The Midfielder
Heartland Soccer Association Newsletter
May 2019

Heartland Soccer Association 
Celebrates 40 Years of Soccer!
9161 W 133rd Street, Overland Park, KS 66213
Phone: 913-888-8768

Heartland Soccer Association is recognized as one
of the largest soccer leagues and tournament hosts in the country.
We offer recreational to premier divisions,  ages U8 through U19.
Thank you to all our teams for such a fun and successful spring season! Best of luck the remainder of the season!

League registration for Fall 2019 Opens 
May 31st through Noon on June 28th.
Don't forget to register at

Registration Closed!
2019 Kansas City Invitational
SCHEELS Overland Park Soccer Complex
May 24 - 26, 2019

Kansas City Invitational is the single largest soccer tournament in Kansas City and consistently sells out. This tournament offers four different levels of competition: Gold, Silver, Bronze and Recreational. Teams have traveled from 14 different states to play in the Kansas City Invitational. Seeding of teams ensures that everyone can compete against opponents of their own ability level.
All Kansas City Invitational games will be played at the  SCHEELS Overland Park Soccer Complex.

2018/19 Heartland Numbers

Fall league teams '18
Spring league teams '19
League players 
Tournament teams
Tournament players 

Concussion ImPACT Testing

Order New Apparel Today!
HSA apparel
May 10-12
Midwest Mother's Day Classic / League Play
May 17-19
Rainout Weekend
May 24-26
Kansas City Invitational Tournament
May 26 and 29
July 3
Heartland Awards Night at Sporting KC

A Special Heartland Soccer Shoutout:

 SBV Rayo 06 Girls
SBV Atletico 05 Girls

Thank  you for participating as the demonstration teams for the  Chelsea FC coaching workshop on April 11th driven by Yokohama and Discount Tire.

2019 Referee Meeting Dates
Referees of all ages and experience levels  are encouraged to attend Heartland's monthly referee meetings!  Join us to learn tips and tricks for ARs and Referees, fun games, vital information, and fabulous prizes!  Parents are always welcome.  

2019 Referee Meeting Dates
Mon Aug 5
Mon Sept 9
Wed Oct 2
Thur Nov 7

Mentors meet 6 - 6:45 pm and Referees meet 7 - 8:30 pm   
Meetings will be held at the "Steve D. Scheels" Training Center in the northwest corner of the second floor of the Scheels store located at:

Congratulations to our March Gift Card Winners!

SCHEELS Gift Card Winners: McLain Schlietz, Jacob Adams, Jackie McKay, Samantha Kopeckny, Celeste Nabors, Brooke Nolkemper, Ryan Toon, Gabe Mohachi, Luke Haskins, Tibor Mohachi

Other Award Winners: Ryan Sany, Brad Gaunt, Chris Waldock, Luke Davis, Drew Dunn, Lucas Cuejilo

Thank you to all our sponsors for the gift cards.
We appreciate your continued support of 
Heartland Soccer and our Referee Mentor Program!

Dave & Buster's, Overland Park is now open! Be our guest and get $20 in FREE Game Play! Eat. Drink. Play. Watch Sports
First time checking out The Midfielder?
Executive Director Shane Hackett explains why this is a 
great tool for players, coaches and parents. 
Announcing the Winner of our Academy Sports 
'Social Media Giveaway'
Congratulations Lisa Nelson 
Your photo was selected 
as the winner of the $50 Academy Gift Card.
Please contact [email protected] 
to claim your gift card.

This Month in History: May
On May 21, 1904 in the rear of the headquarters of the Union Française de Sports Athlétiques at the Rue Saint Honoré 229 in P aris, the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) was founded making Robert Guerin the first president. It was with the intention of overseeing the international competition among specific countries. These countries included Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.
FIFA currently is headquartered in Zurich Switzerland and is now comprised of 211 national associations. The members must be one the six regional confederations they have laid out. These include Africa, Asia, Europe, North & Central America and the Caribbean, Oceania, and South America. FIFA continues to oversee the World Cup every four years and be the main international soccer organization.

Time to bring the World Cup to the Midwest!  You can support the KC 2026 Campaign by Signing the Petition, Donating or Volunteer for events coming this summer.

Kansas City - In The Heart of It All
Follow us on Twitter at @KC2026WorldCup to stay updated!

#KC2026 #Midwest2026 #United2026

Go behind the scenes at Children's Mercy Park! Learn about the history of Sporting KC and take a look at the Pitch, Press Box, Broadcast Booth, Locker Room & more! For more information contact Kylie Perkins at [email protected]  or 913-912-7578.
We're Hiring:  Kansas Youth Soccer Director of Coaching

Job Description: Click here
How to Apply: Click here

Welcome to the Brand New US Youth Soccer

US Youth Soccer launches new rebrand that represents the future 

of youth soccer in the United States.  Read more: Click Here

April is known for rainy showers and muddy fields. Share a picture of your favorite rainy day memory...

Get Your Kickin' Chicken at a Kansas or Missouri Restaurant Near You! 8 Local Locations


Run Your Run myK - National Runners Month 
Run Your Run myK - National Runners Month

Every runner is different. Different in how they run, when they run, where they run and whom they run with. But what they have in common is that THEY RUN and DICK'S Sporting Goods has created a special event just for them.

May is National Runners' Month, and DICK'S wants to celebrate you! Register today for the  Run Your Run myK , DICK'S Sporting Goods first-ever virtual race that allows you to choose your own path and your own distance. 

The DICK'S Sporting Goods Run Your Run myK Virtual Race enables all runners to get active and share  their  reason for running.

Join DICK'S to enjoy the awesome health benefits that running offers, support Girls On The Run and receive race swag!
  • From now until Sunday, 5/19CLICK HERE to register.
  • Select your distance (5k, 10k or Half Marathon).
  • Pay a $35 run entry fee. Anyone signing up in your organization receives $5 off with code DSGCM.
    • The DICK'S Foundation will donate $5/registrant to Girls On The Run!
  • Run Your Run by Sunday, 5/19.
  • Complete the run, upload your finish time and get a $10 DICK'S cash card, bib, medal and finisher t-shirt. (The cash card will be sent via email.)
  • Use the empty space on your bib to write your reason for running, and share it on social media. Tag @DICKSSPORTINGGOODS for a chance to have your post shown on our branded social channels.  
The Referee Blog
The Art of Developing new Referees 
What is your part of the process?    

There are two sides to the "Art" of developing new Referees.  The first part is the product. The second part is the customer (which includes the players, coaches, the fans and the game itself).  In this month's article we are going to focus on the product. What does it take to recruit, certify and develop a new Referee into an effective and confident part of the game?  Our challenge is to provide both the right quantity and the desired quality of certified officials.

Recruiting (Quantity):   When a man turns 18, they are required to register with the Selective Service Administration.  When I turned 18, the catch was that they could order me to report for service in the military (and they did).  It is not that way with people who want to become Referees. Referees are a 100% volunteer group. Let's start with this challenge.

When soccer started in the Kansas City area, recruiting was like the draft.  Teams were required to provide a certain number of certified Referees in order to sign up for a league.  That got the pump primed and created a base of Referees. The good news is that soccer continues to grow.  There are more players, more tournaments and more games every week. This means more opportunities for the players to develop and reap the rewards of playing soccer.  The corollary is: are we getting to the point where we don't have enough Referees to cover all the matches? In April, league and tournament weekends created more demand than supply. The result - we had to use club AR's to cover some of the matches. So, the demand is greater than the supply of our army of volunteer certified Referees.

Last Saturday we completed our last Entry Level Clinic of the Spring. There were 44 students in the class, and some of them started officiating on Sunday. For the 2019 playing season we have conducted 72 Referee education courses in Kansas, recertifying 1,317 Referees and certifying 803 first time Referees.  The Referee pool looks like the picture above. New Referees are younger and less experienced (and in many cases smaller). When they stay with the program they should get better and they get more experience (and bigger). A key part of recruiting effectiveness is retaining young Referees so the numbers can keep pace with the growth of the game.

Retention (Quality):   Last Saturday I was talking with a coach that has multiple teams in the Heartland League. We were talking about some calls that happened earlier in the day (in his case hand ball decisions by a younger Referee). The coach said he didn't totally agree with all the calls, but he knew with more experience for the Referees the calls would get better. He said the Referee did many things right too. His message to me was let's keep these Referees on the field so they get the experience to better make decisions as they apply the Laws of the Game. He was focused on retention, the key to improving quality.

It takes more than doing a lot of games to improve Referee quality.  Referees constantly get feedback from players, coaches and fans. Sometimes the feedback is based on incorrect interpretations of the Laws. That is why your Board of Directors and the Kansas State Youth Soccer Association, working with the State Referee Committee, continues to fund and support the Referee Mentor program. We have shared that our mission is to help our Referees get more effective by understanding how to more consistently apply the Laws of the Game based on guidance by experienced Referees who are trained to be Mentors. The Mentors report on the Referee performance. The Mentors reports are reviewed by even more Senior Referees. The process is designed to focus on critical performance skills across multiple age groups. Over time, as we have more sessions with the same Referees (retention), decisions will become more consistent.
To summarize our introduction of the "Art of Developing New Referees":
  • It starts with recruiting.  Young players who are looking for a first job and love the game of soccer make up the bulk of our volunteer army.  We have some adults who join the group also. Over the entire US, over 75% of all US Soccer certified Referees are 17 years old or younger.  This is a fact that won't change. Please understand this.
  • It moves on to retention.  There are several reasons why a young Referee would decide to not recertify (i.e., come back for a second year or more).  It could be that they don't have the time or that they have found another interest. Or, it could be that they don't want to deal with the criticism they are getting from their customers (the players, coaches and fans).  I can confirm that many players who become Referees don't complain to the Referees as much when they are on the field. They understand being a Referee is not an easy job. They also know the Laws of the Game better after going through the certification class. Is it possible that fans could learn more about the Laws of the Game also?
Last weekend one of the Field Marshals was sharing a story about a conversation they had with a parent during a U-10 match. The parent yelled at the Referee because the Referee didn't know that the Laws of the Game state that a restart requires the wall to be set 10 feet from the ball.  The Referee was moving the wall back 10 yards. I think we covered this earlier this year in the Referee corner.

Was the Referee correct? What is our role as spectators and coaches in the "Art of Developing New Referees"? Think about it. We will share Part 2, When the Product meets the Customer, in next month's Referee article. Enjoy May at the Heartland Soccer Association.

Mark Alford is the Preferred Realtor of Heartland Soccer 

Mark Alford has been coming into your home as morning news anchor for 21 years. The trusted face and voice of Kansas City is a strong supporter of youth soccer and has donated his time and talents to Heartland Soccer Association over the years.

"Mark Alford has been an enthusiastic supporter of our youth soccer  community and we are excited to have Mark Alford, the team leader of  Vortexkc/Chartwell as the "Preferred Realtor of Heartland Soccer."  explained Shane Hackett, Executive Director.  "Mark continues to emcee  many of soccer events throughout the year and has a passion for kids and  families.  That's a great trait for helping families find their next  home."

Mark is a multimillion dollar producer, marketing and selling homes from  $2.5 million dollars, down to $67,000. 

"It's NOT the price, it's the EXPERIENCE that makes the difference" says  Alford. "It's about changing lives and helping people make memories." 

And it's because of Mark Alford's dedication, experience, passion and  CONNECTION with youth soccer and the Kansas City Metro that Heartland  Soccer Association is proud to name Vortexkc as our "Preferred Realtor." 

"I'm deeply honored to take on this role", says Alford. "Heartland Soccer  is about promoting family, building memories and developing talents, many  of the SAME things VORTEXKC is about. I'm so excited to get to know the  families involved on a much deeper level."

If you have a referee, coach, club, team or player accomplishment or a  photo that you would like to share please email:
 Katie Falco at  [email protected]  
2019 US Soccer National C License Course

Kansas Youth Soccer is pleased to announce that we will be hosting a US Soccer C License Course this year along with United Soccer Coaches!

Registration Deadline May 13, 2019

Click Here for more information & to register for the courses.

2018-19 Tournament Numbers
(number of teams)

Border Battle '19
KC Champions Cup '19 483
Mother's Day Classic '19 453
KC Invitational '18
Fall Kick Off Challenge '18
Heartland Midwest Classic '18
Midwest All Girls '18
ALDI Heartland Invitational Girls  '18
ALDI Heartland Invitational Boys '18

*In the last 12 months Heartland welcomed teams
 from a total of 17 states and Canada.

2019 Kansas State Cup, Junior State Cup and Presidents Cup Schedules Released!


The Spring 2019 Kansas State Cup, Kansas Presidents Cup & Kansas Junior State Cup will be held at the new Olathe Soccer Complex between the dates May 28 th - June 6 th , 2019!!!!  Come out and watch the most competitive youth teams in the state compete for a State Championship! Go to to find more information as we get closer to the event.




Kansas State Cup Schedule:   Click Here
Kansas Presidents Cup Schedule: Click Here
Kansas Junior State Cup Schedule:   Click Here

2019 In-Person Grassroots Courses

coming to Topeka and Kansas City!

T o get more information and register for these course please Click Here.

Media Contact:
Becca Smith-Vandergriff
SCHEELS Overland Park Marketing/Events Coordinator   [email protected] | 913.897.3030
SCHEELS and Heartland Soccer Association Present
 the Midwest Mother's Day Classic:  May 10 - 12, 2019

Players will honor and present flowers to their mothers during the tournament.
WHO: SCHEELS and the Heartland Soccer Association, together with 453 participating teams
WHAT: SCHEELS is proud to present the Heartland Soccer Association's Mother's Day Classic, where teams will come together for great competition and wonderful sportsmanship at the SCHEELS Overland Park Soccer Complex and Olathe Soccer Complex

WHEN: May 10 - 12, 2019
WHERE: SCHEELS Overland Park Soccer Complex, 135th and Switzer 
 Olathe Soccer Complex
INTERVIEW OPPORTUNITIES: SCHEELS and Heartland Soccer Association Leadership
WHY: The award-winning SCHEELS Overland Park Soccer Complex will welcome more than 300  teams and their mothers to the field this Mother's Day. All mothers will be honored as  their  children present them with flowers on Sunday during the tournament.

"The Overland Park SCHEELS has been a proud partner with Heartland Soccer Association for years and this year we wanted to take it up a level by becoming the presenting sponsor of the Midwest Mother's Day Classic," said Overland Park Store Leader Kevin Lambley. "This tournament brings in hundreds of teams from around the Midwest, all coming to the SCHEELS Soccer Complex down the road from our store. We thought the opportunity to recognize mothers, who are often a young athlete's biggest fan, would take our involvement to the next level and provide a memorable experience for families coming to town."
"We are excited to have SCHEELS as our title sponsor of the Mother's Day Tournament. This tournament has grown to be one of the largest soccer tournaments in Kansas City," stated Heartland Soccer Executive Director Shane Hackett. "Teams from all skills levels are traveling in from over 12 states to play on our world class turf fields. The tradition of the players giving their mom as rose at the final game is something special."

Three acres of potatoes were the seed for the first SCHEELS store in 1902. Frederick A. Scheel, a German immigrant, used the $300 he earned from that first harvest as the down payment on the first SCHEELS, a small hardware and general merchandise store in Sabin, Minnesota. Over the years, SCHEELS opened in surrounding communities including Fargo in 1930, where the Corporate Offices are located. Firmly planted in the hardware business, SCHEELS had a small selection of sporting goods from the beginning in 1902. Customer interest grew, and more sports lines were added with athletic shoes and clothing being introduced in the product mix in 1972.
SCHEELS is now a 27-store operation with stores in 12 states including North Dakota, Iowa, Minnesota, South Dakota, Montana, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Nevada, Illinois, Utah, Kansas, and Colorado. Currently, Steve D. Scheel, the great grandson of SCHEELS founder, is the company's Chairman of the Board, and great-great grandson Steve M. Scheel is CEO. Bill Nelson serves as President and oversees SCHEELS daily operations of nearly 7,000 associates.
About Heartland Soccer:
Heartland Soccer Association is the region's largest youth soccer league with over 1,300 teams, 22,000 players, 2,000 coaches and 2,200 referees participating each season. Heartland Soccer Association was formed in 1977 as the Johnson County Soccer League and has grown from an initial 600 players to its current size. Today Heartland Soccer Association is a nonprofit and educational youth soccer association. Although the base for Heartland Soccer is still Johnson County, it now draws teams to play in the league from throughout the metro area. The Heartland tournaments draw teams from as many as a dozen states every year. For more information, visit

2019 Kansas City Champions Cup Photo Gallery:

Tohi Ventures Signs Three-Year Sponsorship Deal 
with the Heartland Soccer Association and 
the Midwest All Girls Tournament

Kansas City, MO (April 16, 2019) - Heartland Soccer Association, a nonprofit organization, announced today a three-year partnership agreement with Tohi Ventures as the Official Healthy Lifestyle Beverage of Heartland Soccer Association, as well as the new title sponsor of the Midwest All Girls Tournament.

Heartland Soccer Association is recognized as the largest soccer league and tournament host in the United States with more than 30,000 players participating annually. The annual Midwest All Girls tournament will be held Oct. 4-6 and is expected to attract more than 300 teams from throughout the Midwest.

Tohi is an emerging healthy lifestyle brand producing innovative, antioxidant-rich beverages. The non-carbonated, low calorie, low sugar beverages are 100% natural and are made with Aronia Berries sourced from growers throughout the Midwest. "Tohi beverages are beneficial for athletes of all ages and we are thrilled to partner with Heartland Soccer to reach families focused on a healthy, active lifestyle," commented Shari Coulter Ford, CEO and Co-Founder of Tohi Ventures.

This far-reaching partnership with Tohi is part of an ongoing commitment to elevate youth soccer as a vehicle for developing well-rounded children both on-and-off the field. As part of the partnership, Tohi will deliver unique content to engage and educate consumers about the impact of nutrition on athletic performance.

"Our participants care about making healthy choices for their families," said Shane Hackett, Heartland Soccer Executive Director. "Tohi's brand and mission is perfectly aligned with Heartland Soccer and we are proud to have them as our partner. In addition to being extremely healthy, Tohi tastes great and is my drink of choice!"

About Heartland Soccer
Heartland Soccer Association is the region's largest youth soccer league with more than 1,300 teams, 30,000 players, 2,000 coaches and 2,200 referees participating each season. Heartland Soccer Association was formed in 1977 as the Johnson County Soccer League and has grown from an initial 600 players to its current size. Today Heartland Soccer Association is a nonprofit and educational youth soccer
association. Although the base for Heartland Soccer is still Johnson County, it now draws teams to play in the league from throughout the metro area. The Heartland tournaments draw teams from as many as a dozen states every year. For more information, visit

About Tohi Ventures
Tohi Ventures, based in Kansas City, Missouri, is a healthy lifestyle brand creating innovative, antioxidant-rich Aronia Berry-based beverages in the Healthier for  You consumer category. Tohi was founded in 2017 by Shari Coulter Ford and Elma Hawkins, PhD, lifelong personal health advocates who share a nutrition first approach to wellness.  Tohi sources Aronia Berries directly from Midwestern farmers, supporting their efforts to increase awareness of this specialty crop. Tohi engages Millennial Brands Consulting for marketing strategy. Jim Tonkin of Healthy Brand Builders is a Tohi Board Member. Tohi is available in select retail stores and on Amazon. For more information, visit Fans can follow  Tohi

1) With the spring season coming to an end in a couple of weeks, what are your overall thoughts on this season? This spring was a benchmark season with almost all games on turf. All nine fields at the Olathe Soccer Complex opened in mid April which will allow us to program all league and tournament games on turf in the future.   

2) How successful were the 4 tournaments this season? This spring started out rough with the cancellation of Border Battle. It was followed by record registration for the Champions Cup, Midwest Mother's Day and KCI. I think we are all incredibly blessed to have world class soccer complexes here in Kansas City that help draw visiting teams in from around the midwest.
3) As players approach the summer months, what advice do you have for them?  Rest, attend a camp and have fun. Most our kids, including mine, are on a year around soccer and sports schedule. We get a short break in the summer so let's take advantage of it. Thats for parents and coaches too!

4) What do you think the key is to staying in shape during the offseason?  When I was a player I would jog every day just to stay reasonably fit during the summer. It's a balance. With players finishing a season, there's nothing wrong with taking a break, letting your body recoup as well as your brain.  

5) What can we look forward to from Heartland Soccer this summer?  On July 27th, we will be holding our Annual 5K Run that is a great way to prepare for the fall season and have fun with your teammates. It's the weekend before fall league starts in August.   

Dear All,

We hope everyone is enjoying the beautiful Spring weather and having fun watching the kids playing and competing on the fields. 

It is amazing that we only have a month left in the season, it has literally flown by.

It has been a great season with some fantastic games, sportsmanship and individual brilliance.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for participating and spending your weekends with us. We know that without the support of the parents and guardians, there would be no league for these players. THANK YOU!

We know that there are some major tournaments coming up including State and presidents cup and we sincerely wish all of the competing teams the best of luck!!

Enjoy the rest of the season, have a great Summer and we will see you in the Fall.

Heartland Staff
May Health Tip:
Kids Who Specialize in One Sport Too Early Are Likely to Get Hurt
For young athletes, focusing on only one sport at an early age ups their odds for injury, a new study warns.
Sixty million kids play organized sports. By age 14, a growing number of them specialize in one sport with the goal of a college scholarship or professional career.
Researchers analyzed surveys completed by 202 athletes at one institution.
The surveys showed that players who had specialized early on were more likely to have a history of injury than those involved in multiple sports, (almost 87 percent vs. 74 percent); and were more likely to have had multiple injuries (64.6 percent vs. 49.4 percent). They also had to sit out more time due to injury (average of just over 15 weeks vs. seven weeks).
The payoff was mixed: Young specialists were more likely to get a college scholarship (almost 93 percent vs. 83 percent), but full-scholarship athletes were more likely to report multiple surgical injuries (11.7 percent vs. 3.5 percent).
The study also found that athletes who trained more than 28 hours per week in their varsity sport before high school were more likely to report multiple injuries (90 percent vs. 56.7 percent). But they were no more likely to be recruited or receive a scholarship.
"Sports participation is an excellent way for kids to maintain their health and possibly even receive a college scholarship," said study author Dr. Brian Cash in a news release from the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine.
"However, our research further highlights that avoiding sports specialization before the age of 14 and minimizing training time to less than 28 hours per week may significantly minimize a child's injury chances and promote long-term, athletic college, or even elite, success," he added.
Cash is a resident in the Department of Orthopedic Surgery at the University of California, Los Angeles.
The findings were presented at a recent meeting of the AOSSM and the Arthroscopy Association of North America in Las Vegas. Research presented at meetings is typically considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.
HCA Midwest Health is the official healthcare provider for Heartland Soccer Association and we work with parents and coaches to keep athletes safe and on the field of play year round, learn more about our services at
Source: Health Daily News, March 2019

HCA Midwest Health is a proud partner with Heartland Soccer Association and provides the region's best in sports medicine for you and your athletes. 

To learn more about our services, visit 

Get certified to be a referee!
As our local soccer community grows, the need for new and experienced referees continues.  Join America's Largest Soccer League.  More details on referee meeting schedules, training and education can be found on the 

Sign Up to Become a Referee for the Fall 2019 Season.

Minsky's is incredibly proud to be a major partner with Heartland Soccer, and we're excited about our newest Minsky's Pizza located at 10540 South Ridgeview Road - right in front of the Olathe Soccer Complex!
The newest Minsky's location in Olathe seats up to 200 guests and includes a full bar, outdoor patio and private party room for up to 50 people! At Minsky's there's never a space fee to reserve private rooms. We offer multiple HD TV's with your favorite sports on the big screen and of course, free Wi-Fi. Select from our full menu of gourmet pizzas, creamy pastas, hot calzones, fresh appetizers, and crisp salads.
For our health-conscious patrons, we have Gluten-Free crust and vegan Daiya Cheese, plus, we now offer Cauliflower Crust as a healthier alternative for any small gourmet pizza! The Cauliflower Crust offers all of the health benefits - for just 2 bucks extra! At Minsky's we believe if you eat well, you live better. The best part? It's so delicious, it's hard to believe it's healthy!  
We know you'll love Minsky's casual-friendly service and, if you've not yet tried Minsky's Pizza, you're in for a delicious gourmet treat! Stop by Minsky's Pizza on Ridgeview Road (or any of our 18 locations in Kansas City) after your game at Olathe Soccer Complex! Click here and we'll email you right back with a 20% off coupon the next time you dine-in or order online - plus other great dollar-saving deals in the future - all to say thanks for being part of Heartland Soccer!
The Referee Corner
What is Foul, Offensive and Abusive Language?

Last Sunday I was approached by a coach who asked the following question:   "why are players who are dropping the F*** bomb not being shown the red card?" .  It was an appropriate question since we are hearing this complaint more frequently.  
I went to the other coach and asked him what he thought would be appropriate by players on the field.  He said he wasn't the best person to ask (admitted he used language like that when he was a player). His answer to the question was given in two parts:
  • It might be OK if the player is frustrated and is dropping the comment based on his play
  • It is not OK if the player is directing this comment at another player or the Referee
At the same time one of his players who was waiting to sub in and heard my question volunteered that he was one of the players who had used this language on the field.  He apologized, said he knew it wasn't right and promised not to use that term again. I applaud this young man's apology.
As you might suspect, I went to the Laws of the Game to get additional details on this growing situation.  Law 12 is where we will find the appropriate sanctions:
Under Cautionable offenses:
  • Dissent by word or action, or
  • Unsporting Behavior, which includes
    • Shows a lack of respect for the game
Under Sending Off offenses:
  • Uses offensive, insulting or abusive language and/or gestures
Once again, the Laws are broad and open to interpretation.  How should we answer the question given the advice in the Laws of the Game?
If a Referee talked this way to players, would you consider this to be acceptable behavior?  My experience says it would not be. If it is not acceptable for a Referee to say this to a player, we can correctly conclude that it would not be acceptable for a player to say this to a Referee.  If a player directs comments including the F*** bomb at a Referee, especially in a public, provocative and personal manner, we should all agree that the player should and would be sent off.
The next question then is when a player directs this type of language to an opponent.  Cursing on the field at an opponent is offensive, insulting or abusive language. The Law prescribes that the player will be sent off for this action.  It is preventable (no one is making the player respond this way).
The Law covers the question asked by the coach.  We instruct the Referees to call fouls to protect the players.  If a Referee misses a foul (and they will) the Law does not say that foul, offensive and/or abusive language may be used.  In fact, it prohibits this language and prescribes a Red Card for the player. It makes sense that two wrongs don't make a right.
We will continue to work with our Referees to help them do a better job at recognizing and sanctioning fouls.  This will include language. A final thought: an effective Referee gets the first foul, but every Referee see the retaliation.  Let's keep the language on the field fair. Thank you!

Heritage Tractor has gifts for everyone on your list! Stop by and see them this month for 10% toys and apparel, visit

   Papa J ohn's Heartland Referee Spotlight:

Q&A with Jason Worley

When did you start reffing? 
I began reffing in 2012 and have reffed every year since.

What made you decide to get certified to referee? 
I had been playing soccer ever since I was six, so I figured "why not try to make some money with this." My two older brothers had tried reffing a few years before I was old enough, so there was already a couple sets of equipment around the house.

What is your favorite part about reffing? 
My favorite part about reffing is how you can't be certain of how each game will play out. The teams could appear one way during warmup, but completely change once kickoff arrives.

What is a life lesson you feel you have learned from reffing? 
No matter how well you do, you can't be perfect. So there's no point beating yourself up over every little mistake. As long as you can learn from what you did wrong and improve yourself from it, then it wasn't a mistake.

When did you start reffing futsal? 
I reffed a season of futsal after my first year reffing soccer. I didn't really enjoy futsal as much as I was hoping because I was incredibly inexperienced and the addition of a separate set of laws on top of the regular laws of the game was simply too much for me at the time. I do hope to give futsal another go eventually.

What is your favorite part about reffing futsal? 
My favorite part of reffing futsal was how, even though every game was the same field with the same length and the same amount of players, every game could be drastically different than the last.

What level of referee to you aspire to be? 
My long term goal is to ref a game on television. If I can get my silly face on TV, then that would be all the proof I would need to know my reffing career has been a success.

Do you play soccer?  I used to play soccer on an independent team coached by my dad called the Blasters, which was later renamed to the Flames. We mostly played in Heartland, but were able to occasionally travel for tournaments. 
I played soccer for about seven years.

What was the last book you read? 
The last book I read was A Dance With Dragons, the fifth book in A Song of Ice and Fire also known as Game of Thrones.I really enjoyed it, as well as the rest of the series. Without spoiling too much, I really enjoyed the two characters who were sort-of forced onto incredibly long journeys.

What types of movies do you like? 
I really like movies that show you the plot instead of explaining it to you. Most recent movie I saw was Mad Max: Fury Road and I really liked the two canyon chase scenes.

What is your favorite sports team? 
I don't really follow sports that much, but i'll still be excited for Sporting KC.

The Coaches Corner:
X Patterns Shown on the ground

From the book, 2v1 Attacking Drills and Exercises
This diagram is shown so that the reader can see the X Pattern left on the ground. In Square A1 the dribble pattern is shown with the second attacker making an X over the dribbling move. In Square A2 the passing pattern is shown and it can be seen that the two runs together create an X Pattern on the ground. This is source of the name for this 2 versus 1 pattern.
We want your photos!

Heartland Soccer Association is seeking action photo shots of kids of all ages and abilities playing soccer in Heartland League Games or Tournaments.  Submitted photos may be included in Heartland Tournament, League and other promotional materials as well as social media posts.

Instructions for submitting photos:
All submitted photo files must be .jpg format, must be a minimum of 1,200 x 1,600 pixels, and no larger than 2 MB in size.  Submitting a photo doesn't guarantee that it will be used.
By submitting a photo for consideration for use in Heartland Soccer Association promotional materials, you agree that:
1.  You are the sole author of the photograph and control all rights for its use.  The photograph is original.  You have the rights to grant usage of the photograph as stated below.  There has been no prior sale, publication or transfer of rights to the photograph. The photograph shall not contain any libelous or scandalous matter.  To the best of your knowledge, the photograph's creation, publication and use shall not infringe any copyright, right of privacy or right of publicity, or infringe or violate any right of any third party.
2.    You grant to Heartland Soccer Association all rights to use the photograph in any and all forms of media, including but not limited to electronic, digital media and print.
3.     You allow Heartland Soccer Association the right to edit, revise, adapt and crop the photo as necessary.
Send Photo submissions to: [email protected]
AB May
Academy Sports and Outdoors
AC Print
Benjamin Franklin Plumbing
Big Whiskey
Chick fil A
Commercial Capital
Dairy Queen
Dave and Buster's
Destination Fun Travel
Dick's Sporting Goods
Drs. Hawks, Besler, Rogers & Stoppel
Discount Tire
Dunkin' Donuts
Fry Wagner
Hasty Awards
HCA Midwest Health
Heritage Tractor Supply
Jimmy John's
Kansas City Comets
KC Motor Company
KC Steak Company
Krusich Dental
Lenny's Subs
Levine Advertising
Menorah Medical Center
Minsky's Pizza
Molle Toyota
Momo Bands
Morrill & Janes Bank
Museum at Prairiefire
Overland Park Regional Medical Center
Overland Park Ballroom
Oxford Animal Hospital
Pacific Dental Services
Papa John's
Penn Station East Coast Subs
Pizza Hut
Raising Cane's
Research Medical Center
Rock and Brews
Rosati's of Overland Park
Salty Iguana
Scott the Electrican
Security Bank
Soccer Master
Spin Pizza
Starting Point Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics
Sporting Kansas City
Storage Mart
Swope Park Rangers
The KC Steak Company
The Storage Place
The Rub Bar-B-Que
T-riffic T-shirts
Urban Air