My son, U16B Premier player, just returned from a tournament. Part of his account of the weekend was to show me the inside of his right ankle, upon which are 8 or 10 very obvious cleat marks which were the result of a straight-on, studs up challenge, which he said he thought for a minute might have broken his leg, but which did not elicit so much as a whistle from the referee. From this point onward, please assume this is an accurate account of the incident. I am wondering how you would advise your son to handle something like this. I am a mild mannered sort, but I am about as intolerant of bad referees as anyone, not outwardly, but when particularly so when it comes to the inability to recognize obvious fouls and those which endanger the safety of players. I have always told my son not to let a weak referee end his career, but rather to be respectfully proactive in letting a referee know when he is consistently missing unfair contact. Of course, he has never done this. What my son did in this case was to get slowly up off the ground, limp around for a while, and eventually keep playing. My first reaction to this was to tell him that he should have gotten up, shoved the other player to the ground, and while being sent off use every bad word I have taught him to tell the referee, loud enough for everyone at the match to here what a f****** loser he was, and why...OK, leave the player out of it, but take a caution for dissent by at least having a verbal go at the referee. When I returned to Earth, I thought, what would be the best possible way to handle something like this? What I came up with was to lie on the ground, holding the ankle until the referee stopped play and came over to ask me if I was injured, and then respond with a, "I'm not sure, I think he might have broken my leg, it was straight on, cleats up and with a lot of force. I can't believe you didn't call that, didn't you see it?" And then whatever else depending on how much other garbage was going unrecognized up until that point, and what you thought would be constructive. Nobody else is around, and you have his full attention. Obviously you can take shots at the nuances here, but what about the general idea? How should youth players handle a rough opponent and a referee who is in over his head?