Saturday, October 1, 2011

Soccer, Referees and Safety Issues

We are having fantastic FALL weather here in Georgia today, so it was time to go and watch CGSA Soccer in Warner Robins.

It is great weather for watching sports, but what happened today on the field was not just exciting, it was frightening. The officials for today's game were sorry to say the least. It wasn't that they were favoring one team or another with their calls. It was simply that they were not making ANY calls on either team.

The problem with officials not making calls is quite serious. This is not the first time I have witnessed this problem. What happens is quite simply that the boys "play to the whistle" and this causes the game to get rougher and rougher as it progresses. We spoke up to the field marshall several times about the problem. Soccer can be a rough game and times, and today as the game progressed we all feared one of the boys would suffer serious injury. One of the boys on our team was kicked in the face early in the game and went down hard. Face kicks are illegal by the way! The officials not only didn't call a foul or give a card, but they didn't even TALK to the young man who delivered the illegal kick. Fortunately, our player was not seriously injured, however, and returned to the game.

Unfortunately a player from the opposing team was not so lucky. After numerous illegal tackles one of the boys on the visiting team committed an "illegal" tackle which backfired when he knocked our player off his feet and our player fell onto the boy who had committed the tackle. This fall resulted in the fallen visitor breaking a bone and having to be transported by ambulance to a local hospital. This was a completely unnecessary injury, and a foreseeable outcome of the poor officiating.

We all hoped that the injury, holdup of game and ambulance ride for the player would make the officials snap to it in their officiating jobs. It did not! Both teams managed to finish the game but not without 6 injuries and not a single "card" was handed out on any of them! This is unheard of! The game ended in a tie, and several layers will have great difficult trying to play tomorrow, if indeed they can play at all.

We were shut down when we complained about the officiating. I am sure however, that there will be several e-mails going out today to the CGSA regarding this poor show of officiating and the resulting injuries.

As parents and grandparents we are trusting the well being of our children and grandchildren to these officials, and they need to be doing a better job protecting these young athletes. I was also disturbed by the fact that there were no medical personnel available and we waited more than 20 minutes for an ambulance to arrive. I have concerns that if the injury had been more than a broken limb,the child involved could have suffered grievious permanent injury due to lack of proper medical care.

These officials are paid to perform at these games, and I believe they should be held accountable when their lack of adequate oversight results in serious injury to a player.

I am going to attend another game tomorrow, and I certainly hope that the officiating proves to be better than it was today. If you know of situations like this, please make your voice heard. Sports activities are great for our children, but unnecessary injury is not. Speak up now and make yourselves heard. It is IMPORTANT for the well being and safety of our children and grandchildren.


(Courtesy of Taste of Home Magazine)

Italian Sausage Minestrone

1 pound Italian sausage
2 large carrots, sliced
2 large celery ribs, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
6 garlic cloves (optional)
3 TBSP olive oil
7 cups chicken broth
2 cans (15 ounces each) cannellini or white kidney beans, drained and rinsed
2 cans (14 1/2 ounces each) diced tomatoes
2 bay leaves
1 TBSP basil
1 TBSP Italian Seasoning

1 cup of small pasta

Shredded or shaved Parmesan Cheese

1. In large pan, cook sausage over medium heat until done, and drain off
excess fat
2. In the same pan, saute the carrots, celery, onion and garlic in oil until
tender, stir in beans and broth
3. Stir in tomatoes, bay leaves, Italian seasoning, and sausage and bring to
a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Add Pasta and cook
until tender if serving immediately, or see #6 below....
4. Serve immediately with bread or rolls.
5. Soup may be cooled, and transferred to freezer containers and kept for
up to three months.
6. To reheat frozen soup...thaw in refrigerator overnight. Transfer to a
large pan and return to a boil. Reduce heat and cook, uncovered for 6-8
minutes or until pasta is tender..serve with cheese.

Enjoy this hearty soup soon!

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