Category Archives: DXTL News

Once Upon A Time…

Once upon a time… It was different..

Children where the governance of their own game, communicating through the shared knowledge of places they could play with a ball. Friends would appear around a corner and join your game, and compromise would be agreed upon to add players without disrupting the balance of the game. Friends would knock round for others on the way to your street. If new players out grew the street it was time to go and slide under the school gate onto the pitch to play in the goals.

The coach was the street, the children learned how to throw to feet by playing kerbsy, and SLAM was how they learned to strike the ball with power and accuracy. The neighbours window was how they practiced running and looking over their shoulder. Children became good footballers because they where left to play in peace, all they needed was a ball and other children, and if they where alone then they would practice  keepy ups and try to break their record.

I wonder what would happen if we opened the gates of football facilities and banned football kits, coaches referees and parents just for one day, or what if training night was leaving them alone for an hour to play together. For just one day could we leave them in the hands of responsible adults with first aid training in case they got hurt. Would children travel back to a time when childhood football was an act of free will and friendship. Would foes become friends? Would a league even exist? would the generation of adults we have today welcome their child from the pitch and look into the eye of a child who had been given they keys to football freedom?

Its never to late to give children the fairytale football childhood we had. #wecandothis

The End

Article By: John Casey


BBC Shares Shocking Stories From Grassroots Football.

Not a week goes by in the UK without another horror story weaved into the tremendous work carried out by our young match officials in grassroots football. In the aftermath of the assault on Irish grassroots football official Daniel Sweeney, the BBC have opened its doors to the public to share stories of the  grassroots football community and it makes the your jaw drop to the floor.

Don’t X The Line receive this kind of information weekly from across the UK to our inbox, it’s this that drives the team to work hard in the development of new resources and initiatives such as the new re-launched Refspect programme due for release to the public on December 1st.

The word respect is thrown about as the standardised default position expected by the public when it comes to behaviour, but ultimately it will be strict operational change in the accountability of clubs that will turn the tide. I mean think about it for a second, we can ask driver on our roads to drive slower to reduce injury and deaths on our roads, but it’s the installation of speed cameras that slow down the selfish and reckless on our roads. We don’t have grey areas to solve our problem of speeding, we have a change to the environment that forces people to stay within the law. Now we are not talking about installing mouthing off cameras on the sideline ( tempting as this may be) but clear zero tolerance policies adopted by clubs as mandatory league policy is a close second.

The great clubs don’t need converting, take for instance Lostock Hall JFC in Preston, we dropped in one day to see how the club was managing their sideline and the parents simply chatted enjoyed the game and didn’t shout the word “REF” once,  not one moment of harassment. The game is littered with rubbish and it’s time to stop sweeping this under the carpet with empty slogans and start brushing up the sideline. The elephant in the room is that people will not behave if they cannot cope with competitiveness, they are the same people who smash their game controller when it beats them because it’s out of their control, these people require an education as an opportunity for behavioural change, or a red card from the game.

You just can’t punch people in the face and attack people end of. The last thing we need is a strike which is the thought pattern of some in the game. We need education, Policy change and the potential of charter standard being removed from clubs that refuse mandatory policy change. At the end of the day something has to go and at the moment it seems to be the kids, coaches and referees that are deserving of there place on that grass. If we stand on the touch line and do nothing then we are complicit. Every generation of children deserve the freedom that sport gives them, and we don’t just mean the players.

The young children that step out as match officials in what is often the great unknown to be judged on every breath they take have the hearts of lions, walking into a field full of strangers to provide sport for other children. The truth of the matter is that our country needs people like this in the DNA of its sport.

If you have any stories or reports from your perspective either past present or future drop us a line Via Twitter our doors are open.

Article By John Casey @DXTL

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Don’t X The Line Want To Reward Good Behaviour At Grassroots. On And Off The Field Of Play.

DXTL, Announce 3 Year Kit Deal From Ref Support UK. In Support Of The DXTL Green Card Award Initiative.

DXTL, Are proud to announce that REF Support UK will be supporting the Respectability, green card and fair play award program for grassroots football.

Over the next 3 years two small sided teams will be awarded a brand new kit consisting of 9 outfield players and one goalkeeper,  donated by Ref Support UK. A massive thanks to them.This year’s winners of the green card fair play award, we’re Quarry Green who play in the Walton & Kirkdale Junior Football League Merseyside, and Shaw Lane,who play in the Sheffield  District Junior Sunday League Congratulations to them both.#REFspect

To participate in this 2017/18.  Teams and spectators  simply take with them.  REFspect, Fair Play, Encouragement,   and Respectability on and off the field of play.

Don’t X The line and its volunteers will do the rest.

Good Luck To All