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Question Number: 34429

Law 18 - Common Sense 11/24/2021

RE: Junior Adult

Eunan McDaid of Donegal, Non-US/Other Ireland asks...

Hi, I was wondering if yous had any ideas on what would be an interesting dissertation topics in refereeing?

I am considering a few. including - referees using bodycams or should ex-players be referees.

Can you think of anything that would be a good area to cover?

Thanks,

Eunan.

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Eunan,
My preference is "Communication!" between the officials to ensure the best if not correct decisions are made for the benefit of the players. So pre and post game talks set the stage to do well and perform better. Soccer is not a game of perfection but one of grace and beauty if the match can channel into a free flowing adventure! Good officials have this impact as do the players willing to play the beautiful game not play games if you get my drift? Although limited respect for the position of the referee is there, the respect for the men or women behind the whistle or holding the flag is earned by how you effectively communicate with the players while displaying your knowledge and effort for them to feel confident that you are indeed looking out for the match interests !

A body cam provides an overall interesting vantage point but not one that truly sees it as the referee sees it. I find the communication used by the referee in what he does and says to be of greater interest than the picture. That said, where a referee is looking (angle of view) is reflective of how he is interpreting the events by where he is on the FOP. Too far away because you are limited by circumstances and the area of view is distorted is as bad as too close where one might think staying with the play is a good thing but you interfere in their playing zone & potentially seeing only parts of the play not the entire picture. Good positioning allows effective communication. It is of enormous benefit when you as the CR are seeing the BIG picture from both a man management perspective including body language attitudes and character while operating with an effective officiating crew of ARs filling in any blanks or correcting any imbalances.

Keep in mind that grassroots do not have the technical toys of the elite levels Trench style refereeing be it as a single official or a crew of 3 or 4 means your personal approach to the match will in a very large part determine if you have excess or very little troubles. If you ignore your ARS or fail to address the issues during a match when players are barking nonstop dissent, by not heeding their input, then something is amiss. Confidence is highly prized but contempt, ego & ignorance by any official at any level is almost a surefire way to destroy a good match or dig a hole to fall into.

When we are fortunate enough to learn a lesson it behooves us to share it with others as part of the natural evolution of an experienced official. Sharing a love or passion for the game no matter your skill level or playing ability or officiating expertise only benefit's the participants.

I do believe that playing the game does better equip a player to make a transition into officiating as their understanding of a player perspective and what can or can not be tolerated is perhaps more ingrained. Many a professional referee despite their obvious performances that landed them in a position to be chosen for important matches their misakes by not being in the right position or poor communication are at times just because they appear to be wrong.

With the advent of technology the game with the new VAR protocols in place appears to be evolving into greater accountability but that does not always translate into a correct decision
Premier League 2020 first day back from the enforced suspension of play due to coronavirus. During the first half of Aston Villa vs... Sheffield United match at Villa Park, there was a goal-line incident where Villa goalkeeper Orjan Nyland caught a free-kick at his far post, but clearly carried the ball completely over the line under the crossbar & between the posts as he came back down to the ground. The Hawk-Eye Goal Line Technology system failed to recognize the goal and the match officials did not receive a signal to the watch nor earpiece as per the Goal Decision System (GDS) protocol.

In fact, things have gotten so convoluted since the introduction of VAR, that officials have been called out for not one, not two, but three incorrect penalty calls in just one night of Premier League football, while apologies and admissions of poor decision making have become rather common recently.

I remember with fondness my mentor Esse in the 1998 World cup game between Brazil and Norway who was eviscerated for 3 days by a billion people including FIFA who THOUGHT he was wrong only to be completely exonerated later.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7-lNODXuA6k

If you take the time to watch this there are several important points that speak to what you are interested in. Not only on his instinct as a player ( He was a very good Iranian player who was trying out for his national team to get into the world cup, unfortunately an injury destroyed this dream but he had the passion & determination to seek another way into the world cup as a referee) Look to his use of advantage on the 1st goal by Brazil. Listen to him, he exudes integrity and is in my opinion one of the finest examples of an official to emulate right up there with Collina. Integrity is the gift of self respect, you alone are in charge as no one takes it, you must give it up. No one is pefect but integrity is not pefection of action as we all make mistakes but rather a choice of character, otherwise know as free will.

English referee Graham Poll after a stellar performance in his first 2 matches then gaffed in his 3rd match when he booked Croatian defender Josip Simunic three times before sending him off during the 2006 World Cup. Part of that could be poor communication as it was misidentification given 4th and ARs SHOULD also know who was booked? With radio communications such an obvious gaff should be quickly corrected
.
Nicola Rizzoli was the referee in charge when German keeper Manuel Neuer utterly destroyed Gonzalo Higuaín the Argentine striker with a kung-fu flying knee into his head duting the 2014 World cup that in my opinion was every bit as horrendous as the Dutch player De Jong stud implant into the chest of the Spaniard Xabi Alonso totally missed by Howard Webb, who refereed the 2010 World Cup rugby err soccer final in South Africa compares to the 1982 World Cup semifinal when Germany's goalkeeper Harald Schumacher's horrific challenge on Patrick Battiston, left the French player unconscious, with two teeth knocked out and three cracked ribs. Schumacher was not booked and referee Charles Corver did not even award a foul!!!

During a Ligue 1 2018 match between Nantes v Paris Saint-Germain,when Diego Carlos inadvertently ran into the back of the referee sending the official sprawling to the floor the referee, Tony Chapron lost his cool & retaliated by attempting to kick/trip Diego before calling him back and showing him a second yellow card to send him off the pitch. It was a lengthy 6 month ban from further matches but it was not Deigo who received it!

Ask everyone,
WHY do they referee?
What do they do if it all goes sideways?
Better yet, what do they do to keep a match from going sideways?
lol
Cheers



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Answer provided by Referee MrRef

Hi Eunan
I would make three suggestions.
1. Positioning . Being in the correct position is key to making any decision. Sometimes only the correct position will be identified after the event however for the vast majority of time there are tested methods of ensuring that the best possible position is achieved to make the best decision possible.
IFAB (International Football Association Board IFAB, 2019) generally recommend that viewing angle of 90 degrees to the situation i.e., from the referee's perspective, a player is challenged by the opponent perpendicularly from either the left or the right side is appropriate to gain optimal insight.

As some of the most crucial decisions in soccer concern whether to award a penalty because of the high probability of scoring on a penalty kick, it can be considered interesting to investigate factors that may increase the likelihood of making a correct decision in potential penalty situations in soccer (i.e., distance, angle, and insight).

Soccer referees move freely on the pitch to place themselves in the best location for making decisions. Referee bodies worldwide highlight that a referee should never be more than 20 m away from the playing situation.

Referees can and do make errors that may influence the match result. In a study by Mallo et al in 2012 the error percentage of top-class referees was found to be approximately 14%. To increase the fairness of soccer matches, it should be interesting to investigate factors that make correct decisions by referees more likely, and erroneous decisions less likely. Positioning is one of the keys to that.

IFAB (International Football Association Board IFAB, 2019) generally recommend that viewing angle of 90 degrees to the situation (i.e., from the referee's perspective, a player is attacked by the offender perpendicularly from either the left or the right side is appropriate to gain optimal insight.

As some of the most crucial decisions in soccer concern whether to award a penalty because of the high probability of scoring on a penalty kick, it can be considered interesting to investigate factors that may increase the likelihood of making a correct decision in potential penalty situations in soccer (i.e., distance, angle, and insight).

Soccer referees move freely on the pitch to place themselves in the best location for making decisions. Referee bodies worldwide highlight that a referee should never be more than 20 m away from the playing situation.

Referees can and do make errors that may influence the match result. In a study by Mallo et al in 2012 the error percentage of top-class referees was found to be approximately 14%. To increase the fairness of soccer matches, it should be interesting to investigate factors that make correct decisions by referees more likely, and erroneous decisions less likely.

2. Effective Communication for Referees.
Effective communication is the key to being a successful football referee. Referees can have a tough time particularly those operating at the higher level of the game. Some part of the difficult game referees bring upon ourselves grief through poor communication and not managing the situation effectively those conflict situations.

The most impressive and most successful referees are those who are able to communicate efficiently and effectively with players. It is in my opinion the number one trait that sets the exceptional referees apart from everyone else which is their ability to relate to and communicate with players.

In my opinion the majority of the task as a referee is about man management, of which communication is a vital factor. It can be the conscious use of language to bring about changes in someone’s thoughts and behavior or demeanour / body language when interacting with participants Why is that some referees are able to manage *difficult* teams / players much more effectively than others. Why do some referees bring the *worst* out of certain players while other referees are able to manage the same players comfortably.

Conflict can be incredibly destructive to any match situation. Managed in the wrong way, real and legitimate differences between participants including the referee can quickly spiral out of control, resulting in situations where co-operation and rational behaviour breaks down . This is particularly the case where the wrong approach to managing the game
is used by a referee.
It would be a worthwhile exercise to research those factors that cause conflict in the game between referee and participants and what training could be delivered to referees to assist them in those difficult situation through conflict management techniques.

3 Recruitment
With dwindling numbers of referees it would be an interesting exercise to to investigate the factors which influence reasons why people are not taking up refereeing and what can be done to change that.
Refereeing has always been difficult so why is the game facing a huge problem now at this time in the low numbers taking up refereeing.





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