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Question Number: 34402

Character, Attitude and Control 11/1/2021

RE: Youth to Adult, rec and competitive

Barry Stewart of Chilliwack, BC Canada asks...

Not so much a question, as a bit of fun.

I was reffing the local 30+ women's rec league on Sunday and the Neon team's keeper was yelling at her team before a corner kick.

"Ladies! Get a check! None of them should be single!"

Blue player: "Well, I'M single..."

Age 60+ me: "What's your phone number?" :)

Everyone had a laugh and on we went!

I really enjoy reffing this group, as they have the right balance of competitiveness, mixed with fun and respectfulness.

I'm sure many on the panel have some chuckles to share...?

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Barry
Most of the games that I did were competitive and there wasn't many opportunities for chuckles.
I was always careful not to engage in banter with players as it can be taken up wrongly by some. I was not surly just professional in my approach which was courteous and pleasant yet not too familiar. In a recent game a player said to the referee that he had not cautioned for one challenge in the game yet he had just carded a team mate for soft dissent. The referee said in jest that he could easily sort out that on his next challenge. The player did not take kindly to it and continued his displeasure after the game when I was speaking to the referee. It was a joke yet it was not seen as a joke by the player.
I once had a player question me on a decision to retake a free kick that did not come out of the penalty area (before the law change). He said it only applied to goal kicks and I said no that it also included free kicks. He persisted that I was wrong and I said to him "Doyou want to bet $100 on that". He sort of looked at me and said that I must be pretty sure to which I told him I was certain. It certainly ended the debate.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Barry,
respect is not lost to share a chuckle, in fact sharing a laugh and a smile with the players during the match reflects a secure attitude, showing both the character and composure of all parties. I found the ladies liked to be taken seriously and treated with respect. Bits of occasional humour with some explanations when they were confused helped make their matches more enjoyable. Basically I found that if you give a sincere effort and enjoy the actions they will pick up on it and feel better themselves!

Each referee has their own interction sequences where their comfort level and experiance allows some form of banter. You certainly should not be overly jolly or too sarcastic and your awarness of the competative strengths and weakness measures your responses. Being strict but not surly, tough but fair, your body language does stand for something. If you are relaxed or tense a ready smile or a grimance players will take note and respond accordingly.

I find that no matter what level of play, players want to have confidence in the referee I belive they respect a solid effort to stay with play and not miss the critical incidents but their needs for results means they will play you to gain an advantage if they can. It also pays to be able to laugh at yourself & not hold a grudge lol

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