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Soccer Rules Changes 1580-2000

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Question Number: 34179

Mechanics 3/29/2021

RE: Comp Under 16

Doug of Folsom , CA USA asks...

Hello all- I am looking for advice on the ability of an exercise tracker to semi-accurately measure the distance I move as a referee, including all of the continuous walking and running, as well as the frequent stop and start activity. I was thinking about a Fitbit but I know there are many devices out there. I am trying to train myself to limit my running so as to be able to ref more games in a day. Advice on these devices?

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Doug
I am not a great fan of tracking watches. I suppose I'm old school when all a referee had was a couple of watches to keep time and that was all that was avaialable.
There is an array of watches out there and I suppose it depends on what data you want to track plus how much you want to spend. There is also an huge range of prices from the basic heart monitor / steps taken to the smart watch capability of almost a small pc on the wrist.
The only colleague that I knew that used these devices was a big fan of Garmin and he had a Forerunner not sure what number. He was a runner so he used it for that activity as well. When I looked at it I thought it was a bit pricey plus these watches are quite bulky and I did not like the idea of having a big watch on the wrist. With the ever increasing number of APSs these smart watches can be programmed for referee activity.
On your last comment I know a number of referees who do multiple games in a day. When I watched them I sensed that they were not putting in a decent shift in every game and in some case they were just jogging about. In one case when I had spoken to the referee after a game he hadn't even broken sweat. I know with referee shortages that he was covering multiple games yet in my book every game deserved a full effort. At best I felt that two underage games was the maximum that I should be doing to give each games the full respect they deserved.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Doug,
my experiences mirror my colleague in I have little knowledge of the use or benefits of such technology. A good set of timepieces to accurately manage a match effectively was my biggest concern.

I do understand the compulsion to be fit and the effort to do more than 1 single match has had me cramped in agonizing pain on more than a few occasions. My colleague is correct often referees in multiple match settings like the weekend tournaments are overcommitted and must regulate their energy to stay with the play.

It might be easier if the pace of the matches is younger youth but once they are u 15 and upwards of 90 minutes you are doing well to give a full match effort.

In an effort to give a better effort in tournament play I tried to organize groups of 4 officials who could work together as a crew of 4 ( CR, 2 ARs, and a 4th ) All 4 rotate through each position the workshared, everyone receives the same money, try to correlate age-related and skill-levels as best we could. The fact is the matches ran much smoother and everyone got to think about the duties and issues and how working as a team improves the experience. The fact you can rest as 4th and do a different running as AR than CR it still was a long day as these teams of 4 had upwards of 6 matches a day as the difficulty often was (numbers of available personal) and some refs are there for the pay not just love of the game or even ego.

By the way, ego is not necessarily a bad thing if you are working to be a good referee or want to be a top-flight official. However, what is a detriment to believing in yourself is an attitude of superiority or contempt. I admit I suffered greatly from contempt because I often felt too many referees were not taking their responsibilities seriously and the games they officiated suffered for it! Privately discuss issues try not to be public in disagreement or ridicule and look for some humility.


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Answer provided by Referee MrRef

Hi Doug, this is the most well-known hope it helps


from out pitch to your pitch in the spirit of Fairplay

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