On The Pitch

Thoughts on Youth Soccer from a Soccer Dad, Fan, Coach and Administrator

Entries for June, 2008

How Accurate Is Ball Flight Technology?

The use of technology in soccer for things like goal line calls, offside, and more has always been experimental, and even then has been controversial. While arguing over a referee’s call is often a soccer fan’s favorite pastime, few fans or officials support its use in the beautiful game. However, more often than not the debate is about technology’s impact on the flow of the game, not accuracy. Yet as technology is evaluated for use in soccer, we cannot overlook the fact the technology is imperfect and subject to errors.

Looking Beyond The Blog

A number of changes are in store for On The Pitch this year, but before any could be implemented, the front page itself needed a major overhaul. What do you think?

A Rare Thing Indeed

Imagine a soccer academy that offers a full residential development program and doesn’t charge a thing. Sound like fantasy? For most people it is, but Brad Friedel is looking to change that one player at a time.

Team Building or Tyranny?

Some travel team coaches require players to wear matching practice attire and a few are so strict that they’ll send players home if they aren’t wearing it. Is this creative coaching or overzealous coaching? Will matching attire have that much of an impact on a team’s dynamic?

Lessons In Soccer Fashion

Here’s a little tip for any of you who have been running around the house trying to find soccer socks for your child before practice, camp, or a match. One of Soccer Dad’s urchins discovered that soccer socks aren’t the only long black socks to be found in our laundry basket!

Tales From The Lunachick Fringe III

My U11 Girls team had one last hurrah at the NC State Games last weekend, and you just knew there would be a few Tales From The Lunachick Fringe!

The NC State Games are a huge annual amatuer sporting event styled after the Olympics, including opening ceremonies. The youth soccer tournament is only one of dozens of events, but attracts teams from across the state. So we were excited to be going as our last event together as a U11 team. The girls did well, reaching the bronze medal match, but that’s not what this post is about! It’s about the fun that ensues when the Lunachicks play soccer!

You Know You’re A Coach’s Wife When…

Tweet Baseball Mom has a great list “You Know You’re A Coach’s Wife When…” from the perspective of a baseball mom. A number of them could just as easily be for soccer wives! 8. People are paying you for trophies, tournaments, and parties. 9. You have a category in your email address book for team […]

Thinking Rationally About Acceptable Risk

The media has a tendency to overhype dangers to children that in reality are extremely unlikely to occur. Unfortunately, many parents tend to lose perspective as to what is an acceptable risk and forget how much danger they put their kids in just by driving them to and allowing them to participate in youth soccer.

2008 USYSA Southern Regionals

Tweet The 2008 USYSA Southern Regionals are underway here in North Carolina, with teams form across the southeast looking to advance to the USYSA National Championships. Here’s a look at the rather muddy and wet start to the event. I’m only an hour or so away from the action, but don’t believe I’ll be able […]

Still Searching For The Offseason

Tweet Sorry for the recent silence, especially during the offseason when I can usually write the most. A lot has been going on with me, our league, and other stuff this Spring, which I hope to fill you all in on soon.

Comical Youth Soccer

Tweet One of my favorite quirky comics is Rhymes With Orange, and this recent strip about ‘Youth Soccer From Above’ is all too funny (and true)

Gas Prices and Youth Sports

Tweet CNN picks up on something we were talking about a few months ago – how will high gas prices affect youth soccer? They have a video up that talks about the impact of high gas prices on youth sports, with the reporter following a girls soccer team to the Georgia State Cup. The interviews […]

Out Of Bounds Player and Offside

Tweet Anyone watching the Netherlands v Italy match in Euro 2008 saw a Netherland’s goal allowed that seemed to be  offside – except there was an Italian defender out of bounds behind the end line. So many wondered if that player factored into any offside decision. The answer is Yes. The question was did he […]

A Giant Crowd

Tweet It was nice to finally watch the USMNT play top quality soccer against a top quality opponent like Argentina. Sure, it was a 0-0 draw, but it was a very exciting and hard fought match from what I saw. But even more exciting was the fact that 78,600+ fans packed Giant’s Stadium to watch […]

Will High Gas Prices Worsen The Ref Shortage?

Tweet With gas prices near $4/gallon in many places, the cost of driving even short distances is starting to be measured in dollars, not cents. Just driving to and from practices can start to add up for many coaches and families. But one other group is starting to feel the pinch – referees. With gas […]