OSC Unveils New "Abuse Free Zone" Banners

May 20 2012

"Youth Soccer Club Takes A Stand"

The Oldsmar Youth Soccer Association, also known as the Oldsmar Soccer Club, located in Oldsmar , Florida just north of Tampa, will be leading the way in the State of Florida this coming 2012/13 youth soccer season when it comes to making sure all attendees and participants understand, "enough is enough", as General Manager and Director of Operations, John Linse states. The Club has unveiled what he calls, "a gentle reminder", at the entrance of the soccer fields at Canal Park. These colorful 3x5 foot banners boldly proclaim, "This is an "ABUSE FREE" ZONE". Simply stated, if you misbehave you will be asked to leave the complex.  Linse is not only the General Manager at the club but he is also a United States Soccer Federation Referee, Head Coach of two girls competitive soccer teams and the father of three girls that also play.  "As a referee, I get to witness first-hand the lack of restraint from spectators and coaches at youth soccer games.  Soccer fans tend to be a very passionate group and sometimes they forget these are kids just trying to have a good time.  Unfortunately we (USSF) are losing a lot of young refs due to the undo stress placed on them from both sidelines."  Not only do children play the game but they also get certified by the State of Florida as Youth Referees and work in the younger age groups officiating games.  "We easily lose 4 or 5 young referees in our area every year because they’re just tired of getting yelled at by parents and coaches.  These kids are learning the game just like the players and coaches on the field.  They will make mistakes from time to time but the fear of the mistake, and the wrath that may accompany it, is far out weighing the desire to continue refereeing right now.  The end result is we lose another potentially good referee."  It is an alarming trend that can be seen nationwide in all youth sports, not just soccer.  So be warned, if you find yourself at Canal Park in Oldsmar this youth soccer season, take a minute and read the gentle reminders that can be found on just about every fence.  When asked what he hopes the outcome will be, Linse stated, "It’s not the cure for the problem but hopefully it will be enough to get everyone’s attention so they know we take it seriously here at Oldsmar and like I said before, enough is enough."


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