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National Coordinator Notes
  • 10/23/2013


    When deciding whether or not to caution for a tactical foul take the following into consideration:

    -Chance to score a goal
    -Distance between the incident and the goal
    -Number of defenders involved in the play
    -Location of defenders
    -Number of attackers involved in the play
    -Location of attackers
    -Direction of the play
    -Does the attacker have control of the ball?
    -Can the attacker gain control of the ball?
    -Options to pass the ball
    -Skill of the player

    Click here to view this information as a PowerPoint presentation.  If you are unable to view the videos within the PowerPoint presentation, please click here to view them on the VIDEO tab.

    Ryan Cigich
    National Coordinator Men’s & Women’s Soccer Officials


  • 10/15/2013

    Bench Personnel:

    There is a happy medium of bench behavior to strive for.  On one extreme, some officials are allowing visual, audible, and persistent complaining by coaches that is abusive to go without any sanction or action.  On the other extreme, some officials are being dismissive of fair and reasonable questions or requests to monitor infractions such as fouls and encroachment.  A few guidelines on bench behavior:

    - Allow the coaching staff to have some interaction with you on a polite and professional basis.  This is part of your overall game management.  Expect some emotion on critical decisions.  These comments are usually brief, even if they are sometimes loud.  If the emotional outburst persists, firmly but politely let the coach know you are willing to listen when they are ready to speak with (not scream at) you more calmly.  Responding in a confrontational manner will do little to calm them down.  At times listening is the best option.  Cutting them off builds confrontation rather than compliance for future requests.

    -Allowing for dialogue and the occasional emotional outburst does not equate allowing unfettered screaming, yelling, or abuse, particularly when profanity is used.  Profanity in the collegiate game should never be permitted.  If the abuse is directed at the Referee or an AR, or if the coaching staff leaves the coaching and team area to pursue an official, it cannot be ignored.  Establish a clear understanding during the pregame when bench personnel approach irresponsible behavior.  If a 4th official or AR calls a referee over to card a coach/asst. coach for dissent, there is very little reason for a referee not to honor that request.

    Clock Management

    The ability to stop the clock in cases of time wasting is a very useful tool and part of your overall game management.  Throwing or kicking the ball away to prevent or delay a restart is not acceptable and must be dealt with.  There are several options between the extremes of ignoring it and issuing a caution. 

    There must be an awareness of when such delay tactics are likely – preventing a quick kick that catches the defense unprepared (especially as play gets closer to goal), holding a lead or tie, and to break momentum of the opponent are prime examples.  Players who delay a restart run the risk of receiving a caution for that action. At minimum, the player shall be verbally warned.  If a player repeats the offense after a verbal warning, there is little reason not to caution that player.

    Injury management

    If possible assess the situation before having a trainer brought on.  Serious injuries such as a head/neck injury, broken leg, any signs of a concussion, etc. should require the immediate attention of the medical staff.  Minor injuries (e.g. cramp) should be assessed by the Referee prior to calling for the trainer.  Bench-side AR or 4th Official can assist by going to a position near the trainer so they are ready to come in but do not enter until they are beckoned by the referee.  Referees should always respond on the side of caution for the health and safety of the student athlete.

    Social Media

    Every game should be treated with respect.  No matter what level it is important to the participants and it should be shown by your behavior that you take it seriously as well. All officials should be aware that any comment they make at any time could be overheard and will be misconstrued if it is possible to do so. You should not be saying anything regarding a game that you would not be willing to have published on the front page of the newspaper. This includes, and is particularly relevant to any social media. Do not post comments about games or critiques of officials, players or coaches on webpages, Facebook, twitter, or any other electronic media. It will come back to haunt you!

    Ryan Cigich
    National Coordinator Men’s & Women’s Soccer Officials


  • 10/9/2013

    When deciding Advantage the Referee should consider the following:

    Distance from the goal

    -chance to score a goal
    -chance of a promising attack


    -number of defenders
    -number of attackers

    Severity of the foul  - Does the foul warrant a caution or ejection?

    Atmosphere/Temperature of the match - Does your match control need the foul?

    Time of the match

    Possession of the ball

    Skill of the player

    Score of the match

    Location of the foul should always be considered before giving advantage:

    Defensive zone – Typically play it safe and give a free kick, unless you have exceptional circumstances to let play continue.

    Midfield – Look for an immediate attacking opportunity (number of defenders and attackers) as well as distance to goal.  The skill of the player and his/her ability to regain possession of the ball should be taken into consideration.  Also consider the severity of the foul and the overall control of the match.

    Attacking zone – Take into account all considerations but consider giving a free kick if its more of a benefit to the attacking team.

    Click here to view this information as a PowerPoint presentation.  If you are unable to view the Advantage videos within the PowerPoint presentation, please click here to view them on the VIDEO tab.

    Ryan Cigich
    National Coordinator Men’s & Women’s Soccer Officials


  • 8/22/2013


    The Referee should take the following into consideration in order to be in the best position for the game situation:

    1. Play Between Referee and AR
    2. Reading of the game; next phase of play
    3. Proximity From Play
    4. Angle of View
    5. View Blocked By Players

    General Positioning Recommendations:

    1. The best position is the position that allows the Referee to make the correct decision.
    2. The play should generally be between the Referee and the lead AR.  Thus having the lead AR within the Referee’s peripheral vision.
    3. Referees should always be thinking and be ready for the “next phase of play."
    4. The Referee should be close enough to the play without interfering with play.  At times the Referee may need to trade proximity from play for a better angle of view.
    5. The best position may not always be in the vicinity of the ball.  Other factors that the referee must pay attention to include:
           a)  Off the ball confrontations
           b)  Offenses in the area of the "next phase of play"
           c)  Offenses occurring after teh ball is played away
    6. Proximity brings credibility.

    Recommendations about positioning are based on generalities and must be adjusted based on specific information about the teams, players, and situations in the match up to that point.

    Please click the link below to access the Positioning videos, which may also be viewed by clicking on the VIDEO tab:

    NCAA Soccer Referee Positioning Videos

    Ryan Cigich
    National Coordinator Men’s & Women’s Soccer Officials


  • 8/9/2013

    Points of Emphasis

    Welcome to the 2013 season!  This is the first of a series of articles and video training that will be posted on the NCAA Soccer Officiating Center Circle. There are no rules changes for the 2013 season, as this is the second year of the two-year rules cycle.

    Points of Emphasis Listed in Rule Book

    In each edition of the NCAA Men’s and Women’s Soccer Rules, there are several areas that are given special attention. These are identified as points of emphasis. While they may not represent any rules changes as such, their importance must not be overlooked. Points of emphasis are accentuated with a frame around the specific rule within the main text of the rules book.  Please review the Points of Emphasis located on Page 5 of the rules book.

    Red Card and Fighting Reporting

    Of particular concern has been the red card reporting protocol and follow through.  Red cards MUST be reported to the NCAA. The form and link are housed on the NCAA Soccer Officiating Center Circle. This MUST be done within 24 hours of the completion of the match.  It is critical that referees follow all of the red card protocols outlined in Rules 5 and 12. As there are different penalties for being ejected for a fight, particular reporting requirements both on the field and after the match are in place for fighting ejections. To quote the rules book, a fight is defined:

    Rule 12.6.1 Fighting. Definition: A fight is defined as a deliberate strike or punch or an attempt to strike or punch another player, official, coach or bench personnel.  These acts include, but are not limited to, kicking, head-butting, hair pulling or an open-handed strike if done deliberately and in a malicious manner.

    Rule The referee shall inform the player(s), the head coach(s) and the official scorekeeper, who shall record on the official NCAA box score form, that an ejection for fighting has been issued.  In addition, the referee shall electronically complete and file the fight reporting form located on the NCAA Soccer Central Hub website at within 24 hours of completion of the game.  Notification of the fighting ejection(s) and two-game suspension shall be sent by the NCAA national office to the offending individual’s institution and the governing sports authority. (See Rule 12.12.1.)

    If the player is ejected per Rule 12.3.3 “fighting,” the referee MUST tell the player, the head coach and the scorekeeper at the time of the ejections that the red card was issued for FIGHTING. This MUST be indicated in the score book and the referee MUST verify that entry upon the completion of the game when signing the scorebook. The referee MUST file the reports as indicated above within 24 hours.

    Situations from Last Season Requiring Greater Attention This Year

    Overtime – Rule 7.1.1

    For ALL regular season games, two sudden victory overtime periods of 10 minutes each will be played. A coin toss called by the visiting team will determine choice of ends of the field or the kickoff before the start of the first sudden-victory overtime period. Teams shall change ends of the field to start the second sudden-victory overtime period. If the score is still tied at the end of the second sudden victory overtime period, the game will remain a tie.

    There is NO option for the overtime periods to be set aside by mutual consent of the coaches, overtimes MUST be played.  There were situations in 2012 where the overtime period continued after a team scored a goal. This is incorrect. The game is over when the first goal is scored in the overtime period.

    Postgame duties – Rule 5.5.2

    All officials should review and sign the official NCAA box score. Be sure to check the accuracy of the score, cards, and any other disciplinary actions. For all ejections, the referee shall electronically complete and file the appropriate form(s) on the NCAA Soccer Central Hub within 24 hours of completion of the game. This is a REQUIREMENT. Referees must ensure the recorded information is accurate and must complete the online red card form for any issued during the contest.

    Best of luck and have a great 2013 season!

    Ryan Cigich
    National Coordinator Men’s & Women’s Soccer Officials

  • 9/21/2012

    Rule 6.2  Alternate Official


    A conference or an institution may elect to assign an alternate official to a match in order to assure game officiating continuity in the event one of the assigned officials is unable to perform his or her duties.

    Who decides who will take over?

    The governing sports authority shall clearly state theMore...

  • 9/7/2011
    Reasonable attention to all possible preventive measures will not eliminate sports injuries. Each scheduled practice or contest of an institution-sponsored intercollegiate athletics event, and all out-of season practices and skills sessions, should include an emergency plan. Like student-athlete well-being in general, a plan is a shared responsibility of the athletics department; administrators, coaches and medical personnel should
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