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Question Number: 20507

Other 11/13/2008

RE: Adult

Melvin Hagerman of Colorado Springs, Colorado U.S.A. asks...

This question is a follow up to question 20461

As a followup to the esteemed panel--of the current referees now officiating at the top levels (FIFA or top divisions), who would you name as a referee along the lines of a Collina, etc., as Mr Weber listed--in other words, if I as a fan saw that referee X is in charge, I should not worry about the center referee?

Also: When I go to bookstores, go online, or look at advertisements for books in soccer magazines, I see almost everything . . . how to run drills, how to coach at levels, how to run 4-4-2 or 4-3-3, how to play positions, etc. BUT I have only once ever seen a book on how to referee in a bookstore. Why is there a lack of such books available, or is there a couple that any or all of you could recommend? (I'm thinking as a fan this could give me an idea of what a ref deals with, situations with applicable rules, etc.--something along the lines of the badly-named '_____ for Dummies' series, or something like that.)

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

There are many books written by referees and in the USA , the book FAIR PLAY by Ed Bellion and Bob Evans is a decent read with much to offer into the meaning of law and spirit and the intangibles of bendability.

I have read others and to be sure all have useful insight but as a test of character refereeing is an evolution through personal experience more than a foundation of what others will tell you, show you or warn you about.

You still must take the whistle, go to centre circle and feel the pulse of a match, breath the emotion understand the meaning of its laws! Appreciating the knowledge that the law words without their spirit are limp in stature! Only the bold step out into the quiet background with courage to make decisions that few will appreciate or understand! Even if you are 100% correct or dead wrong, your match, your decision, your reputation made with or perhaps at others expense.

No referee can do a match justice without extraordinary effort, a rather large backbone to find strength in the face of adversity, compassion in the face of pain, comfort in the face of humility and the essence of integrity stamped upon their character.

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Answer provided by Referee Gary Voshol

While there are many fine referees worldwide, one can never assume that because X is working the game there is no possibility of error. Even the very good referees make mistakes - witness Mr Poll's unfortunate inability to count to 2.

I don't believe there is one single referee working today who has the aura that Mr Collina had about him. He had both a presence and a personality that propelled him to the recognized top of the field. There are several referees working today that have the ability to reach that level, given a few more years of experience and luck. One respected referee, Lubos Michel of Slovakia, did not get that luck and had to retire early due to needing an operation on his Achilles' tendon.

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