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Question Number: 15290

Appearance 4/26/2007

Mike Castaldi of Columbus, OH USA asks...

How do you handle ARs who do not take their roles/jobs seriously? In my experience, this has manifested itself in a couple different ways -
1 - I occasionally run into ARs who show up with sub-standard uniform (i.e. wearing white socks, or red shoes, shirt not tucked in, etc)
2 - Lacksidasical performance. Either through poor mechanics, attitude, or unwillingness to really watch play and make the call when the CR has a poor view.

When I am the CR, I really depend on the ARs - and the older the players, the more I depend on them. I know in some cases, it's a case of an AR taking a match that is beyond his level of experience - which is a different problem for a different day. But how do you approach a sub-standard AR and let them know their performance/attire/attitude is not acceptable - and still get them to step up their performance for you as the CR?

Answer provided by Referee Ben Mueller

You can talk with them. Tell them what you want done. Make sure you make it clear in your pre game that they are to do their job up to standard. If all else fails, tell them their services are no longer needed. I have had to do that before. Also, make sure to report uniform issues to your local assignor or administrator.

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Answer provided by Referee Gary Voshol

One referee and instructor, after having an AR fix up his appearance: "OK, *NOW* you can AR for me."

Appearance is one thing, fairly easy to fix. It's the attitude adjustment that is more of a problem. I know it isn't cool for kids to show any enthusiasm, but really, that's just what I want to see. I want my AR's there because they want to work that game. Not just go through the motions.

As for being sub-standard, that's another problem. At halftime I went over to one AR and tried, as nicely as I could, to read him the riot act. I told him that frankly, he wasn't giving me any help out there, and then went on to point out several deficiencies in what should be the basics - staying with second-to-last defender, correct flag mechanics, etc. He improved marginally, but I still felt I had to send an email to the assignor. I don't know what happened with him, I don't think I ever saw him again.

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Answer provided by Referee Chuck Fleischer

Short of gunfire, little can be done to adjust the attitude a person carries with him. If he isn't what you want and won't help by changing, fire his sorry arse and report it.

There isn't a match on the planet that wouldn't be better off having no assistants instead of second rete don't care assistants. The players rely on them to be where they are supposed to be, do what they're supposed to do and call the referee's attention to what he has missed. When the players rely on something that is not present your day is harder. When they know you are alone they adjust to that and don't rely on you catching everything.

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Answer provided by Referee Keith Contarino

If they have white socks or red shoes, and their attitude is "so what" they get to go home and they don't get paid. Period. I don't care if it's a U10 rec game or U19 Select. If they show up and tell me they were in a hurry and realise they don't have the proper uniform I'll give them a pair of socks or shorts or shirt. I even carry extra shoes. If they're not taking their job seriously, I don't hesitate to reprimand and if they persist, I am not above sending them home early. The referees in my league by and large are proud to be referees and dress and attitude is important. If the AR is trying and simply in over their head, I mentor. Attitude is as important as ability. Oftentimes an AR shouldn't be doing a game that's above his level and I just tell him to concentrate on offside and let me worry about the rest. I can't stand a lax or unprofessional attitude and I've been around my league long enough that a word to the assignor will usually bring results or that AR doesn't get many more assignments.

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