March 2021
Spring is underway!
Age Divisions: Boys 13U - 19U & Girls 13U - 14U 

Group Play Game 1:  May 19th & 20th, 2021
Group Play Game 2:  May 26th & 27th, 2021
Group Play Game 3:  June 2nd & 3rd, 2021
 Semi-Finals & Finals Weekend: June 5th & 6th, 2021

Compass Minerals Sporting Fields
1500 N 90 St. Kansas City, KS 66112
State Cup Website: Click Here/
Age Divisions: Boys 13U - 19U & Girls 13U - 14U 

Dates:  May 13th - 16th, 2021

Heritage Soccer Park
17255 S Lackman Rd. Olathe, KS 66062
Presidents Cup Website: Click Here
To all the teams who participated in the Central Regional Futsal Championship the weekend of February 12-15!
Referee Review
Referee Corner
Handballs again...
This weekend we start the Spring 2021 season and have our first tournament, the Border Battle. Every team is undefeated and has the vision of a remarkably successful season. The Referees are ready to hustle and exercise their responsibilities as outlined in the Laws of the Game. We have talked about the challenges of applying the Laws to dynamic play on the pitch. Some fouls are easier to describe than others. Let's take another stab at all the criteria for a handball, one of the more controversial fouls of the game.

In a recent post on one of the Referee forums, the author commented that holding is described as "holding an opponent", but handball takes over 300 words to describe. There are still questions on what is a handball? That is our subject for discussion this month.    

In the recently completed She Believes Cup, there was an incident between a US defender and a Brazilian attacker.  To see play, click here. The Referees that commented (there have been over 250 to date) are split on what the correct decision should be, but they are consistent on the criteria for making their decisions, which is the Laws of the Game. Let's review again what the Law says about Handing the ball.
1.For the purposes of determining handball offenses, the upper boundary of the arm is in line with the bottom of the armpit. You can see from the video that the ball contacted the arm according to this definition.
2.The Law says it is an offense if a player:
  • Deliberately touches the ball with their hand/arm, including moving the hand/arm towards the ball. In this case the ball is moving towards the hand. We could say that this was not hand to ball. Instead, it was ball to hand.
  • Scores into the opponent's goal directly from their hand/arm, even if accidental. There wasn't a goal scored so we can disregard this part of the Law for this play.
  • After the ball has touched their or a team-mate's hand/arm, even if accidental, immediately:
  • Scores into the opponents' goal
  • Creates a goal scoring opportunity - there wasn't a goal so we can disregard this part of the Law for this play.
3.Touches the ball with their hand/arm
  • The hand/arm has made their body unnaturally bigger.
  • The hand/arm is above their shoulder level (unless the player deliberately plays the ball which then touches their hand/arm)
The above offenses apply even if the ball touches a player's hand/arm directly from the head or body (including the foot) of another players who is close. Many of the Referees commenting on this play referenced the fact that the defender made their body bigger with their hands being up and used this as their rationale for making the decision for a Penalty Kick.
The Law goes on and says... Except for the above offenses, it is not an offense if the ball touches a player's hand/arm:
  1. Directly from the player's own head or body (including the foot) 
  2. Directly from the head or body (including the foot) of another player who is close.
  3. If the hand/arm is close to the body and does not make the body unnaturally bigger
  4. When a player falls and the hand/arm is between the body and the ground to support the body, but not extended laterally or vertically away from the body.
With this background, it is decision time. What decision did the FIFA Referee make in this match? Does the Law justify her decision?  
  • The offense was by the defender so we can eliminate that part of the Law that talks about a goal being scored by the attacker or attacking team-mate.  
  • The ball definitely touched the hand/arm of the defender. This is a fact, so there is a reason to consider a hand ball offense, right? Did the defender make her body unnaturally bigger?
  • Did the ball touch the player's hand/arm directly from the player's own head or body (including the foot)? It did. This could be a reason for determining that it was not an offense.
There was no VAR, so the Referee had to process the above factors into her decision in real time. Her decision was that there was no handball offense. Was she right or did she get this decision wrong? Please think about the factors that go into Referee decisions when you are watching your favorite player and team. And, knowing the Law and how to apply it in real-time makes us better fans.  

We look forward to the Spring season with you and your players.
The Referee Blog
 Getting back on the road to normalcy at Heartland... 

February 26, 2021. 4:58PM. SCHEELS Soccer Complex, Overland Park, KS. 

   The team captains went to the center of the field for the coin toss. The Referee flipped the coin. A decision was made on which team would kick off to start the match. The teams had their final cheers on the sidelines and then took the field. The Referee blew the whistle, the ball was kicked off, and the 2021 Spring season and Border Battle tournament were on. Heartland took the first step on getting back to the road to normalcy.

   Yes, it was a bit chilly that Friday evening, but the fans were not unhappy because they remembered what the weather was like less than one week ago 
(-2 degrees). Today we were playing soccer. The players were happy to be back on the pitch. Every player wanted to play well, and every team expected to end their first match with a win. The Referees and Assistant Referees were ready for the game to start and hoped that they would make the right decision when that opportunity popped up.  

   The message come over the loudspeakers to remind everyone that masks were required to be worn at all times while at Heartland. Looking at the fans and the coaches all wearing masks, confirmed that we were still on our journey to normalcy.  

   What happened after the kick-off? Soccer as we know it was played. Coaches instructed their players to look up, pass to the open man, make the runs into space, make the shots on goal. Other coaches implored their defenders to mark up, to stay goal side, or to clear the ball. The fans were adding their emotions to the game. The journey to normalcy continued, but we were not there yet.
I looked at one of the fields and saw a player strike the ball with their left foot. It was headed to the goal. At the last moment, the goalie jumped and parried the ball away. A save and a corner kick. On another field another player kicked the ball towards the goal. This should be an easy save; however, the goalie missed the ball, and it went through their feet and into the goal for a score. The goalie's head dropped down and he looked like he might cry. From the sidelines I heard several parents comment that he should not worry about what just happened. Just get back into the game and do what he knows to do the next time. This is the way it should be. We continued on the journey to normalcy.

   A few minutes later, and on another field, I saw an attacker push away a defender with both of her hands. The defender went to the turf. The coach shouted to the Referee, "if that is not a foul, what is?" The defender got up and continued to pursue the attacker. Yes, the foul was missed and not called by the Referee. The players kept on playing. The Referee missed another foul (charging) but did call the next two fouls. Players fouling and the Referee missing a couple of calls seems normal. We continued on the road to normalcy.

   By Sunday, there were more shots on goal, more saves, more fouls (called and not called). It looked like a normal first weekend of the season. Yes, we are continuing on the road.

   The game keeps growing which is good news. That also means we need more officials. The Referees who attended the Entry Level Courses in December, January and February were well represented this weekend. Yes, they were doing their first games ever. Have you ever talked with a Referee or Assistant Referee who is doing their first game to ask them how they feel? If you did, you would find that they are there to do their best yet are anxious and somewhat afraid they might get a call wrong. And they will. But they will get more calls right than they get wrong because they know the Laws and they want to do a good job. Every decision helps them build the confidence that comes from experience. Remember, we certify officials in the classroom but develop them on the field. By the end of the weekend, these new officials were more "confident" because they had more experience. Your willingness to let them learn is a major part of our soccer community. Another season, another group of new Referees. Yes, we are continuing on the road to normalcy. 

   There were mentors working with these new Referees to help them get better faster. This is a part of the soccer community at Heartland and another part of the journey towards normalcy. Thank you for your help in making our soccer community one to be proud of. The players, coaches, fans, staff, and Referees all share the goal of improving the soccer experience at Heartland. This is how normal looks.

A note: we can always use more Referees. Please think about joining the Referee family. You can start your journey at
Heartland Referee Meetings
2021 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. 
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 
Q&A with Paul
When did you start reffing? Spring 2020
What made you decide to get certified to referee? Growing up, soccer was a big part of my life. I played throughout college and you would rarely see me without a soccer ball at my feet. After college, I realized that I wanted to find ways to still keep me around the game. I knew that I wouldn't be able to devote the time needed to be a coach so I thought becoming a ref would allow me to not only stay involved in the game, but would provide a way to give back to the soccer community.
What is your favorite part about reffing? I love just being around the sport. Seeing the teamwork and work ethic in players reminds me a lot of my own soccer journey. Teaching and instructing athletes on the correct ways to play the game is also very rewarding.
What is a life lesson you feel you have learned from reffing? There is always room for improvement no matter how well you think you understand something. At first I thought that every game would be super easy for me , but have realized and gained more respect for the unique challenges that refs deal with.
What level of referee to you aspire to be? I don't have any specific goals when it comes to what level of ref I want to be. My main goal is just to continue to be around soccer when I am able to.
Do you play soccer? I try to play in different adult leagues from time to time. Growing up, I played for the Sporting KC Academy then went on to play collegiately at Rockhurst University.
How long have you played soccer? From age 4 throughout college and now recreationally. 
Outside of reffing, what do you enjoy doing? I enjoy spending time with my wife and spending time outdoors. I am an avid fisherman and love to exercise. I am also a volunteer at my church's youth group every Sunday evening. 
Do you have another job in addition to reffing? Senior Credit Analyst at UMB Bank
What kind of books do you like to read? I enjoy reading autobiographies. I like learning about people who have inspired and motivated others to be the best they can be. 
What types of movies do you like? I am a huge Marvel Movie fan. Haven't seen a new movie in a while since the pandemic started.
What is your favorite sports team? All KC teams. Love SKC, Chiefs and Royals
AB May
Academy Sports and Outdoors
AC Print
BFAME KC Entertainment
Commercial Capital
Dick's Sporting Goods
Drs. Hawks, Besler, Rogers & Stoppel
Discount Tire
First Watch
Hasty Awards
HCA Midwest Health
Jason's Deli
Jersey Boyz Deli & Subs
Jimmy John's
Kansas City Comets
Krusich Dental
Land of Paws
Levine Advertising
Menorah Medical Center
Molle Toyota
Momo Bands
Museum at Prairiefire
Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt
Overland Park Regional Medical Center
Papa John's
Raising Cane's
Rob Ellerman and 
Reece Nichols Real Estate
Research Medical Center
Salty Iguana
Security Bank
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Sporting Kansas City
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Starting Point Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics
State Farm-Harlan Parker
Storage Mart
Taco Bell
The Rub Bar-B-Que
TW Sportswear + Print, Ship & Signs
Urban Air
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]
Kansas Youth Soccer is excited to bring the opportunity for youth players to experience the game of sand soccer! This exciting game is perfect for all levels of players to participate in during future summer months and we hope your club or team takes the time to see what programming they can offer to help improve your overall game.
Please join us in welcoming Thunder Beach KC Sand Soccer to the Kansas Youth Soccer Family as our newest League Member!
Official announcement:  

Questions or interest please email at: 
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