Soccer Referee Resources
Ask a Question
Recent Questions

Previous You-Call-It's

VAR (Video Assistant Referee)

Q&A Quick Search
The Field of Play
The Ball
The Players
The Players Equipment
The Referee
The Other Match Officials
The Duration of the Match
The Start and Restart of Play
The Ball In and Out of Play
Determining the Outcome of a Match
Fouls and Misconduct
Free Kicks
Penalty kick
Throw In
Goal Kick
Corner Kick

Common Sense
Kicks - Penalty Mark
The Technical Area
The Fourth Official
Attitude and Control
League Specific
High School

Common Acronyms
Meet The Ref
Contact AskTheRef
Help Wanted
About AskTheRef

Soccer Rules Changes 1580-2000

Panel Login

Question Number: 28714

Mechanics 9/9/2014

RE: Rec Under 11

Jay LaFountain of Coldwater, MI USA asks...

This question is a follow up to question 28708

To clarify this for you: The reason I ask how is because I know WHAT to do most of the time. I think WHAT to do is pretty easy with regards to the LOTG in a majority of cases, but find as an AR that HOW TO DO IT is the problem that comes up. I'm supposed to be quiet and use signals, but we didn't really have a 'wrong restart' signal, you know?

The main problem is, I don't want to embarrass the center referee. In this case, it was a 13 year old (very mature 13 year old) who I do know outside of reffing (thank goodness) and I am a big guy - I have an imposing presence. I don't want him to feel at all embarrassed that he got it wrong or like I'm trying to show him up - we're a team. I did yell across the field, so the advice to 'have a quiet word' is helpful, as is the signal with pointing to the mouth for 'I need to talk to you'.

Mostly, I wanted to get ready for this week, where I'll be taking my first center referee assignment with the same youth ref running the lines. He's been doing it for a couple years and I just started.

So when we have our pre-game chat I'll tell him that if he needs me to come talk to him to raise the flag and point at his mouth, along with the other U8 specific things I'll be having him do, like watching for encroachment on goal kicks.

I appreciate and am incorporating your advice into my style. I'm excited and want to get it right, take it seriously, and keep remembering that these kids are taking it seriously.

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Jay
Thanks for the clarification.
Sometimes even if we know the answer it is not so easy in the heat of a game. A lot can be going on with players getting involved, coaches shouting and that requires an ability to blot out the unimportant. Even signals can go astray at that time.
Also please remember that in the pre-match AR can only take in so much information. The last things that is needed is information overload.
For instance you mention goalkeeper encroachment on a punt. I would see this as way down the priority list for ARs. More important is that on a punt at underage that the AR is positioned with the 2nd last defender in case the ball comes back in quickly from a poor punt to a player in an offside position. No point in the AR watching the trifling punt position which has then puts him out of position for a more important decision.

Read other questions answered by Referee Joe McHugh

View Referee Joe McHugh profile

Answer provided by Referee Dennis Wickham

The pregame is the place to discuss when the CR wants information from the AR and how to indicate it. (I use a very subtle hand sign.) But, it is hard for an AR to ignore what the AR would do if the AR was the referee, and simply call the game as this referee is doing.

The involvement of the AR must be limited and understated. If the referee saw it, the AR should save the discussion for half-time or after the match. Nothing destroys the credibility of the referee quicker than an AR who is constantly signalling or giving advice (even when the advice is correct). If it is a match critical error, the AR must get the referee's attention - - even if it is by shouting her name. But, most errors are not match critical - - they can be discussed after the game.

A National Assessor once told that if the AR raised the flag for a foul more than twice in a match it usually meant that someone likely failed. More often than not, the failure was by the AR.

Read other questions answered by Referee Dennis Wickham

View Referee Dennis Wickham profile

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Clarity was not required, but appreciated, I was ribbing you slightly, lol but I was truly interested in knowing how you thought it best to tell the referee what you thought. The reason you do what you do, is based on your current knowledge and understanding of the LOTG which, assuming as you gain experience and further understanding, you may later change or adapt! Such is the learning curve of wisdom. Unfortunately the learning curve for some seems to dead end as if they are stuck at 1 year of experience over the next twenty years because it is not just what you think you know, but how you apply what you know! Learning is a continuous curve and from what I gather so far I see you not making the leap off any time soon! That was a compliment sir on your perseverance and dedication not a dig at your knowledge just encase you thought I was being flippant! lol So good on you mate !

As for incorporating our advice into your style , while we are ego driven to express some good will there lol , just be wary of not being yourself. The character of an individual, when driven by integrity, will sort itself out in due course. The greatest advantage in your thirst to improve is your enthusiasm and desire to seek out knowledge. You couple that with a solid EFFORT on your part in each and every match you do and the rewards of accountability and respect will eventually follow.

A critical aspect in accumulating information is being able to disseminate it and utilize it as needed. As my colleagues REF Wickham and REF McHugh wisely point out, the critical components of the need to do something and the desire to prove you know something, must at times be tempered with reason.

The two biggest issue I see facing newer officials as they meld into the working field of all officials is available training and the attitudes of those you work with or beside or apart! I hope you have a great organization that support, mentor and work together to make their league a good one!

I firmly hope you have a good pregame before each match that is positive, encouraging, educational and most of all effective. The delivery will be varied, the information should be relatively consistent but then again who it is, the time you have, and the knowledge expressed will show the something of the one dispensing the info and ANY good one will ALWAYS ask you, "DO you have any questions?" This is not a : -I am telling you session!
It is a: - We are in this together bonding session.
Often the I know more so do not try to tell me anything attitude is the mark of a bad referee as opposed to a confident one!
A referee who blatantly ignores his ARS is a fool but that is always a choice. To talk about the officials as a team but not to treat them as such is in fact a fabrication of the ego!
On this site we have Gil Webber article on the PREGAME
if this link does not work go to the front page of hit articles then hit the pregame listed it should take you right there. This is NOT a saying that you commit to memory and regurgitate it! You adapt to your character and presentation in a way that you can incorporate the knowledge contained therein but each match or set of circumstances will call for a little more of this a little less of that information plus new things pertaining only to that match .

The overload of information, even here on this site, I often get carried away . I like to think that one can set the written word aside and reflect, then return to it, as opposed to suck it all up at once like a giant sponge lol I have already told you from a CR to an AR the two most important aspects of the LOTG but here is the most important 2 items in the MATCH
SAFETY of the players! FUN for the players!

The officials knowledge, attitude and effort is DIRECTLY proportional to these 2 aspects of the match. I will leave you with EEK

There is a reason why there is a physical aspect to being a referee :-) You can not call what you do not see. Players, coaches, parents, fans and pundits can possibly get over a mistake but they will destroy you with dissent if you if you fail to show heart and are so far away from play you have to whistle all the time to be heard!
Smile, not like a grinning idiot, but as one who appreciates that life is a gift, and that knowing laughter is the gift of life!
the LOTG not just by reading them but by recognizing when they have been broken on the field of play. Know who did it! what to do with it, where to go to do it, when to do it and why you did it!

Read other questions answered by Referee Richard Dawson

View Referee Richard Dawson profile

Ask a Follow Up Question to Q# 28714
Read other Q & A regarding Mechanics

Soccer Referee Extras

Did you Ask the Ref? Find your answer here.

Enter Question Number

If you received a response regarding a submitted question enter your question number above to find the answer

Offside Question?

Offside Explained by Chuck Fleischer & Richard Dawson, Former & Current Editor of AskTheRef

This web site and the answers to these questions are not sanctioned by or affiliated with any governing body of soccer. The free opinions expressed on this site should not be considered official interpretations of the Laws of the Game and are merely opinions of AskTheRef and our panel members. If you need an official ruling you should contact your state or local representative through your club or league. On AskTheRef your questions are answered by a panel of licensed referees. See Meet The Ref for details about our panel members. While there is no charge for asking the questions, donation to maintain the site are welcomed! <>