October 2021
Upcoming Events
Oct 15-17 League play
Oct 22-24 League play
Oct 29-31 Rainout Weekend
Nov 1 Spring 2022 League Registration Opens
Nov 5-7 Heartland Invitational Girls
Nov 12-14 Heartland Invitational Boys
Jan 3 Spring 2022 online registration deadline by noon on January 3
Feb 11-14 Dick’s Sporting Goods Discount Weekend
Feb 16 Spring 2022 schedule posted after 5pm
Feb 18-20 Academy Sports + Outdoors Shop Event
Feb 25-27 Border Battle Tournament / First weekend of League play
Mar 4-6 Midwest College Showcase / League play
Mar 11-13 League play
Mar 18-20 Heartland Spring Cup / League Play
Mar 25-27 League Play
Apr 1-3 League Play
Apr 8-10 Kansas City Champions Cup / League Play
Apr 8-11 Dick’s Sporting Goods Discount Weekend
Apr 15-16 League Play
Apr 17 Easter No Games
Apr 22-24 League Play
Apr 29-May 1 League Play
May 6-8 Midwest Mother’s Day Classic / League Play
May 13-15 League Play
May 20-22 Rainout Weekend
May 27-29 Kansas City Invitational Tournament
June 19 Kansas City 3v3 Challenge
effective August 5, 2021
In compliance with State and county issued updates, everyone must wear a mask inside ‘walk in’ concession stands and bathrooms.
Masks are not required outdoors at the complexes whether an individual has been vaccinated or not, however, it is worth considering wearing a mask in crowded outdoor settings and for activities with close contact with others who are not fully vaccinated.
Fully vaccinated people might choose to mask regardless of the level of transmission, particularly if they or someone in their household is immunocompromised or if someone in their household is unvaccinated.
Referee Review
Referee Corner
When can a Goalkeeper not use their hands? 
Law 12 defines when the goalkeeper is not permitted to use their hands in a soccer match.

When the goalkeeper leaves the Penalty Area they are under the same Laws as any other field player. Here is the text from Law 12: “The goalkeeper has the same restrictions on handling the ball as any other player outside the Penalty Area…”
Inside the Penalty Area, the goalkeeper cannot be guilty of a handling offense incurring a direct free kick or any related sanction but can be guilty of handling offences that incur an Indirect Free Kick.

“An Indirect Free Kick is awarded if a goalkeeper, inside their penalty area commits any of the following offenses:

Controls the ball with the hand for more than six seconds before releasing it. Referees are instructed to inform the goalkeeper to get the ball back into play when they are holding it. If the goalkeeper does not respond positively (i.e., put the ball in play), the Referee will blow the whistle and award the Indirect Free Kick.

Touches the ball with the hand after:
Releasing it and before it has touched another player. An example would be the goalkeeper putting the ball on the ground and when recognizing that an attacker was making a play for the ball, picking it up again. The proper execution by the goalkeeper would be to kick the ball while on the ground. 
It has been deliberately kicked to the goalkeeper by a teammate. This can be a challenge with youth players because you don’t know the exact skill level of the player who is playing the ball back to the goalkeeper. The Law does specify that the ball must be deliberately kicked. This means the defender used his/her foot and meant to play the ball by kicking to their goalkeeper. Can they use their knee or head or other legal parts of their body to play it back to their goalkeeper? According to the Law, yes.
Receiving it directly from a throw-in taken by a teammate. Again, this is very clear. The goalkeeper can play the ball with their feet. They cannot legally pick it up. If they do, an Indirect Free Kick will be awarded.

Each of these infractions has to occur in the Penalty Area. When the goalkeeper leaves the Penalty Area, as outlined above, they are under the same Laws as any other field player, which means they cannot use their hands.

A question we are often asked is when is the goalkeeper considered to be in control of the ball. Again, we turn to Law 12.

A goalkeeper is considered to be in control of the ball when:

The ball is between the hands or between the hand and any surface (e.g. ground, own body) or by touching it with any part of the hands or arms except if the ball rebounds from the goalkeeper or the goalkeeper has made a save.
Holding the ball in the outstretched open hand
Bouncing it on the ground or throwing it in the air
A goalkeeper cannot be challenged by an opponent when in control of the ball with the hands.

We stress this in our Referee Certification and Recertification classes.
The Referee Blog

The Referee Shortage is real!... Let’s not focus on how we got here. Let’s focus on how we resolve the shortage starting with Recruiting and Retention!

Last month we talked about building the Referee pool – one Referee at a time. This month we want to stay on this subject because Heartland, like many other leagues across the country is being impacted by a shortage of certified officials to cover League matches. Some of you have not experienced the problem this shortage can create. Others of you have seen that the shortage can create several different outcomes. Parents may be asked to be “Club” Assistant Referees when we have a certified Referee to handle the whistle. If there isn’t a certified Referee for the center, games are cancelled.

There are a number of reasons for the Referee shortage. Because of the Covid-19 pandemic some of the certified officials decided to sit out the season to make sure they are safe. The tournament schedule and high-level leagues like the National League and ECNL means more soccer matches in a given weekend, which again stresses the available Referee pool. As we talked about last month, many of our more experienced Referees have gone to college which again reduces the Referee pool. And, we continue to have the challenge of young officials not coming back for a variety of reasons. The statistics show that over 70% of soccer Referees quit within their first 3 years.
The problems are not unique to Heartland. Soccer has been growing, Referees have been going off to college, and Referee retention have been problems for years. Every state is experiencing the same kinds of problems. Let’s see what solutions we can come up with for our League and our State. Let’s put our focus on how to resolve this shortage so games can be played, and players and fans can reap the benefits of “the beautiful game.”

Recruiting new Referees: This is the first step in resolving the shortage. Our recruiting pool has been soccer players. They are the most qualified candidates because they have both an affection for the game and the knowledge of what it takes to play soccer. Here is the recruiting picture over the past 5 years:
*Through September 30, 2021

Fewer people are getting certified as Referees at a time when the game continues to grow. This leads to the conclusion that step 1 is understanding why fewer people are choosing to become Referees and what can be done to get more to make the decision to become Referees?

One step the Referee Development group is taking is to take the first steps of the certification process to the teams as they practice. Coaches know that their players will be even more effective when they have a more in-depth knowledge of the Laws of the Game. We will see how this outreach works over the next few months.
Another direction is to get more adults to become certified. There are fathers who decided to become Referees since they are driving their kids to the complexes so the kids can officiate. Why sit around and wait for them? Why not join them and work with them as a Referee? The people who are doing this today say it is a great parenting experience.

Retaining our Referees: We know that our Referees will make errors as they gain experience. The more matches they officiate the more effective their decision making becomes. The benefit is safer and more fair matches for the teams, a definite win-win for everyone. 

If 70% quit within the first 3 years this means that of the 950 new Referees in 2018, there are only 285 left. When you factor in going away to college and other reasons to leave officiating (other jobs, increasing academic workloads that limit the amount of time for officiating, etc.) it is apparent that increasing the retention rate could make a significant difference in the size of the available Referee pool. 

Why do Referees quit? Many of them report a primary reason is the hostility of the fans when calls don’t go their way. Are we becoming more unruly as fans? If so, this is something we have control over. Understanding the benefits to you and your teams when your Referees become more effective (i.e., when they have more experience based on doing more games at a higher level with proper coaching) means we are asking you to be more understanding. If they don’t come back next week, you will always have new Referees. 

We are all in this together. There isn’t one group that can solve the current Referee shortage. We have to do it together as a soccer community. Fans - if you have concerns, talk to your coach. Coaches – if you have concerns talk to the field marshals or complete a Referee evaluation form so we can focus on the performance of those who worked your last match. Adults – become a Referee and help us grow the next season’s pool of Referees.
Heartland Referee Meetings
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 Ashley

When did you start reffing? I started reffing when I turned 12. 
What made you decide to get certified to referee? I wanted to get to know the rules of the game and it was a great way to get experience from a young age.
What is your favorite part about reffing? My favorite part about reffing is getting to meet so many new people and just being able to be outside and away from the stress of school. 
What is a life lesson you feel you have learned from reffing? A life lesson that I have learned is responsibility and time management. With everything going on with school and work, you need to be on top of things and not fall behind. 
What level of referee to you aspire to be? I want to possibly start centering games, and even make it to working high school games. 
Do you play soccer? I play soccer for the 03/04 USL team at Toca FC. And I have been playing soccer for around 13 years. 
Do you participate in any sports/activities? I am involved in National Honor Society, CAPS, AVID, FCA, environmental club, and Rez youth group. I also play softball at Blue Valley High. 
What was the last book you read? The last book I read was Surrounded by Idiots by Thomas Erikson. And it is about the different types of human behavior and it is interesting to get to know what kind of person you actually are. 
What types of movies do you like? I like to watch all types of movies, but my favorite movie is probably Top Gun. 
What is your favorite sports team? My favorite sports team is Sporting KC and the Kansas City Chiefs.
Keeper Wars Return to Kansas!

Olathe, KS (September 30, 2021) – We are proud to announce that the Kansas Youth Soccer continues its partnership with Keeper Wars Ink, to bring back Americas 1v1 Goalkeeper Competition to Kansas for another year! The partnership will bring two sites for the competition to Kansas in the areas of Kansas City and Wichita, the two most populous amounts for youth soccer players in the state. The events will officially be the following dates below:
KC Keeper Wars 2021 City Tour
Dates: November 13-14, 2021
Location: Compass Minerals Sporting Fields - Kansas City, KS
1500 N 90th St Kansas City, KS

This event does take place in conjunction with the Fall State Tournaments also being held that weekend. 

Registration Deadline:  October 31st, 2021
Keeper Wars 2021- Wichita
Dates: December 4-5, 2021
Location: Stryker Sports Complex - Wichita, KS
Indoor Facility
2999 N Greenwich Rd Wichita, KS 67226
Registration Deadline:  November 21st, 2021
Register Now for Centers of Excellence!
The goal of our Centers of Excellence training is to create a fun and challenging environment that helps develop and identify creative young soccer players for the Kansas Youth Soccer Olympic Development Program. We want to help create a passion and love of the game in the players we work with. We emphasize developing the complete player in all 4 pillars of the game including technical, tactical, physical and psychological components of the game.
Our Centers of Excellence trainings offer something different because our licensed coaches are innovative in their training techniques and foster playing environments for developing soccer players. Our goal is to provide a great soccer experience emphasizing learning in a creative, fun and challenging environment where players have the opportunity to develop both as soccer players and as individuals.
We want our participants to improve, have fun, make friends, and look upon their time playing soccer as a positive period in their lives. We accept players of all levels as we have the staff with the knowledge and ability to coach at all levels.
City Locations: Dodge City, Garden City, Kansas City, Salina, & Wichita
Costs: $130.00 for Six (6) Indoor Winter Sessions
Boys & Girls Birth Years: 2013, 2012, 2011
Players receive a training T-Shirt to be worn at trainings! 
Registration Deadline: November 7, 2021
Olathe, KS (Thursday August 5, 2021) – Kansas State Youth Soccer Association (KSYSA) along with SafeDefend, LLC, the nation’s leading provider of comprehensive crisis management solutions, in collaboration with #NotYourDaughter, an advocacy organization focused on protecting children from predatory behavior. The collaboration will provide comprehensive training for Board of Directors, Club Directors, Administrators, Coaches, Managers, Parents and Players to better understand appropriate adult/youth relationships. 
Read more by CLICKING HERE
AB May
Academy Sports and Outdoors
AC Print
Barley's Kitchen and Tap
BFAME KC Entertainment
Capelli Sport
Commercial Capital
Dick's Sporting Goods
Drs. Hawks, Besler, Rogers & Stoppel
Discount Tire
Easton Roofing
Hasty Awards
HCA Midwest Health
Jersey Boyz Deli & Subs
Jimmy John's
Kansas City Comets
K.C. Hopps
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
Pittcraft Printing
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
Taco Bell
The Merchant Fitness
The Rub Bar-B-Que
The Sheridan at Overland Park
Tropical Smoothie Cafe
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]
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