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Question Number: 22189

Appearance 10/8/2009

RE: Competitive - Adult and Youth Adult

Amy Lloyd of Portland, OR USofA asks...

This question is a follow up to question 21650

What is your [recommended] practice talking with Coach-Manager during team check-in when s/he wears sun-glasses/shades?
For the same reason - having eye contact with players and Asst Referees - I prefer talking with coach-manager sans shades, and have requested them to remove while I talk to them for a few seconds. A few comply, but there are a couple who do not. I do not neccessarily hold these chaps in any regard; is there a better way to handle this situation? As a general policy my pre-match meeting with coach-manager is a few seconds.

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

In my humble opinion (IMHO) to take offence at a coach wearing sunglasses is at best a personal character idiosyncrasy. Like many men I prefer a good firm handshake with direct eye to eye contact! It speaks to the appearance of character and portrays an aura of sincerity. I might add though, that many people who engage in this are as full of BS as anyone. In fact con artists are unusually proficient at conveying trust while secretly stabbing you out of earshot , wiping away your life works!

As it seems important to you could perhaps ask the coach to show you the sunglasses by saying you are looking for a good pair and want to check them out. Then put them on and have your talk then take them off and hand then back! Or by saying, I think I know you but I I can't tell, your glasses make you seem different? When we engage in extra curricular activities that are nothing to do with the match itself. I have this impression the authority and stamp on the match is one of respect both demanded and implied? The coach might be none the wiser then again he might ignore you such is the chance we take!

Speaking as a coach! I am preparing my team for the match! I really do not want the referee to talk to us or tell us to behave or play fair. I want to hear if there is a pitch problem or shortage of daylight and we need to shorten the halves. Things where my input is required or something we need to know! In other wards what you NEED to say and what you WANT to say sets yourself up to be analyzed and thought about. If you get prissy or confrontational right away what does that say about your character and the match environment?

Pick your battles but avoid starting a war over nothing especially in a few seconds! When I referee, I think about what I, as a coach, want or need to facilitate, as my colleague Ref McHugh suggests, good human relations! A warm friendly greeting, introductions ref and ARs, relay any relevant information ending with; Do you have any questions? Thank You, have a good game!


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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Referee Lloyd
Unfortunately this is not a problem that I have to deal with too often!!.
The general principle though is that first encounters with coaches should be cordial and pleasant. Asking a coach to remove his glasses is something that I would not do nor recommend. In my opinion it can be construed incorrectly and it can get the relationship off to a poor start. When the coach doesn't comply he/she then no doubt senses your negative feelings. In my opinion it does not make any real difference glasses or not. Its what you say that's important.
Refereeing is an exercise in human relations and also whether we like it or not a coach does not have to do anything that is not in the Laws of the Game.

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Answer provided by Referee Keith Contarino

You have absolutely no authority or right to even suggest a coach takes off his sunglasses. would strongly suggest you refrain from this. While a few might comply, most if not all coaches would object to this and you have now established a contentious relationship with the coach.

By all means take off your sunglasses but the coach is free to wear them, as well as a hat and anything else forbidden to a player

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Answer provided by Referee Dennis Wickham

I always take off my sunglasses during the team check-in, and most of the time the coaches do the same. But, if they keep their's on, I don't ask them to remove them.

My goal in the first meeting is to present myself as approachable, and as a person, not a uniform. I save my 'referee voice' until the match begins.

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