Other Sports > Soccer

(American) football officials who also officiate soccer/(association) football


How many of you officiate both common varieties of football (American football and soccer)? How did you get started with one sport, and then the other? What made you choose to do the other sport? How do you balance between the two sports' seasons?

I'm curious to see if I can find more soccer officials, because this forum has a rarely-visited soccer section, and it would be interesting to hear their perspective as well. I now am both a football and soccer official after doing football since 2015.

 I was initially interested in soccer back when I was trying to decide on a second fall sport to work on the days when I didn't have football. Back then, I chose volleyball, but I was still interested in reading about soccer officiating. I decided to give it a try in 2020, but then COVID hit and everything went to hell. Baseball season disappeared, and then there was no on-field training in the fall (usually, there are 2 soccer training classes a year), so I had to wait until this spring to actually do my first games. I worked my first soccer games, and found that I enjoyed the physical and mental challenge. The Laws are simple to learn, but challenging to apply (When working as an assistant referee, offsides comes to mind. The concept is that a player ahead of the 2nd to last defender cannot receive a pass, because he would have an unfair advantage by only having to face the goalkeeper. The AR (assistant referee) needs to note the player position, ball position, position of 2nd to last defender, see if the ball is played to the offsides attacker, and whether he is meaningfully involved in play enough to gain an unfair advantage. If these criteria are met, the AR raises the flag, the center referee blows the whistle, and play is stopped and resumed with an indirect free kick), and one must be in excellent shape to be in the proper position to make the calls, whether as the center referee or an assistant referee. Now, I realize that I am lucky enough to live in an area where I can work high school football in the fall, and soccer in both the fall and spring (MD plays soccer in the fall, but VA plays soccer in the spring), so why not take advantage of the opportunities?


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