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Question Number: 26763

Character, Attitude and Control 9/14/2012

RE: basic Under 11

andrew froggatt of lincolnshire, wainfleet england asks...

this sunday will be my first competitive game
.have u any tips for me as im feeling a wee bit nervous / my partner's son is in the team im reffing so it adds that more pressure to get things right and off to a good start thanx

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Andrew
It is not a good idea to be officiating games where there is an obvious conflict of interest such as a 'relation' playing in the game. Even if the referee is impeccable in his decision making accusations of bias can be made by either team or individuals
Indeed the pressure that you mention is as you say partly due to a personal connection with the game. This does not help as I have seen refs who not wanting to be seen to have a bias has erred on the side of caution by awarding marginal decisions against the team with which he has a 'connection'.

As regards any advice for the game I would say to call what you see and do so in a firm confident manner.

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Answer provided by Referee Dennis Wickham

Many referees started in youth recreational matches. As long as the assignor knows of your relationship with one of the teams and the league permits this, it usually more uncomfortable for the referee than for the players. (My son still remembers one of my calls, 13 years later.) (At older and competitive levels of play, referees would not do matches where there is an appearance of a conflict. ) But, trust in your training and experience to make the right judgment call.

Some advice.

Get to the field early. Take the time to walk the field, check the nets, meet the coaches. It will also help you relax and focus on the match.

Have a strong whistle. Point the direction. Let the players restart the match. You don't need to orchestrate much. Act like you know what you are doing until you gain the experience to actually know what you are doing.

You will make mistakes. I make mistakes (hopefully small ones) in every match. So, do EPL referees (hopefully, very tiny ones). Be honest. Be calm. Be respectful. Even if others cannot. As the referee, you have all the power. You have all the time. After the match is over, you can ask questions of referees you respect and go reread the laws and advice on things that you were uncertain.

These are kids enjoying the game you love. Have fun and smile. If the referee isn't having fun, no one is having fun.

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