Young players can take instructions like 'make the pitch big' and 'check your shoulders' very literally - so take a different approach, says HANNAH DUNCAN MORE
Soccer coaching tips for stand in refs
Use the following soccer coaching tips if you have to stand in at the last minute as a referee for young players.
Helpers: Get a dad or mom from each team to run one side of the pitch as linesman. In that way any contentious throw-in calls are not by you, which takes some of the attention away from you.
Throw ins: You will come across teams, especially at the younger age groups (7 and under) who just cannot throw in properly. Ignore feet off the ground at this age but remember that by the time they are at under 11s feet must be on the ground.
Shouters: If you are constantly being shouted at by a parent of either team, stop the match and walk over to the parent and ask them to tell everyone what it is they are shouting about.
Explain you are trying to referee young children and he/she is spoiling the game. DIFFUSE THE SITUATION RATHER THAN GET AGGRESSIVE. DON’T SHOUT BACK AT PARENTS… OR CHILDREN!
Free-kicks/penalties: Penalties give most cause for concern. The player that you penalise will probably cry, the player taking the penalty may miss and probably cry, the goalie who doesn’t save the penalty will probably cry. So what do you do? Only give penalties for violent conduct, double footed challenges or very deliberate handball.
Backpass: Backpass rule applies at under 8 and above. Agree it with the other team’s manager first.
Injuries: Act quickly to stop the game.
Click here for soccer coaching tips to get parents to respect the referee.