of our players with a minute penalty off the field, who happens to be my Jack! At that point I yell, “what for”? He say’s coaching/cheering…I asked what he heard? “Someone said again”…I said “Who”? He said “ALL the parents”…so I turned to all the parents and said “No one say AGAIN…AGAIN”…then looked back at the ref…who approached me and threw me out for, “mocking me”…I was so pissed!!! So pissed!!!
I was also really disappointed in the “customer service”. I was sent to ask questions for our teams coach as he set up the boys, I was completely ignored. We say this is for the kids, yet it’s not. It’s about our money. It’s not about the kids, if it was, coaching them would be priority. Having fun as a family would come first. This is BS. We had ref’s questioning field rulings. One field had one set of rules, while the field right next to it run by another ref…had a different idea of the rules and implemented calls as such, confusing kids and parents alike. Again, I know soccer…I had no idea what these people were talking about. It felt like someone took a spin on soccer, made some changes and is marketing this as a way to better your skills…BS! It’s a way to milk us parents for our money, this is not soccer.
Which brings me to the larger point; this is why our US National team lacks as much as it does. At the local level, soccer has become a business. Egos, money and “politics” rule the local leagues. From not allowing headers to different variations of the game, like no goalies! I’m over the anger…I’ve learned to sit silent on a sideline, which is the exact opposite of what sports are about, for better or worse.
I was embarrassed in front of my wife my kids and my friends on MY home field…for fighting for whats right. Know what…I won’t stop. I pay my very hard earned money to support my kids…they love it, that’s all I care about.
All that said…both boys came in 3rd and medaled!!! They had fun…that’s all that matter’s. Never Give Up…figure it out…prove em all wrong! Job well done Ballerz!!!!
So people have been hitting me up for more info on these “rules”…I FOUND THEM!!! Here feel free to go over them for yourself…fun!