How bad is the officiating at youth soccer games? I watched 6 games this weekend with awful officiating in all but one of them. Simple rules such as poor throw-ins, blatant (not even close!) offsides, and obvious handballs went uncalled. In one match, I heard a boy say the F-word twice and not even receive a yellow card (or the coach pulling him off the field).
Some, if not most, of the officials seemed only interested in their pre-game cash rather than being professional in manner. I witnessed two ARs with such poor mechanics in signaling which way the ball was to go, that I had to intervene mid-match and show them proper technique (not limp-wristing across the body).
Is it any wonder why parents/supporters get riled up when they are paying thousands of dollars for their kid to play and the lack of professionalism amongst the officials (particularly the young ones or the old ones that cannot move) is more common than not. We've all heard the "if you yell at them, they'll quit" mantra over the years from referee assignors and state officials, but the truth of it is that over the last 20 years, players have improved, coaching has improved, administration has improved, but the officials have arguably regressed.
I'm interested in seeing if anyone else has had similar observations.