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Question Number: 20937

Character, Attitude and Control 3/6/2009

Dan of Topeka, KS USA asks...

This question is a follow up to question 20914

This isn't a follow up question, but since it is that time of year where a lot of new referess have just become certified, I would like to pass along something I saw a few years ago. (it may have even been on here. This little bit of wisdom really helped me gain some insight and understanding of the behaviors of coaches, parents and players.


A game is observed under 4 sets of Values

1) A spectator sees what they think

2) A coach sees what they want

3) A player sees what they feel

4) A referee sees what they see


It doesn't excuse the way some coaches and spectators act, but it does help understand where they are coming from. But as everyone here has said, if the actions or words become abusive, offensive or affect the players it must be stopped.

I too, often get a big laugh at some of the things I hear on the field. One of my favorites of all time was when after having called a foul against his team, a coach hollered at me that I needed to go back to class and learn all 14 Laws of the Game, because I obviously didn't know them all. I stoppped the free kick from being taken, calmly walked over to the coach and said 'Really, there are 14 laws? And all this time I thought there were 17. [I then paused - looking at the dumfounded look on the coaches face] And yes I know them all. Now you can go watch the rest of this match from the parking lot.'

Answer provided by Referee Steve Montanino

Nice story, but don't forget Law 18.

Oh yeah, and Law 19... the referee always buys the first round after the game.

Addendum: Another panelist correctly points out that you won't actually ever find Law 18 (or 19 for that matter) in the law book. That is true, you won't. Law 18 is known to many refs as the unwritten law of common sense. The game is always better when the referee (but players and coaches too) show common sense in their decisions and actions.

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Answer provided by Referee Keith Contarino

Funny story and the 4 things you list are accurate. I wonder what 3 Laws he didn't know about?

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Answer provided by Referee MrRef

It could certainly be seen here as it is on the editorial page
reprinted in the article
Youth referee support? Does it really exsist?
The saying originated from a news paper article written by our own Richard Dawson many years ago ' Are we still on the same side when we disagree? ' . We have seen it reprinted and republished over many sites and mentioned in other articles. Incliuding our good friend Julian Carosi on the UK site as well!

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Answer provided by Referee Gary Voshol

The coach probably forgot the 3 laws that the league's local modifications had done away with ...

Years ago I was acting as a club line while my daughter's team was playing. I was keeping with the 2nd to last opponent to help the ref's perspective, but was not calling offside. A ball was passed to my daughter in the striker position and she went on to score a goal. I'm happy for her and the team - and then see the ref has called it back for offside. As a spectator I was excited enough that I missed seeing offside.

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Answer provided by Referee Chuck Fleischer

For those of us who sometimes have a need for more common sense, or even some of it, kindly search 'Big Box' stores with hyphenated names who roll back prices. I've heard common sense is available there after 10 PM on Thursday nights.


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