What does it mean to be a professional soccer referee? Is it a mindset? How does it shape your character? Who has the guts to run six to eight miles in 90 minutes and blow a whistle in front of enormous stadiums and global audiences? How many of those referees started at weekend youth games in their local park? Soccer officials are typically dedicated to mastering their craft. There is classroom training, some uniforms to carry, and strong camaraderie among participants. This is our company founder story.
This past weekend, a third division Brazilian soccer match turned into a violent confrontation between a player and a referee. In the season closer, Boa was two goals up on defending champion, Guarani. Tempers flared at the 60th minute in a challenge with Guarani defender, Beck Guarani Ferreira. The referee judges that a violent elbow was thrown, and issues a red card to Ferreira.
Before a match, the first formal interaction soccer referees have with team captains results in a coin toss. Based on the Laws of the Game, Law 8 states that:
"...the team that wins the toss of a coin decides which goal it will attack in the first half..."
If you dig in your pocket and have no coin, and your referee team comes empty handed expecting you to carry a coin, the situation can be quite embarrassing for the assembled group. Players are eager to play and gain what they consider a starting advantage. Assistant Referees may be expecting the referee to carry a coin. The formality of a coin toss exhibits a 50/50 chance for the players, and that the referees are applying fairness to the match.
There are a number of tricks referees use for the coin toss. These work at the youth, college, indoor, beach, adult, and professional levels.