Welcome To The Referees' Corner
SHOULD REFEREES STOP THE GAME FOR WATER BREAKS?
Some referees using common sense decide to stop the game when it is too hot and allow the players to hydrate as a way to prevent heat related problems. Other referees, on the other hand, do not allow this during regular time. They don’t want to stop the game, arguing that FIFA prohibits this practice. Who is right? Let's see...
Analysis of the situation.
"The loss of 5% of a player’s body fluid during a match is enough to substantially undermine performance. More so, in that further loss can cause an acute phase of dehydration.” This was the conclusion reached by members of the FIFA medical commission and is the reason it was suggested to the Referee’s Committee of soccer’s governing body, that “they were required to stop the game for one or two minutes for hydration in the event of high temperatures” in order to prevent any player suffering heat related injury.
The FIFA Referees Committee accepted the proposal made by its counterpart, however, not as it was originally proposed. They stated that “the referee should be allowed, if the game is played in high heat, to temporarily stop for a minute for all players to hydrate,” as a way to protect the physical health of players.
The referee's discretion prevails.
The Referees Committee does not provide within forty five (45) minutes in regular time, a special period during which the referee should stop the game for players to drink fluids. Everything was left to the discretion of the referee who, depending on the temperature, could decide to stop play.
When asked about this topic, Dr. Carlos Alarcon, President of the Referees Committee of the South American Soccer Confederation said,” A referee stopping the game for players to hydrate under FIFA authority is not illegal and not based on a referee’s whim but an action that has already been analyzed with the procedure provided for.” Therefore, this official statement settles discussion on this issue.
REMEMBER: WE ARE HERE FOR THE KIDS. DO WHAT IS RIGHT FOR THEM.
Just as we can't play soccer without soccer players, we certainly can't play without referees. As referees, our goal is to ensure that that our games are safe, fair, and fun. As with all of our other positions, the referee is a parent volunteer who has graciously donated their time so that our kids can play and have fun.
You don't need experience to be a referee, you just need desire to see kids have fun in a safe and exciting environment. We have a number of referee courses available where you will get the necessary instruction on the laws of the game, along with basic referee equipment.
Referee Tips and Points to Remember:
1. Remember Safe, Fair, and Fun - It is the responsibility of the referee to provide a safe and positive environment during the match. Anything that compromises any of these three things should be addressed immediately. Check the pitch (field) for safety hazards before each match.
2. Establish your authority - Talk to the players and coaches. Let them know that you and your referee team are in charge of calling the game. Don't lose control of the match. If you made a judgement call and have reason to question it, consult the other referees, NOT coaches, players, or spectators. If anyone doesn't respect that, consult the head table.
3. Sportsmanship - Having fun includes being a good sport at all times, regardless of the results of a match. Encourage all players, coaches, and spectators to be good sports at all times. Supervise the end-of-match handshakes and ensure that all matches end on a positive note.
4. Know The Laws Of The Game - Consult The Laws Of The Game prior to your first few matches. Understand that much of the sport of soccer involves judgement calls, so it is very important that you understand the reason a call was made.
5. Maintain proper position - If you didn't see the play, you can't make the call. A referee must be in a good position in order to make proper calls, which will lessen your chance of an error. When in doubt, err on the side of safe and fair.
♦ AYSO Help - Great Resource Page For Answers To Frequently Asked Questions
♦ FIFA - FIFA's Laws Of The Game
♦ FIFA Offside - Powerpoint Visual Guide To The Offside Law
♦ FIFA Offside - Interactive Guide To The Offside Law
♦ US Soccer - US Soccer Laws Of The Game & Ask A Referee Section