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Question Number: 25172

Character, Attitude and Control 7/5/2011

RE: Pro Professional

Mike of , Ontario Canada asks...


I have a very big game in 5 days time. I am refereeing as a centre referee in a Women's First Division game after a long time. My assistants will be my evaluators and I was wondering what assessors look for from referees that would impress them.

I am also unsure of what pre-game instruction to deliver to them as they are far more experienced than I am.

Please let me know. Thank you.

Answer provided by Referee Michelle Maloney

Let's start with your pre-game. Deliver what will help them help you call a better game. What do you need from them, and be specific? Ask them in your pregame if they have any questions, and I'll bet they have some good ones. If they don't, either your pregame was really good, or they aren't much on the ball. I would read Gil Weber's article on the pregame on this website for some refreshers on what to include.

Next, let's work on what assessors expect and what will impress them. Fitness always impresses, and with sufficient fitness, you can impress with ability to get the best angle on play, or even without great fitness, ability to get to where you can see what must be seen is good. Your application of the LOTG should be spot on - no glaring errors. Demeanor with the players and coaches is something we look at - how do you control the game with your personality, fairness and professionalism?

Most of all, though, we look to see if you are doing a game that works for the players - after all, it is their game, and if you do all of the above well and the players are satisfied, you are golden.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Harris
There are a number of excellent online resources in relation to pre match instructions.
Here is the link to Gil Weber's

The advice for me is to focus on positioning on the diagonal and good eye contact with the assistants involving them fully in the game.
The most important part which should not be overlooked is to focus on the task in hand which is to referee the game and your match control. Making sure that the game goes well, that there is good match control and that both teams leave the field of play at the end reasonably content always goes a long way. ARs will focus on their own tasks and they won't be too concerned about minor matters and they will just want a quiet game with limited hassle. That can mean not changing what you already do which has brought you to this point. Be yourself and do what you are comfortable with is the only way forward.

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Answer provided by Referee Dennis Wickham

The pregame. Experienced assistant referees will know the game, and may know the players and coaches. What they don't know is you. When do you want information/assistance - - and how do you ask for it What is your initial match strategy - are you going to keep the match tight until you feel it can be opened up/ or vice-versa? How can they best assist you?

So, first discuss your expectations and needs for the specifics of this match- - each referee and each match is different. Find out what they know about the players and coaches, if you aren't familiar with the teams - - what is their style of play, who are the starts? the playmakers? the usual suspects/enforcers? The other team will know, and so should the referee team. Finally, discuss specific situations and make sure everyone is on the same page regarding what you want: on goal/no goal; pk or no pk, substitutions, troubles between players.

The great value of an assessor is getting feedback about what you do. Not what you think they want to see. IMO, you need to bring your usual game, notched up one level in intensity and focus. A good assessor can help you get better at: (a) professionalism - - do you look and act like a world class referee? (b) consistency - - is your work rate as strong in the first minute as in the last; (c) positioning - - do you anticipate play well; have the fitness to get to the right place and the speed to recover when the unexpected happens; (d) decision making - - how well do you read and react to match situations.

Have fun.

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