Have a grade school child in a recreational youth soccer league?  Ever play one of those teams that has a kid who somehow manages to trip or elbow every single time they are near the ball?  The referees are usually high school kids who play soccer.  They get paid a little, in other towns maybe they volunteer.  They’re gonna miss hand balls, out of bounds calls and maybe a penalty or two.  Annoying, but no big deal and it’s usually equally missed for both teams.

On the other hand, I just don’t get how they miss it play after play, quarter after quarter, when one kid is constantly sticking his foot out to trip people or sticking his elbow into another player’s head or neck to get position.  They call this stuff in competitive, travelling team leagues because it’s a real penalty.  Why not call it in the recreational leagues where it could well result in a broken arm or leg?  It seems like every two or three games there’s one child among the 25 or more on both teams who does this.  I spot it in the first quarter, even around all the incidental trips and kicks and shoves.  I wish the refs would, too.