Referee Availability for League & Tournaments

As our local soccer community grows, the need for new and experienced referes continues. Join America’s Largest Soccer League. More details on referee meeting schedules, training, and education can be found on the Referee Classes page. Games are available at SCHEELS Overland Park Soccer Complex, Swope Soccer Village, Compass Mineral Sporting Youth Fields, and new GARMIN Olathe Soccer Complex.
Sign Up to Become a Referee.
Heartland Soccer Association 
Celebrates 45 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. 
Heartland Spring League Registration Now Open
Nov 1- Jan 3

Registration closes at Noon on January 3rd No late registrations accepted
Rainout Line:
(913) 307-3684

Click here for weather alerts.
Let Triffic Shirts & More provide all your custom apparel needs including Uniforms and Spirit Wear for your school, clubs, sports teams, family gatherings, and much more. We provide:
* Screen printing from 1 to 6 colors
* Custom art and design work
*Personalized names/numbers for your team spirit wear
​​​​In soccer, the psychological strength of players is key to winning games and continuing improvement. Mental fitness is an often overlooked part of coaching, and many players are not aware of how big an impact their mindset has on their performance.

This Month in History: November
30 November 1991 - Akers Aweigh
On 30 November 1991, the United States women's national team beat Norway 2-1 in the inaugural FIFA Women's World Cup Final before a crowd of 63,000 at Tianhe Stadium in Guangzhou, China.

The United States entered the Final after winning all of their previous matches in the tournament, including a 5-0 hammering of Brazil in the group stage, a 7-0 demolition of Chinese Taipei in the quarterfinals, and a 5-2 victory over Germany in the semifinals. Norway, meanwhile, had opened the tournament with a 4-0 defeat to hosts China, but then put together a string of wins to reach the Final, including a convincing 4-1 victory over Sweden in the semifinals.
US midfielder/forward Michelle Akers (pictured) entered the Final as the Cup's leading scorer with 8 (5 of which came in the win over Chinese Taipei). True to form, she gave the Americans the lead with a goal in the 20th minute, but Norway struck back with a 29th-minute equalizer from forward Linda Medalen. The match remained even until the 78th minute, when Akers pounced on a stray back pass from Norway's Tina Svensson and sidestepped keeper Reidun Seth to tap the ball into the open net. The goal gave the United States the win and upped Akers' tally to 10, making her the tournament's top scorer.
Register Now for Heartland Winter League 2022-2023
Registration closes Nov. 16th
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.
2022 Tournament Team Numbers
Border Battle '22 - 155
Midwest College Showcase '22 - 68
Heartland Spring Cup '22 - 139
KC Champions Cup '22 - 439
Mother's Day Classic '22 - 422
Kansas City Invitational '22 - 361
Heartland Open Cup '22 - 61
Fall Kick Off Challenge '22 - 252
Heartland Midwest Classic '22 - 171
Midwest All Boys '22- 209
Midwest All Girls '22 - 291
Heartland Invitational Girls '22 - 391
Heartland Invitational Boys '22 - 427

*In the last 12 months Heartland welcomed teams from a total of 17 states and Canada.
2022 Heartland Numbers
Spring league teams '22 - 1,291
Fall league teams '22- 1,322
League players - 42,000
Tournament teams - 3,011
Tournament players - 46,000+
Referees - 2,000+
Coaches - 4,000
Come ESCAPE with us! 
Exercise your MIND
at one of KC’s most exciting
escape room adventures.  
Lots of fun! 
Soccer weekends sell out quickly 

“I am incredibly grateful to all the Referees, Assignors, Field Marshals and Mentors. Thank you for all your time, patience and dedication. Thank you for being here weekend after weekend. You have given players the opportunity to play the game of soccer that they love so much! YOU ARE AWESOME SAUCE! And I am grateful for YOU!”

"One of the many aspects that I'm thankful for is the vast number of teams that play in every age group. Having so many teams at all ages, allows teams and kids of all skill levels to play similar competition. We are lucky to have so many kids playing here in KC that can continue playing as long as they choose to play."

"I am so thankful for the incredible staff at HSA. You all have become like family and I am so proud to work among so many talented, incredible people."

"I appreciate the opportunity to work with a fantastic group of people who make working for Heartland Soccer such a great experience. I am also very grateful to the outstanding leadership that has allowed Heartland Soccer to become such a positive influence on youth soccer in the Midwest."

"I am thankful for all the Coaches, Players and Parents that participated in the Heartland Soccer League and Tournaments this year! Thank you for making 2022 a record-breaking year! We look forward to seeing you in 2023."

"The increased level of competition provides a great foundation for developing our Referees so they can continue to manage matches as they get more experience. We also appreciate the support we have received from Heartland in getting the mentoring program to where it is today."
Gather with friends and family where sophistication meets fun. Pinstripes combines Italian-American cuisine with the entertainment and excitement of bowling and bocce in Overland Park.

Athletes and Coaches get 20% off at Pinstripes.
Mention Heartland Soccer to redeem offer.
This offer is for dine-in only, valid through
Dec 2022. No minimum spend is required.

Make a reservation at Pinstripes: Click Here
HCA Midwest is your community healthcare partner. We care about the well-being of you and your family and this November, we’re encouraging you to share the message of the Great American Smokeout with those who may still be trying to kick the habit of smoking.

The Great American Smokeout is an annual event sponsored by the American Cancer Society (ACS). It is held on the third Thursday of November. This social engineering event focuses on encouraging Americans to quit tobacco smoking. People are challenged to stop smoking for at least 24 hours assuming that their decision not to smoke will last longer, hopefully forever.

Today, more than 43 million people in the United States smoke cigarettes, that is about 1 in 5 adults. The Great American Smokeout evolved from a number of smaller-scale events that took place in the 1970s. The first Great American Smokeout occurred in California on November 18, 1976. According to the California division of the ACS, nearly 1 million people stopped smoking cigarettes that day. In 1977, the event was taken nationwide. Different people quit smoking in different ways. There are those who quit abruptly and completely and those who cut back gradually. Some people need substitutions and distractions to suppress cravings and others need special medicines. No matter which approach you choose, the Great American Smokeout is the perfect occasion to make the first step. Of course, if you have already decided to quit smoking, you don’t have to wait till November.

To learn more about our services for lung cancer, please visit
Possession vs Quick Transition

7 players (white) + keeper (yellow) vs 5 players (red)

3 zones, each of 20 yards length x 50 yards width

Red team of 5 plays to the large goal, defender by the keeper, while the white team of 7 play to the small goals.

White team are restricted to play with two touch and must make a desired number of passes before attempting to score in one of the three small goals. The red team must work to win possession and then quickly transition to the large goal within 4 touches.

Coaching Points
• The team of 7 must open the field up with a good shape to maintain possession
Spread out, Triangulate Around the Ball
• The team of 5, must stay compact in defense and hunt in packs to win possession
• Keeper plays with team of 7
Heartland Awards Night at
The KC Comets
Email Mike Rodriguez for Tickets: [email protected]
Referee Review
Become a Soccer Referee! Give back to the Soccer Community!

Do you enjoy exercise & fitness? Do you enjoy making your own schedule? Are you interested in making some extra money during your soccer weekends? Are you someone wanting to give back to your soccer community?
Become a Soccer Referee! Our soccer community is in search of more Referees so our players can play the beautiful game.
Click the below link 👇🏽 and follow the specific instruction to register for an Entry Level Referee Clinic.


Join the Referee Team this coming Fall soccer season and be a part of the Beautiful Game!
The Referee Corner: Managing the Penalty Kick… 
The Laws of the Game state that a Penalty Kick is awarded if a player commits a Direct Free Kick offense insider their Penalty Area or off the field as a part of play as outlined in Laws 12 and 13. The Law also states that a goal may be scored directly from a Penalty Kick.  

Let’s spend some time going over this restart.

The reason for awarding the Penalty Kick is to punish “cheating” by the defensive team. The Direct Free Kick fouls enumerated in Law 12 are the result of contact (the exception is deliberately handling the ball – the subject of last month’s article) which means the defensive team was doing actions outside the Laws to try to prevent a goal. In the spirit of fairness, the Laws of the Game prescribe the solution for the offense as restoring the goal scoring opportunity by restarting with a kick from 12 yards out without any defenders. It is the goalkeeper against the Penalty Kick taker.

The procedure is well defined in Law 14:

1.      The ball must be stationary on the Penalty Mark and the goal posts, cross and goal net must not be moving.
2.      The player taking the Penalty Kick must be clearly identified (specifically to the goalkeeper)
3.      The defending goalkeeper must remain on the goal line, facing the kicker, between the goal posts without touching the goal posts, crossbar or goal net until the ball has been kicked.
4.      The players other than the kicker and goalkeeper must be:
a.      At least 10 yards from the Penalty Mark
b.      Behind the Penalty Mark
c.      Inside the field of play
d.      Outside the Penalty Area
5.      After the players have taken positions in accordance with this Law, the Referee signals for the Penalty Kick to be taken (blowing the whistle).
6.      The player taking the Penalty Kick must kick the ball forward; backheeling is permitted providing the ball moves forward.
7.      When the ball is kicked, the defending goalkeeper must have at least part of one foot touching, in line with, or behind the goal line.
8.      The ball is in play when it is kicked and clearly moves.
9.      The kicker must not play the ball again until it has touched another player.
10.  The Penalty Kick is completed when the ball stops moving, goes out of play or the Referee stops play for any offense.

What are the offenses that could occur during a Penalty Kick. Once again, we look at the Laws of the Game (Law 14) for the answers:

If before the ball is in play, one of the following occurs:
1.      The player taking the Penalty Kick, or a teammate offends:
a.      If the ball enters the goal, the kick is retaken
b.      If the ball does not enter the goal, the Referee stops play and restarts with an Indirect Free Kick
c.      Except for the following when play will be stopped and restarted with an Indirect Free Kick, regardless of whether or not a goal is scored
                                                i.     A Penalty Kick is kicked backwards
                                                ii.     A teammate of the identified kicker takes the kick. The Referee cautions the player
who took the kick
                                              iii.     Feinting to kick the ball once the kicker has completed the run-up (feinting in the
run-up is permitted). The Referee cautions the kicker
d.      If the goalkeeper offends:
                                                  i.     If the ball enters the goal, a goal is awarded
                                                ii.     If the ball misses the goal or rebounds from the crossbar or goalpost(s), the kick is
only retaken if the goalkeeper’s offense clearly impacted on the kicker
                                              iii.     If the ball is prevented from entering the goal by the goalkeeper, the kick is
                                              iv.     If a goalkeeper’s offense results in the kick being retaken, the goalkeeper is warned
for the first offense in the game and cautioned for any subsequent offense(s) in the
e.      If a teammate of the goalkeeper offends:
                                                i.     If the ball enters the goal, a goal is awarded
                                               ii.     If the ball does not enter the goal, the kick is retaken
f.       If a player of both teams offends, the kick is retaken unless a player commits a more serious offense (e.g., illegal feinting)
g.      If both the goalkeeper and the kicker commit an offense at the same time, the kicker and cautioned and play restarts with an Indirect Free Kick to the defending team

The bottom line with the Penalty Kick (and this is true in all the Laws) if you cheat you will not be rewarded with a goal. FIFA has put together a summary chart in the Laws to help everyone understand what FAIR and LEGAL is:
Now you know the details of a properly and legally managed Penalty Kick. To become a Referee and have the opportunity to apply the Laws fairly in matches, go to and sign up for an Entry Level Clinic.
The Referee Blog

Sidelines behaviour: How it can impact the game of Youth soccer…

In 2011 a group of researchers in New Zealand conducted a study to better understand the prevalence, pattern, and nature of coaches’ verbal behavior at kid’s team sports events. When you look at their findings it is like what takes place in Kansas. Let’s review the study and how it impacts players and the young Referee team. And we will expand the impacts to include the impacts from the fans also.

In this study (The Sideline behaviour of coaches at children’s team sports games, 2011 Elsvier Ltd.)  the authors introduced three factors that they hypothesized impact coach comments and behaviors. These factors are:

Coach orientation
  • the importance of the sport to the fans. Kansas City is known as the youth soccer capitol of the U.S. The interest in the KC Current and the 2026 World Cup coming to Kansas City translates to a strong local influence of the importance of soccer in Kansas City

The coaching context 
  • when coaches are expected to win even in very close matches it provokes different patterns of verbal behavior. Their conclusion – when the team was losing, rate of positive comments made by the coach dropped by 15% compared to a team that was winning.

The coaches’ perspective of their athletes
  • male coach’s behavior is different from female coaches as was their perception of the capabilities of their athletes – female versus male. The study suggested that many coaches may inaccurately stereotype girls as being not as naturally talented as boys in areas of physical activity, in spite of well documented research that indicates there are extremely limited physiological differences between boys and girl prior to puberty. The hypothesis was that boys would be subject to higher expectations and therefore greater level of negative criticism than girls.

Their findings showed that coaches generally make many varied comments over the course of children’s team sport games. When coaches are expected to win, this appears to significantly influence the rates of negative comments directed at both athletes and Referees. Finally, all the sports included in this study advocate positive coaching behavior. What was worrying was that the coaches demonstrating the highest rate of negative comments and lowest rates of positive comments were the once most likely to have been exposed to a coaching model advocating otherwise.

What about Kansas City? Last weekend we had the opportunity to see teams play in a tournament at Lone Elm. The interesting thing about a tournament is that at the end of 3 days a team can be declared the champion of their age group/division. This increases the coaching orientation and the coaching context – i.e., the desire to win (which is good). It also increases the potential for more negative comments at both the players and the officials from the coaches and from the fans.

In one of the youngest age group finals (final score of 2-1) we observed this behavior on display. The teams were skilled and were playing with intensity. The coaches were “into the game” as were the fans. The Referees were under 16 and were being challenged to manage a “match on the edge”. The coaches appealed for calls on almost every contact. The fans followed suit. The players wanted the decisions to match what they were hearing from both sidelines. And the Referees were trying to apply the Laws of the Game to deliver their primary product – a SAFE and a FAIR match.

It was challenging for everyone. There were players who had to be subbed out because of injuries. There was a Penalty Kick (the decision by the Referees was a hand ball in the Penalty Area) that not everyone agreed with. It would have tied the match. The pressure of the moment resulted in the player taking the Penalty Kick sending the ball over the goal instead of into the goal. In the end the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat was present. Everyone on the field will be back for another chance to win in the Spring. And the Referee team, who was relieved the match was over, will also return in the Spring.
We saw the sidelines exhibit a full range of passion. I wasn’t counting the positive, negative, and neutral comments by the coaches and the sidelines, but there were plenty of all of them. Continue the passion but remember how it can impact the game of Youth soccer. Treat all the players as if they were your kids. Be positive with gusto. The Referees are learning how to manage these high-pressure matches. Give them positive feedback so they will want to come back next year. Experience is the greatest teacher and the only way to build experience is to have everyone come back again.

Thank you for your passion during the Fall season. If you are interested in becoming a Referee so that you can better understand the game of soccer and have the experience of managing a “match on the edge”, check out the Entry Level Clinics that are posted on
 Monthly Referee Meetings
Are you wanting to improve as a referee? How about get less grief? What about being considered for higher level games and state cup? Attending monthly Kansas Referee Program meetings is a great step to help all of that happen! Don't miss opportunities to hone your craft, win some fun prizes, make new friends and elevate your game as an elite Kansas soccer referee! Referees of all ages and experience levels are encouraged to attend!
2022 Referee Meeting Dates

  • Nov 14 (Monday) 7-8:30pm

Meetings will be hosted at the SCHEELS Overland Park Soccer Complex Field House meeting room, 13700 Switzer Rd, Overland Park KS 66213
Q & A with Jackson

When did you start reffing?
I started refereeing in the spring of 2022. 

What made you decide to get certified to referee?
I tried reffing indoor rec when I was 11 years old. I didn't enjoy it very much due to the parents yelling. Eventually I got tougher skin and went back to it along with my little brother Jackson. I love the game of soccer and enjoy giving back.

What is your favorite part about reffing?
I enjoy the connections that you make with other referees, players, coaches and field marshalls.

What is a life lesson you feel you have learned from reffing?
If you show respect you will get respect from others.

What level of referee to you aspire to be?
I plan on continuing to progress to the highest level. I plan on working State Cup games and trying to get into National level events. Eventually I would like to referee college and professional games.

Do you play soccer?
I currently play for Olathe Northwest HS. I also play club soccer with Toca FC. I started playing soccer when I was 3 years old. I didn't start playing competitive level soccer until I was

Do you participate in any other activities?
I love sports and playing sports. I just finished playing club baseball and wrapped up my basketball career last season. I ran cross country and track last year and will continue to run track at ONW. Since starting HS I have narrowed my focus to soccer and track.

Do you have any hobbies?
I really enjoy hiking and visiting national parks.

What was the last book you read?
I recently read the Concrete Rose. It was about a boy who belongs to a gang and became a father at 17. He had another child at 18. Overall, the book was about his come up from life and how he became successful with all of these challenges. My favorite part was him becoming a business owner and owning his own grocery store.

What types of movies do you like?
I like super hero movies. The last movie I watched was Iron Man 1. I enjoyed the part where he build Iron Man while being trapped in a cave.
What is your favorite sports team?
Rock Chalk Jayhawk!
Kansas Youth Soccer Partners
with Fearless & Capable!

Olathe, KS January 14, 2022 – We are proud to announce that Kansas State Youth Soccer Association (KSYSA) has partnered with Fearless & Capable as its newest organization partner. The partnership between Fearless & Capable and Kansas Youth Soccer will focus on supporting female coaches, referees, and administrators across the state by providing the opportunity for meaningful mentorship from women across the country to the females working in Kansas. 

Female coaches, referees and administrators will be able to join the growing Fearless & Capable membership program, and explore one-on-one mentoring sessions with a trained mentor to grow their skill sets in a holistic and supportive environment.

Read more by CLICKING HERE

Kansas Youth Soccer Coaching Education Department is offering multiple coaching courses this winter for soccer coaches to get more education to better their players on the field. Don’t miss out on these opportunities to expand your soccer knowledge during the off season and be a better coach come the Spring season.  
Earn two licenses in one day instructed by Female Coaches for Female Coaches!
December 17, 2022 – Kansas City, KS
9v9 In Person Grassroots – 9:00am – 1:00pm
11v11 In Person Grassroots – 2:00pm – 6:00pm 
To see what coaching courses are coming up please CLICK HERE.

Questions on Coaching Education please contact Kansas Youth Soccer Director of Coaching Paul Fabry at [email protected].
AB May
Academy Sports and Outdoors
AC Print
Barley's Kitchen and Tap
Burger Shed
Capelli Sport
Chick-fil-A 7500 W 135th St
Chick-Fil-A 15919 W 87th St Pkwy
Chicken N Pickle
CH Roofing And Exteriors
City Thrift
Dick's Sporting Goods
Drs. Hawks, Besler, Rogers & Stoppel
Easton Roofing
Fearless & Capable
Hasty Awards
Hawaiian Bros
HCA Midwest Health
KC Current
Kansas City Comets
K.C. Hopps
Krusich Dental
Land of Paws
Levine Advertising
McShane & Brady Law
Menorah Medical Center
Molle Automotive Group
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
Renewal by Andersen
Research Medical Center
Salty Iguana
Security Bank
Soccer Master
Sporting Kansas City
Sporting Kansas City II
Starting Point Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics
State Farm-Harlan Parker
The Merchant Fitness (Julah)
The Rub Bar-B-Que
Tick Tock Escape Rooms KC
Trace (Alpine Replay, Inc.)
Tropical Smoothie Cafe
T-riffic Shirts & More
Urban Air
US Awards
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]