I’m going to be up front with you, my knowledge of soccer is nil outside little league, four on four, and the fact that most of the world calls soccer football. For years my husband coached Parks & Rec soccer while I made up the snack sheet and took tons of pictures.


My two youngest about six years ago.


Hubs making a game plan


My son throwing in the ball.

I didn’t pay real close attention to the rules of the game. I did, however, know enough to cheer when our team made a goal. So, I hit good old facebook for some suggestions about soccer. I mean, really, how much more is there to soccer than kicking a ball around and a little head butting action?

Oh boy, I can just see John rolling his eyes. You don’t have to be a facebook friend of his very long to know how much he loves the game. He probably even knows who’s who and what position they play. The only one I know of is Beckham and I have no idea what position he played. I didn’t grow up with soccer like I did baseball and Cal Ripken Jr,  Nolan Ryan, Dan Quisenberry, and George Brett. Soccer didn’t even show up in school until my senior year and by that time I had finished my physical education and no need to learn the rules.

While I waited for the comments to come in about what I should blog about, I decided to hit Bing. And because sometimes I’m a little facetious I decided to Bing Monkey Soccer, but I’ll get to that in a little bit. First, I’ve got to share something I’ve discovered about soccer. Referees don’t just have whistles, they have cards and flags too. Well, from what I gather the main ref has cards and the linesmen (assistant referees) have flags.

Wow! Who knew there could be more than one referee on the soccer field. You don’t know how many times during my kids’ games I thought that our only ref was blind as a bat. Yeah, I was one of those moms. One who didn’t know the rules and still cried foul when her kid got kicked in the shins or elbowed in the ribs. Sometimes those chin guards didn’t stay put.

Anyway, as it turns out there’s one main referee and two linesmen. The main ref is armed with yellow and red cards, also known as flags but they look like cards to me. The yellow card is a warning card. Kind of like a yellow light warning you that the light is about to turn red. The yellow card can be used if a player offends a referee with foul language, takes too much time getting back into the game or isn’t following the rules. Most of the time a yellow card is used if a player commits what is known as a ‘bad tackle’, where the ref believes a player intentionally set out to hurt another player. After so many yellow cards, a player can be removed from the game for a certain amount of time. Yeah, it almost sounds like hockey to me too.

Now here is where things get a little confusing to me. If a player receives two yellow cards, it seems he gets a red card and then he’s removed from the game. This causes the team to lose a player. I’m not certain if he is replaced or if he gets to come back after halftime (now that sounds like American football).

The linesmen actually hold flags and give signals. When the ball has crossed the line, the linesman will use his flag to signal that a throw-in is necessary. He also uses his flag to signal a substitution and offside. You can click here for more details and the positioning of the flags. There’s a pretty good picture of the linesman positions.

So, there you have it, flags and cards.

Now, I suppose you want to know about Monkey Soccer. Yes, it’s real. I promise you, and if you work with a youth group it’d be a fun game to play with them. The rules are the same as regular soccer, but there is a catch… you can’t use your feet. You read that right. No feet allowed, only hands and arms. Oh, and you can’t pick up the ball.

Have you ever played monkey soccer? How about regular soccer?