The Midfielder
Heartland Soccer Association Newsletter
November 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 everyone for making Heartland Soccer be recognized as THE LARGEST soccer league AND tournament host in the United States! Seriously, how cool is that?! We are so incredibly proud to be a part of this growing soccer community!
Heartland Soccer Association

Check out our newest video segment, The Breakaway, featuring
Shane Hackett and Katie Falco! 
November Breakaway


2019 Heartland Numbers

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

This Month in History: November 
On November 19 th, 1989 in Port of Spain the capital city of Trinidad and Tobago the USA Men's National team was about to play a match that holds a goal now known as "the shot heard round the world". The US had not qualified for a FIFA World Cup since 1950 and they wanted to show they deserved to host the 1994 World Cup by qualifying. This came at a time where the team was made up of mostly college and semiprofessional players. The United States needed to win their match to qualify as a draw would not be enough due to goal difference. 

Eftekhari, Art. "Paul Caligiuri: For the Good of U.S. Soccer." Orange County FC, 6 Nov. 2017,

There were a few shots for each team in the first quarter of the match, but no goals scored. This was until the 30 th minute when Bruce Murray made a pass to Paul Caligiuri whom then made a great move and took a left footed shot to the right side of the net that scraped by the goal keeper. This would wind up being all the US needed. Trinidad and Tobago pressured in the second half, but they could not come away with a goal. The US media declared the goal "the shot heard round the world". The US had finally qualified again for the World Cup after a crazy 39 year drought. They went on to get beat in all three of their games and crash but in the group stage, however it started a run of 6 straight FIFA World Cup qualifications.
Concussion ImPACT Testing
Order New Apparel Today!
HSA apparel
Dave & Buster's, Overland Park is now open! Be our guest and get $20 in FREE Game Play! Eat. Drink. Play. Watch Sports
Nov 2
Jan 6
Spring 2020 online registration opens
Spring 2020 online registration deadline by noon on January 6
Jan 8
Recreational seeding
Jan 9
Premier pre-seed & Recreational Final seed posted after 5pm
Jan 9-14
Premier seeding challenges via email deadline noon on January 14
Jan 15
Final Premier seeding posted after 5pm
Feb 8
Heartland Soccer Annual Awards Gala
Feb 19
Spring 2020 schedule posted after 5pm
Feb 21-23
Dick's Sporting Good Discount Weekend for Heartland
Feb 28-Mar 1
First weekend of League play/ Border Battle Tournament
Mar 6-8
League play
Mar 13-15
League play
Mar 20-22
Heartland Spring Cup / League Play
Mar 27-29
League Play
Apr 3-5
League Play
Apr 3-5
Dick's Sporting Good Discount Weekend for Heartland
Apr 10-11
League Play
Apr 12
Easter No Games
Apr 17-19
Kansas City Champions Cup Driven by Discount Tire / League Play
Apr 24-26
League Play
May 1-3
League Play
May 8-10
Midwest Mother's Day Classic/ League Play
May 15-17
Rainout Weekend
May 22-24
Kansas City Invitational Tournament
2020 Heartland Referee meeting dates 
Coming Soon!
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.  

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:

November SCHEELS gift card winners:
Brenan Kuzmie, Mark Kinch, Davis Kinch, Christian Pusado, Alan Sargent, Sean Fischbach, TJ Lipari, Irina Mikos, Gordie Wetmore
Thank you to everyone who participated in this years meetings and a big thank you to all our sponsors for the gift cards.
We appreciate your continued support of 
Heartland Soccer and our Referee Mentor Program!

Announcing the October winner of our Academy Sports 
'Social Media Giveaway'  
Congratulations Heather Miles!
Your photo was selected 
as the winner of the $50 Academy Gift Card.

First time checking out The Midfielder?
Executive Director Shane Hackett explains why this is a 
great tool for players, coaches and parents. 
Sign the petition and show the world that Kansas City deserves to be a host city for the WORLD CUP!!!

Sign the Petition

Kansas City - In The Heart of It All

#KC2026 #United2026
The Referee Blog
The Straw that broke the camel's back. Don't be that straw? 

One of the many benefits of playing in Heartland is the multiple divisions in each age group.  This gives teams more levels of competition and more opportunities to win (or lose). As we come to the end of another season, the Referees are realizing that some of the matches seem to have even higher stakes.  They can feel the increased intensity on the field and hear the increased decibels from the coaches and the fans. It can be a different level of play when teams are playing to be the Champion in their division. Age doesn't really seem to matter.

A couple of weeks ago, while making my rounds around the complexes, the following incidents occurred:
  1. At SCHEELS Overland Park complex one of the coaches kept yelling at the Referee that "a push in the back in the Penalty Area has to be a Penalty Kick!"  I didn't see the play he was questioning. When I talked with the coach at half-time, he restated his demands. He also told me that the winner of this match would win the division.  The score at half-time had his team down 2-1. If they would have been awarded the Penalty Kick and scored, they would be tied 2-2. Now I knew why he was so vocal. Early in the 2 nd half (I was watching the match now) there was a push in the back in the Penalty Area.  While this coach was loudly proclaiming that this had to be a Penalty Kick, the Referee was setting up and administering a Penalty Kick (which they failed to convert into a goal).  Let say this was "another straw" on the Referee's back.
  2. Meanwhile later at the GARMIN Olathe complex, 2 teams were competing for the same prize, Division Champion for the Fall season.  Again, the outcome was in flux. Either team could win with a goal. The parents of one of the teams thought the Referee was making calls that showed a bias against their team.  They got more vocal. The Referee sent off one of the coaches and then ejected a parent. After the match, the parents (yes, they were part of the team that did not win) continued their complaints to the officiating crew and the Field Marshal and even suggested that the Referee should retire and go back to Mexico.  Interesting side note: The opposing team was primarily Hispanic. The Referee was middle eastern. More straws on the camel's back.
  3. Not to be left out, during a match at the Wyandotte Sporting Facility, a difference of opinion on an offside decision resulted in complaints by a coach, his ejection from this match and a post-match decision by the 16 year old Referee (who had 3 years of experience and had been mentored in multiple matches with good reviews) to hang up her whistle for good.  She quit as a Referee.
Which was the straw that broke the camel's back?  Was it being behind in the score and not winning the match?  Was it the Referees and their decisions to call or not call a particular contact as a foul in the match?  Was it perceived favoritism for one team seen as discrimination against the other team by the Referee crew?  We don't know which straw, if any of the, was the final culprit and will probably never know the real culprit.  The tribe we belong to could be clouding our judgement and affecting our behavior.
I have shared just a few incidents from the last couple of weeks.  I hope they our outliers. But they are incidents that should cause us all to think about what is happening.
  1. Our desired outcome will always be on winning versus losing.  What are we teaching our players? If you don't win, find someone else to blame!  Or, are we stressing that you should learn from your performances and do better the next time?
  2. Soccer is the world's game.  Teams at Heartland come from multiple cultural backgrounds.  Getting along on the pitch is as important as getting along at work and in life.  The team that plays the best on any given day has the best chance of winning. However, soccer can be a cruel game.  Have you ever seen a team dominate possession and have many more shots, not score and lose? It happens all the time.
  3. Referees make mistakes in every match.  And, game experience is a key to helping them become more effective (and less error prone).  Every year we lose Referee for the right reasons (they go away to college, get a full-time job, have a family or just get too old).  We also lose them for the wrong reasons (like fear of coaches or parents yelling at them and fear of making the wrong calls). What we need to do is to figure out if they can do the job of being a Referee (and then we support them) or if they are not cut out to be a Referee (then we help them find another job).  
We are working hard to improve the officiating at Heartland.  Let's continue to be on the same team for "the good of the game", not to be the proverbial "straw that breaks the camel's back".
Thank you for your continued support of the beautiful game and Heartland Soccer Association.  Our shared focus is to deliver a SAFE, FAIR and ENJOYABLE experiences for everyone.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving holiday.
Get Your Kickin' Chicken at a Kansas or Missouri Restaurant Near You! 8 Local Locations

2019 Kansas Youth Soccer Awards of the Year & Kansas Soccer Hall of Fame Nominations 


Extended to November 29th


Still looking for submission for the following awards:  
  • Administrator
  • Volunteer
  • TOPSoccer Buddy
  • TOPSoccer Coach
  • Volunteer of the Year
  • Boys Competitive Coach
  • Save of the Year
  • Goal of the Year
Kansas Soccer Hall of Fame Nominations in four categories.
Founder, Lifetime Achievement, Outstanding Achievement & Merit Award

Winners will be featured at the 2020 KSYSA Awards Gala and AGM which will be February 8, 2020 in Overland Park, KS at the Museum at Prairiefire from 7pm-10pm!

To nominate someone for a 2019 Kansas Youth Soccer Award or the Kansas Soccer Hall of Fame then please  CLICK HERE !

Nominations for both due November 29th , 2019 !
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.

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
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."

2019 Tournament Numbers
(number of teams)
Border Battle '19
KC Champions Cup '19
Mother's Day Classic '19 449
Kansas City Invitational '19 282
Fall Kick Off Challenge '19
Heartland Midwest Classic '19
Midwest All Boys '19
Midwest All Girls '19
Heartland Invitational Girls  '19
Heartland Invitational Boys '19

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

Register Now for 2019-2020 Kansas ODP!

Kansas ODP is looking for the very best youth players looking to enhance their technical and tactical ability as a player.  Players born from 2003-2008 are eligible to participate in these player evaluation trainings that take place throughout the year.  Kansas ODP is separate from your club team and you train with players from across Kansas.  

NEED MORE DETAILED INFORMATION? CLICK HERE or contact the Kansas ODP Administrator. 
Amy Cramer
Kansas ODP Administrator
10529 South Warwick St. | Olathe, KS 66061
[email protected] Direct Line:  913-991-3690

Kansas State Cup Champions & Finalist 

Go to to find out more on the Champions that will be representing Kansas at the Midwest Regional Championships in Indianapolis in June of 2020.

Kansas Presidents Cup Champions & Finalist

Go to to find out more on the Champions that will be representing Kansas at the Midwest Presidents Cup in St. Louis in June of 2020.

COACHES:  Grassroots D License & In-Person Grassroots Courses available to Register 

Get course details and learn how to register: CLICK HERE
Questions contact Matt Gordon at [email protected]  

"Why be a critic when YOU can be THE REFEREE!"

Register Now to become a referee! New Entry Level Referee Courses Available Now! Just click the link below to find one near you!

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 Spring 2020 Season.
The ALDI Heartland Invitational continues its reputation as the biggest and best tournament in the Kansas City area. Split over two weekends (Girls weekend and Boys weekend) to accommodate the number of teams wanting a chance to compete one last time. We had over 740 teams travel in to compete in this end-of-the-year  showdown. Congratulations to everyone who participated and competed in this season finale!

We had the honor of Nicole "Barnie" Barnhart presenting awards during the ALDI Heartland Invitational Tournament.  Nicole Barnhart  is an American  soccer   goalkeeper , and a two-time  Olympic gold medalist  who currently plays for  Utah Royals FC  in the  National Women's Soccer League . She played for the  FC Gold Pride  and the  Philadelp hia Independence  in  Women's Professional Soccer , and is a  goalkeeper of the  United States national team . She competed in qualifying  matches  for  2008 Beijing Olympics  and  2011 FIFA Women's World Cup 2011 Four Nations Tournament  and  2011 Algarve Cup .

Blitz United U-10 taking a photo with the Oklahoma State Women's Soccer team. OSU was in town for the Big 12 tournament so they were able to come over and give these girls some support during the 2019 ALDI HIT Invitational!
2010 Blitz Navy with Oklahoma State Women's Soccer Team
Such an amazing experience for these girls!


* 3PM SHOW *


Mairin Adams, KC Legends Pre-Academy 07 (World Cup)
Elina Adams, KC Legends - 09 Olympic
Molly Anderson, KC Blaze
Jack Baron, Sporting BV Stuttgart 10
Lincoln Berry, Brother of players
Sariah Berry, KCSG Academy 05 Girls
Savannah Berry, KCSG Jr. Academy 12 Girls
Sydney Berry, KCSG Jr. Pre-Academy Navy 09 Girls
Ivy Curless, Rush Rec
Melissa Curless, OSA, Rush Rec Coach, Referee 
Evelyn Curless, Rush
Maxine Elbert, Player
Simon Esh, Christ Prep Academy HS & TOCA
Priya Estrada, Sporting Blue Valley
Maya Estrada, Sporting Blue. Alley
Zack Estrada, Sporting Blue Valley
Haley Garbowski, KC legends
Reese Gaultney, Kansas Rush 2010
Jackson Goodale, OPSC Hammers Academy 07
Whitney Hoskins, Brookside Soccer Club Coach
Janie Hoskins, Brookside Soccer Club
Charlie Hoskins, Brookside soccer club
Emme Johnson, Sister of Player
Ian Johnson, KC Bayern Munich 
Zach Lindstrom, Sporting Blue Valley West Ham
Olivia Linzy, Sporting Mo Valley Eclipse
Lexi Lons, Fire FC Blaze and Referee
Carlos Martinez, KC Bayern Munich
Olivia McCoil McCoil, Sporting MO Valley Eclipse
Paige Noth, Panthers
Alexis Olivares, SMV Lady Boltz
Leila Salanoa, Alliance Futebol Club
La'isa Salanoa, Alliance Futebol Club
Stella Salzer, KC Fusion
Audrey Salzer, KC Fusion
Thomas Savasten, Mustangs
Ethan Short, Mustangs and United FC
Shannon Short, Parent of Player
Levi Short, Parent of Player
Colby Short, Gardner Galaxy
Durham Snyder, Sporting Blue Valley
Dietrich Snyder, Sporting Blue Valley
Parker Thibault, St. Ann Tigers
Gracen Thibault, Legends
Hadley Thibault, Legends
Reece Todd, Arson FC 2010 Premier Girls
Matthew Valdivia, Legends Barcelona
Anthony Walker, Fountain City FC Coach
Audrey Witkowski, Skinner Shooting Star
Keira Witkowski, Mission United 08
Solae Young, Toca
Julian Young, KCAC
Jackson Young, KCAC
Johnathan Young II, Toca
Luciana Zarate, Brookside Soccer Club
Daniela Zarate, Brookside Soccer Club
Kaleb Wagner, Fusion and BVN Varsity
Kimberle Wagner, Parent of Player
Greg Wagner, Parent of Player

Venue provided by:

Entertainment provided by:

Congratulations Heartland Fall 2019 League Division Champions! 

T he Kansas City Comets will host awards ceremonies prior to their November 30th and January 4th Saturday games. Teams will receive their medals from Comets players during the ceremonies. Your team may choose which date to participate. For either the November 30th and January 4th, 6pm games, please arrive at 4pm and park in the NE parking lot of the arena at the main entrance where the flag poles are. Doors will open at 4pm next to where the Mavericks merchandise store is located. There will be a Heartland sign on the door and a Heartland Will Call just inside the door for team tickets. Once inside, the players and coaches will go to the right of the arena in the concourse to find their team names on the wall to get lined up for the ceremonies, which will start about 4:30pm-4:35pm. Parents will then proceed to their seats. Teams will enter the field at section 119, parade to section 106 to get their medals from Comets players, go to section 102 for a photo, and then exit. 
To order tickets please contact Mike Rodriguez at 816-739-2274 or email question to [email protected].

Division winner medals are available for all players on division winning teams. If your team is NOT participating in one of the award ceremonies, the medals may be picked up at the Heartland Soccer Association office, 9161 West 133rd Street, Overland Park, KS.  Office hours are 10 am - 3 pm weekdays.  If you want to pick up medals outside of official office hours, it is recommended that you call first to make sure someone is available to help you.   913-888-8768  Please have one representative pickup the medals for the entire team.
ALL U9 Recreational Teams receive participation medals for each player for the  fall league season to welcome them to the Heartland league.  All U9 recreational teams/players MAY  participate in the Heartland KC Comets awards ceremonies

2019 has been an outstanding year for Heartland Soccer and Minsky's Pizza! Celebrate the end of your soccer season with a Team Party at Minsky's!

At Minsky's there's never a fee to reserve private rooms. Several of our locations offer multiple HD TV's with your favorite sports on the big screen, arcade rooms and of course, all locations offer free Wi-Fi. See photos of each Minsky's location and view all amenities at

Don't forget to stop by Minsky's Olathe location - right in front of the Olathe Soccer Complex on Ridgeview Road! This location seats up to 200 guests and includes a full bar, outdoor patio and private party room for up to 50 people! You will also find our full menu of gourmet pizzas, creamy pastas, hot calzones, fresh appetizers, crisp salads - and of course - a large selection of gluten-free options for our patrons.
To book your group or find out more about private rooms, just speak to the store manager at the location nearest you . We know you'll love Minsky's friendly service and, if you've not yet tried Minsky's Pizza, you're in for a delicious gourmet treat! 

1) What kind of feedback have you received about the HIT tournament? The ALDI HIT Tournament is a huge tournament with over 740 teams over two weekends. One of the biggest things we hear is how much teams traveling in love our soccer complexes. The other comment is the variety of soccer teams from across the Midwest all coming in to play. Great competition and lots of variety.  
2) The Fall season is coming to an end, how would you compare this one to previous fall seasons? This season is the first season in 43 years of operation that all our league and tournament games were on turf. That's a big accomplishment and a terrific experience for all of our kids on the pitch. I don't think most people know the time (years and years) each complex takes to come from a dream to being built. Not to mention the millions and millions of dollars invested at each complex. We are truly blessed to have partnerships with the cities and strategic partners to make this a possibility.   
3) What does the Heartland staff work on at this time of year once the season is over? Unfortunately, there is no rest for the weary. Winter Futsal is in full swing. Spring registration is open. Tournament marketing is underway for the spring events and our sponsorship team is meeting with businesses around the city to expand our corporate partnerships.  
4) What do you have planned for Thanksgiving? Our family loves the mountains. We are headed to the Rocky Mountains for some snow skiing and crisp air. My daughter Mia will be home from college and she is an excellent cook. She is in charge of Thanksgiving dinner.   
5) What are you most grateful for? Family and friends. The older I get the more I have come to value close friendships. My best friend is my soccer teammate from our youth days. Some of my closest friends are people here in our soccer community. You come to love and appreciate them and their families. You get to watch their kids grow up along the way.  
6) Anything new that we should know about? Hmmmmm....  This is the hardest question of all and it seems like it should be the easiest. One area we continue to put a lot of focus on is our referee community. We are seeing our kids stay in referee positions longer which obviously helps with experienced referees. We need to keep growing and retaining our referees as more kids are playing the game.  

The Coaches Corner:
Training the 3-3-1
The advance movements start with recycling the play. The reason why, is when the team understands how to 'start again' with the defenders/goalkeeper in possession of the ball, they can repeat other advanced movements being coached without stopping. Repetition is key for players to understand where they should be and how the movement pattern should be completed. 

Players should start with 3 open grids behind the defense. In order to recycle the play, when either full back receives the ball:

* Ball travels towards a FB 
* The CB must drop back into the open middle grid (Fig.2.4a), to create an angled pass away from any potential opposing players. This also creates a triangle between the 3 defenders.
* The full back passes to the CB after which all players now reset into their original grids. (Fig.2.4b)
* The CB can now pass and 'switch' the ball to the other side of the field away from the opposition (Fig.2.4c). 

Dear All,

The 2019 Fall season is over, we hope you all enjoyed it as much as we did.

Good luck to all of the Heartland teams that are playing in post season tournaments at this time. 

The 2020 Spring season registration is open and the deadline is noon on January 6 th .  Please make sure your teams are registered by that time and make sure that you include the dates that you would like to take off, based on your conflicts. There is very little room for rescheduling with the vast number of games that we have at the complexes.

We are always looking to add referees to our pool, here is the link for the upcoming classes that are being hosted.  

The heartland calendar is located at the following link   so that you can plan out the Spring season.

We all hope you have a fantastic Thanksgiving and Holiday season and we look forward to seeing you all again in the Spring.

Heartland Soccer Association
November Health Tip:
Are You Drinking Enough Water?

You've probably heard the long-standing wisdom that you should drink 64 ounces-that's eight, eight-ounce glasses-every day, no matter what. But the truth might be a little more complicated.

Since hydration needs can vary tremendously based on your body type or your physical activity level, just to name a few, many nutritionists believe it is better advice to drink half of your body weight-in pounds-in ounces of water. Though it sounds complicated, we promise the math is easy!

An Individualized Approach 
Let's break down a simple example. Say you weigh 200 pounds. Simply divide that number by half, and you'll see that you should be drinking 100 ounces of water a day-significantly more than the recommended 64-ounce amount.  

What's nice about this approach is it's more individualized, which is important for those in higher weight ranges who may have larger hydration needs than someone sitting just slightly above 100 pounds.

However, there are even more factors to consider if you are physically active or live in an extremely hot or dry climate. In these scenarios, it's important to tune into your thirst cues and remember to hydrate both before, during and after any rigorous exercise. Note that the specifics can vary greatly based on type of exercise, length of exercise, height, weight and even gender. 

Another important way to stay in-touch with your hydration needs is to pay attention to the color of your urine. It should be light yellow or almost clear; dark yellow or brown urine can indicate you're not drinking enough water. 

Can You Drink Too Much Water? 
Though it's rare, you can  drink too much water. This is known as hyponatremia or when sodium levels in your body become dangerously low. Sodium is an electrolyte and regulates the amount of water that's in and around your cells. If you drink too much water, you can severely dilute the sodium in the same way that adding more water to a soup makes it less salty. As your body's water level rises and sodium diminishes, your cells will begin to swell; this condition can be life-threatening.

Because you lose sodium when you sweat, this is a major concern in the endurance community, where marathoners and triathletes will train for hours under rigorous conditions. This is why hydrating with electrolyte-infused sports drinks, powders or snacks is crucial for maintaining the proper sodium levels in the body. 

If you are concerned about artificial ingredients or sugar found within certain products, you can simply add a teaspoon of sea salt to your water bottle. Whatever your approach, it's important not to forget proper electrolyte replenishment in addition to hydration. 

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 

How to Drink More Water 
For those of us who are simply looking to meet our water needs during our regular day-to-day life, there are plenty of easy ways to up your intake. Start with these simple ideas:
-Remember that other liquids (milk, coffee, tea) and even certain foods  (watermelon, tomatoes, oranges) can count toward your hydration needs.
-Invest in a reusable water bottle that you can take on-the-go to continue hydrating. A "smart" bottle  or bottle that encourages you to drink around the clock  can be especially helpful. 
-Log your hydration until you get used to the amount you should be drinking each day; this can be done on paper or on a mobile app.
-Establish daily routines to remind you to drink. Examples include: Drinking a glass right after you wake up, drinking a glass before and after every meal, taking a few sips after every bathroom break, etc.
-Don't be afraid to infuse or carbonate your water if that encourages you to drink more; however, try to stay away from sugar-heavy ingredients or formulations. 

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  

Referee Corner:  
Does the Law say anything about the Referee and an equal number of Fouls ... .

A common criticism we hear is that the Referee called more fouls on "our" team than they did on the "other" team.  I went to the Laws of the Game to see what kind of advice is being given to the Referees on this subject. This will be the topic of the Referee Corner for this month.

The Referee is governed by Law 5.  Here are some of the main considerations in Law 5:
  1. The authority of the Referee:  Each match is controlled by a referee who has full authority to enforce the Laws of the Game in connection with the match.
  2. Decisions of the Referee:   Decisions will be made to the best of the referee's ability according to the Laws of the Game and the 'spirit of the game' and will be based on the opinion of the referee, who has the discretion to take appropriate action within the framework of the Laws of the Game.
The decisions of the referee regarding facts connected with play, including whether or not a goal is scored, and the result of the match are final.  The decisions of the referee, and all other match officials, must always be respected.
The referee may not change a restart decision on realizing that it is incorrect or on the advice of another match official if play has restarted or the referee has signaled the end of the first or second half (including extra time) and left the field of play or abandoned the match.

Powers and duties:  
The referee enforces the Laws of the Game
Punishes the more serious offense, in terms of sanctions, restart, physical severity and tactical impact, when more than one offense occurs at the same time.

Other powers and duties are presented, but there is no direction to balance the number of calls between the teams in a match.  Referees are to call fouls when they occur to protect the Safety of the players. Is there any other advice given to the referees?

Perception of Fairness A part of the Referee training and mentoring program is stressing the need to create a perception of fairness with the players and the decisions of the referee.  Simply stated, this means that if I do something to you and the referee calls it as a foul, then the referee should also call it a foul if you do it to me. This is common sense.

Calling fouls should change behavior:  The second part of this advice is to let the players know what will and what won't be acceptable behavior in this match.  If someone repeatedly does the same action and it is whistled as a foul, you would expect that the player would stop doing the action and get back to playing fair.  This doesn't always happen, and one team might continue to foul and get called for these fouls. Now, we have the situation where the coaches and fans and players could get upset.

Please understand the scenario we are building.  The Referee needs to know what the Laws of the Game consider to be fouls.  If a foul occurs, the Referee should call it no matter where on the pitch it took place.  A trip is a trip is a trip. If I do it to you and it is a foul, then if you do it to me, it will also be a foul.  And, if we keep doing it, the Referee will keep calling it even if one team gets called for many more fouls than the other team.

So, I did some additional research to see if there are other factors that might create of difference of opinion on the Referee's decisions.  Surprise, there is some information on this subject, so let's look at what I found. It is from an article entitled, " A Sinister Bias for Calling Fouls in Soccer ".  

Distinguishing between a fair and unfair tackle in soccer can be difficult. For referees, choosing to call a foul often requires a decision despite some level of ambiguity. We were interested in whether a well-documented perceptual-motor bias associated with reading direction influenced foul judgments. Prior studies have shown that readers of left-to-right languages tend to think of prototypical events as unfolding concordantly, from left-to-right in space. It follows that events moving from right-to-left should be perceived as atypical and relatively debased. In an experiment using a go/no-go task and photographs taken from real games, participants made more foul calls for pictures depicting left-moving events compared to pictures depicting right-moving events. These data suggest that two referees watching the same play from distinct vantage points may be differentially predisposed to call a foul.

For soccer referees, deciding whether to call a foul often means making a quick judgment about a fast-moving, dynamic event. Seeing a foul depends greatly on context and timing. The perception of contact is not enough to distinguish between a fair and unfair tackle. Even post-match expert analyses using slow-motion replays can end equivocally. The ambiguous nature of soccer fouls becomes especially relevant when a single call dramatically alters the course of a game. This situation is perhaps more true for soccer compared to other sports. In soccer, fouls result in free kicks; free kicks frequently lead to goals; and a single goal is often the difference between a winning and losing team. During a competition like the World Cup the stakes are especially high. Success can affect the economies and politics of nations. Enraged fans have been known to react violently to the perceived mistakes made by individual players and referees.

Low-level perceptual biases can influence higher-order officiating judgments in other sports that involve ambiguity.  We wondered if soccer foul judgments could be modulated by a well-documented perceptual-motor bias. Readers of left-to-right written languages tend to conceptualize events as traversing space concordantly. Although data suggests that brains are wired with some default preferences for left-to-right motion, there is enough evidence in populations that read right-to-left languages (e.g. Hebrew and Arabic) to conclude that perceptual and motor habits associated with the development of literacy influence how we think about canonical representations of events.  Thus, readers of left-to-right languages are more likely to put a circle on the left when asked to draw a simple event like "the circle pushes the square" and to rate goals scored from left-to-right as more beautiful than goals scored in the opposite direction. This phenomenon is exploited by filmmakers who both regularly depict protagonists entering from screen left-moving right , and invert the same principle for antagonists, having them enter from screen right-moving left ; the idea being that our discomfort with leftward motion will transfer onto the bad guy. According to Hollywood folklore, a similar technique was used extensively in Apocalypse Now.  Presumably to disturb viewers, the bulk of travel along the river into the jungle moves leftward.

Given this bias for representing prototypical events from left-to-right, English speakers should be more likely to call a foul when the direction of play moves leftward. Below awareness, left-moving events should seem atypical and relatively debased compared to right-moving events. For soccer-knowledgeable participants making refereeing judgments in ambiguous situations, this perceptual-motor bias may serve to lower the threshold for calling a foul.
Very clear, right?  Coaches are on one side of the field.  Fans are on the other side. Different perspectives.  Referees are moving and should be in a more effective position to see the intricacies of the contact and as a result make a more correct decision.  Of course, some of our Referees are left to right readers and some have been raised with right to left readings.

We will continue to have different perspectives based on our relationship to the team and the players, the bias of "us" versus "them", and "my kid" versus "your kid".  Referees will continue to be challenged with making fast decisions about dynamic events. And, we will all continue to be passionate about the validity of our personal understanding of the facts in a match.

We know that no one is perfect.  Mistakes will be made. With more experience players and Referees will get better.  Our message to the Referees is to be close to play so they can make a correct decision. To err on the side of safety of the players.  And, if it is a foul when I do it to you, it should be a foul when you do it to me.  

Continue to be passionate, but reasonable.  Thank you.

Kansas ODP Girls Train at the University of Kansas 

Papa J ohn's Heartland Referee Spotlight:

When did you start reffing? I started reffing when I was in 7th grade, so around 2012.
What made you decide to get certified to referee? I had been playing soccer for close to 4 years and my oldest brother had already been reffing for a while. He seemed to enjoy it plus he made really good money, so I decided to follow him. 
What is your favorite part about reffing? I loved the community that was around reffing. Being able to go into the field house and see a familiar face was always nice, especially starting as a young referee it helped calm the nerves. 
What is a life lesson you feel you have learned from reffing? I have learned to not take people so seriously. I have had a lot of people much older than I yell and scream in my face and call me names. I have learned to not take it to heart and to just brush it off my shoulder.
When did you start reffing futsal? I refereed futsal around 2015 and I only did it for about 2 seasons.
What is your favorite part about reffing futsal? Honestly, futsal was not my absolute favorite thing to ref. The game was too different for me to really enjoy it, but I did really like how fast paced it was. 
What level of referee to you aspire to be? I am very content being a level 8 referee.
Do you play soccer? I used to play soccer. I played for my high school, Saint Thomas Aquinas but I tore my ACL in 2015 and that ended my career.
Do you participate in any sports/activities?  In high school, I would participate in a program called Simply Soccer and I absolutely loved it. It was a program designed to help kiddos with special needs be able to enjoy the game of soccer. We would run around with them for an hour just playing games and having them kick the ball around. Seeing the smiles on their faces always made it so worth it.
Do you have another job in addition to reffing? I have a job during the week. I am an in-home care provider for the elderly and adults with special needs and then I also work with the Boys and Girls Club in Lawrence.
What was the last book you read? I am not completely sure what the last book I read was, but my all-time favorite book is a tie between The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini and The Auschwitz Escape by Joel C. Rosenberg. Two very different books but they both have incredible messages in them, and I would highly recommend both!!
What types of movies do you like?  I really love comedies! I can't think of the last movie I saw was, but my favorite movie is Land of the Lost starring Will Ferrell  and Danny McBride.
What is your favorite sports team? Of course, my favorite sports team is the Kansas City Chiefs!!
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]
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]  
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