April 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
Referee Review
Referee Corner
 Investing in Referees to get more decisions RIGHT!
Do you believe in magic? If you did why would you have to take your kids to soccer practice? I mean wouldn’t your great athlete just show up during the weekend matches and “be the star”? 

What about the Referees who are assigned to your kid’s matches? People expect Referees to be perfect and then to get better. We know our Referees do not make the right decisions all the time. What can we do to get more decisions right?

Let’s start with the Referees. What do they have to do to get assigned to your kids’ match? The first thing is getting certified by the United States Soccer Federation (USSF). This is step one in Referee training. The Kansas Referee Development Program certifies almost 500 new Referees every year.  

They earn their badge, buy their uniforms, and they are assigned to their first match. Then what? The first game and the first call are the hardest things they will ever do. It is hard because they want to get it right. They want to be perfect. No one is ever perfect. What is the Referee community and Kansas Youth Soccer doing to get more decisions to be made right?  

Watching and coaching Referees in game situations. More experienced Referees observe less experienced Referees and help them develop the skills that will result in more correct calls.

Annual Recertification. Referees are certified annually. Each year they are required to attend a Recertification class where the Laws of the Game and any changes are discussed.  

What can you do? Experience and coaching are the keys to making great soccer players. Players work on their skills and tactics during practices. If a player does not go to practice, they will not improve. If a player does not get tested in game situations against good competition, they will not get better. Experience is a key to player development.

Experience is also a key to Referee development. Referees do not go to weekly practice. They learn the Laws of the Game before they take the field with their current badge. The also learn during matches. Referee Coaches coach them during these matches. For the Referee, the return on experience is getting more decisions right. 

Support our young Referees. Realize they will make mistakes. It is a part of the development process. If you drive them away by complaining about them being young and making mistakes, they are more likely to not come back for the next week. If they do not come back, you will always have brand new Referees and the challenges they have in making the right decisions. We will be starting over again each week, each season, and each year.

This is not a new challenge. We all have a part to play in the Referee development process. Don’t believe in magic. Encourage the Referees so they will come back next week and next season and build from an expanded base in experience. Thank you.
The Referee Blog
The Spring season is off and running at Heartland…  

March was another busy month for soccer at Heartland. League play and tournaments gave the players and teams the opportunity to display their skills and their will to win. Some days were “almost perfect” soccer playing weather. Other days challenged the players with wind and cold. The weather didn’t stop the games being played. We know that playing is why we are all a part of the Heartland Soccer Association.

Last weekend’s league and tournament games featured teams from Kansas, Oklahoma, Wisconsin, South Dakota, Missouri, and Colorado. One of the advantages of Heartland is its ability to draw high levels of competition to Overland Park and Olathe. These competitive and emotional games are enjoyable for the fans and the teams. They also challenge the Referees and Assistant Referees because they make decisions that impact the outcome of a match. These matches help develop our Referees which is good news for the Heartland Soccer Association. Let me share some examples.

One of the U18/19 Silver games featured 2 out of town teams. One team had won its bracket and was going to be in the final. The other team would go to the final with a win in this match. Both teams had a 9-hour drive to get home. They wondered if this game could be considered the final because they wanted to get an early start home. So, there was a lot at stake for the teams based on the outcome of the match. For the Referee team, protecting the players’ safety and enforcing the Laws of the Game fairly was their challenge.  

The score was 2-1 late in the match. The team that needed the win to get to the final was on the attack. A long ball was played into the corner. The player running onto the ball crossed it to a teammate who put the ball into the back of the net making the score 2-2. I was standing near the bench of the team that thought they had just scored the equalizing goal. Yes, the coaches, the bench players and the players on the field were thrilled. The coach looked at the Assistant Referee on the far side and saw that her flag was up indicating a potential problem. The Referee went to talk the play over with this Assistant Referee (a 15-year old young lady). Her information to the Referee was that the player who crossed the ball was offside when the ball was played to him. The goal did not stand. The coach told his assistant that he was not going to complain about the decision, because “the Referee team has been working hard and has made correct calls throughout the match”. The final of this match was 2-1. The team that won this match made it to the finals, played later in the afternoon. This meant they would get home around 3 AM. Another chance to compete was worth the late arrival home. Note: They lost 1-0 in the final.

What impressed me was the attitude of the coaches when the offside decision negated the equalizing goal. They appreciated the efforts of the Referee team throughout the match. The Referee team had earned the respect of the team and the coaches. They were willing to accept this decision even though the impact was elimination and an early trip home without any medals. This is the way soccer matches should be enjoyed.

On the league side in an Under 9 match, the parents and coaches showed a different attitude. The Referee was a 16-year-old young man who has been working as a Referee for 4 years. The Assistant Referee was a 13-year-old young lady. The fans complained about the direction on a throw-in. They continued to challenge other calls. It escalated to a level where the Referee team was getting cussed at by the fans. This is not the way soccer matches should be enjoyed.

Yes, there is always a challenge in recruiting and developing Referees. Many of your officials will be teenagers who are doing their first real job. When they graduate from high school and go off to college they might not come back to Referee. This means we will replace them with other new and young Referees. How do we keep them coming back so they can make better decisions? These 2 examples show the spectrum of experiences for our Referees. Every decision helps them build the confidence they need to make match critical decisions. Your willingness to let them learn is a major part of our soccer community. Another season, another group of new Referees.  

Kansas Youth Soccer is funding a Referee Coaching program to help these new Referees get better faster. This is a part of the game. Thank you coaches, players and fans for understanding this is the way youth soccer works.

We can always use more Referees. Be a part of the solution instead of a part of the problem. Consider joining the Referee family. You can learn more at https://www.kansasreferee.org/page/show/5761536-instruction
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 Anna
When did you start reffing? Aug 2019
What made you decide to get certified to referee? I wanted a job and it seemed like a good one since I love soccer 
What is your favorite part about reffing? I enjoy getting to watch really talented teams while reffing them. 
What is a life lesson you feel you have learned from reffing? To be confident in your decisions. 
What level of referee to you aspire to be? I aspire to be the best referee I can be at any level I make it to. 
Do you play soccer? I do not play soccer anymore, but I did for a private team called Kansas City Thorne’s. I played for 10 years.

Do you participate in any sports/activities? I participate in both school and club volleyball at Olathe Northwest and MAVS. I have played on JV volleyball at Olathe Northwest the past two years. I volunteer and work at my church helping teach younger kids about God and how to strengthen their faith. I am also on my youth group leadership team at Christ Lutheran Church. We have been working hard to have an almost normal youth group this year and are working on expanding our youth group and coming up with fun activities! 

Do you have another job in addition to reffing? I additionally work in the nursery at my church. I love taking care of younger kids and teaching them about God. 
What was the last book you read? I just finished The Vanishing Half. It was about two black sisters who separated. One tries to pass as white to have a better future, while the other embraces her looks and encourages her daughter to do the same. 
What types of movies do you like? I love watching action movies. I really enjoy watching Spider-Man! 
 What is your favorite sports team? I love watching Sporting KC or the Chiefs! 
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
Slim Chickens
Soccer Master
Sporting Kansas City
Sporting Kansas City II
Starting Point Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics
State Farm-Harlan Parker
Storage Mart
Taco Bell
The Rub Bar-B-Que
The Sheridan at Overland Park
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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