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Question Number: 12675

Mechanics 4/29/2006

RE: Select Adult

Steve of Acton, MA usa asks...

This question is a follow up to question 12542

You said "If the Referee does not follow through and practice to learn to recognize fouls and what type they are the game does not get better."

I just centered my first game (GU14) and it was a relatively physical game. I felt that the charges were legal (except, of course, the one I called a foul) but got a sense from the players that they felt that play was over physical.

As my first game, I spent more time than I will in the future actively thinking about my field position and such. I would like to improve my reffing skills; so my question is, "What is the best way to improve?" It feels unfair to the players to make them suffer through a game with an inexperienced ref, but I don't know of any training opportunities that don't involve reffing live games.

thanks for your input!

Answer provided by Referee Chuck Fleischer

Steve the only way to learn is get out there and make mistakes. That's the way you learn. Others can tell you but few learn that way. Do what you think right, learn from what you do. Do not listen to coaches during matches because they are some of the most biased folks on the planet.

Learn from what the players on your field do when you intervene on a particular happening. If the player getting "done to" appreciates your help ya done good. If the player tells you she wants advantage then give her advantage next time. And so on and so on.

Seek the help of an assessor or instructor before a "senior referee" unless the senior is a National or a State 1 or 2, and in that order. The reason I say that is "senior" referees cause a lot newer guys to ask questions here and, for the most, the "senior referees" are wrong.


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Answer provided by Referee Keith Contarino

The more you center the more you learn to watch the players and see what level of play they are comfortable with. It's not easy and just takes you getting out there every time you can and do the best you can. Watch other referees you respect, ask questions and try to get assessed. Unfortunately, I have to agree with Ref Fleischer that a lot of "senior" referees are often wrong.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

The only thing a referee can do to make a game unfair is if he or she (DOES NOT CARE)
to seek out knowledge
to TRY their very best
to learn the laws
to apply the laws
to be honest
to have character
to consider the player's safety
The list goes on but the FUNDEMENTAL aspect of CARING about what you do is what sets aside the ones who eventually benefit the game from the ones who merely tolerate the game. If one cares one will FIND the time and or the money to improve!

You ask, "What is the best way to improve?" It is IMPORTANT to be part of an active POSITIVE association where those involved are sincere in their efforts to share, train, mentor and improve the calibre of officiating in a practical setting.

Your self-evaluation, your willingness to consider how to improve and where to seek help. You can help yourself by rereading the laws, study the FIFA Q&A, watch other matches, engage others in conversation. When you break down and analyze your performance you need input to evaluate that performance. It is difficult albeit not impossible without help to do better! How was my pregame? Was I effective in my positioning? Was my endurance and my focus where it needed to be?

Did I catch the critical moment?

Where those charges really fair? Why did the players not think so? Game management is something that is hard to teach TO someone. It is more in the character of each individual in how well they read the players and understand the laws and the spirit of the game. The game although guided by the laws is not strictly about the laws. The SPIRIT of the game is not tied DIRECTLY to literal interpretation of the laws but the awareness of the NEEDS of the match and the desire of those playing willingness to accept some contact and the tolerance of a referee as to what constitutes fairplay. It is a careful blending of the players safety and needs of the match. In the case of physical play what goes on in the EPL may not be well liked at u-14 girls

The issues are TIME, who has it to spend and MONEY, the same again who has it to spend? There are costs associated with every thing we do. Some far outweigh the benefits others are cheap at half the price in the beneficial nature of what occurs. There must be a willingness to examine the best expenditure of both and an understanding that what occurs is only limited to what we make possible!

Who do YOU respect and do you seek them out in a problem setting? If so what actions could you engage in where this person could be of help and support?

How are you supported by the association you belong too as a referee on the field when things get difficult? Are there active support programs, assessing options, meetings, seminars, ongoing training?

There are many excellent video and training tapes out there hopefully you can access some if the association you are connected with invests in such things. You can of course purchase them individually you see what I mean about time and money?

I suggest you COULD video your matches if possible.
In some practise situations a selection of three videos
one follows the ball
one follows the referee
one follows the game wide screen
Compare them on three screens and watch to see how your position and players actions on or off the the ball affect the game in its entirety.

If it is possible a mentor with three youth and do matches as four officials exchanging positions. Work the games in a proactive fashion complete with fourth official monitoring the subs and technical areas and actively in pre and post game discussions go over the match in detail as the personal observations of the four officials as well as any outside monitoring or assessing by other colleagues.

Solicitate player, coach and fan input. Yes it is true that their needs and emotional connections to the outcome are not conducive to unbiased observations but that does not mean we can not see the value of input that is honest and will only add to the understanding of the games MOST important aspect of player and match management.

I mention this often but in the end when all the fuss and finger points of blame are spread about a referee with integrity does what he can to be the best that he can and in each decision he sees what he sees.

Here at this site we are always motivated when we see and hear from young referees such as yourself because it gives the game meaning and us continued hope when those who want it to be more than what it is are the future of the sport!

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