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Question Number: 30072

Character, Attitude and Control 2/3/2016

RE: Rec Under 19

George of Parangarecutirimicuaro, CA Sacratomato asks...

Over the weekend, I was a referee for a U19 game. This particular league is considered more advanced than Rec hence the Winter league, but below Comp as far as skill goes. In this particular league I often find myself refereeing with either referees that have been at it for a long time or with referees who are just starting out. Since I may or may not get referees who follow rules to the letter, I always request that they confirm every score, either the sprint, a nod or even a hand gesture will do.

This past weekend, I had to referee a game with a referee who I guess has been around and may even be a mentor. He showed up right before Kickoff as I was calling for captains. I had not met this referee before so when I gave my instructions regarding confirming goals, his response was to 'flip me off.' This referee had a terrible attitude and his response was that this was a signal. At half time, this referee reprimanded me for not giving a caution to a player whose 'attitude' he did not like.

My question, the moment the referee (a stranger) 'flips me off,' I no longer feel comfortable refereeing with him. For future reference, what are some options available to me in this situation? Also, I met the young man with the bad attitude before the game. His attitude seemed to me it was his way of getting pumped and focused for the game and was not directed at anyone. So when the other referee insisted I had to caution for bad attitude, is there anything in the rules that would support this?

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi George,
a rule that supports what? It is your match, your decision and your reputation when as CR you choose to show or not show cards. The LOTG allow the ARs to feed you neutral information of things you did not see and advice from a well meaning AR can be beneficial to consider but it can also be wrong. I certainly support a heart to heart open and forthright opinion as to something I have missed or remiss in failing to heed a warning with my ARs/4th at the half or anyone in the post game with something valid to offer.

I have no problems admitting a mistake but I offer this piece of advice. WHEN you do decide to listen to another comment on something you did or did not do. Try to recall the incident and see how clear your thoughts were at arriving at ANY decision.

When YOU choose to talk to the AR to give him YOUR directions it is a courtesy to ask if they have any concerns. Do not ask for respect, demand it outright and return the favour for the professional concerns of a job with responsibility and accountability.

As a person respect has more to do with your actions, self respect is a choice, integrity a virtue and honour can over come perceived arrogance. Ego and I am better at this than you or what you think really means little to me are the trademarks of little people, who, no matter their age or experience, still have a lot of growing up to do. Those who enjoy character assassination belittling comments or actions undertaken to show off their knowledge is superior to yours are not easily tolerated. Uncertainty is a focus issue because to doubt yourself creates doubt all around; Perception is a tricky beast as what you think is going one could be an illusion. Perhaps the AR is a sincere well meaning individual with a different outlook. Then again he could just be exactly what he is!

IF it was me and disrespect then arrogance was my initial impression of my late arriving AR. The Match will not begin until we either have an understanding or misunderstanding but we will arrive at a standing either I am ok with or he does not participate in my match. I will record all things said or done to the league. It is easier as one gets older not to worry too much about confrontation with those who live lives of poor quality life is too short to put up with unkind foolishness. Nor do I wish to be so concerned with HIS behaviour it causes me to lose focus on the match itself

This player with attitude? The one your AR with attitude did not like? Attitude to what? Is he screaming obscenities at his team mates, dissenting every call turning away showing you his back as you talk? Going nose to nose with opponents edging goading them into aggressive actions? Is he a whining snot or a sneaky instigator of sleazy tactics? It is difficult to comment on a match unseen as to your situational awareness or understanding of critical match incidents. Is this player a walking lighting rod of ambiguity or a clear and present danger to the safety and your control of the match? The LOTG provide you with multiple reasons when a player must be cautioned for
unsporting behaviour was he guilty of any of them?
Reckless tactical fouls , dissent, simulation or the catch all?-acts in a manner which shows a lack of respect for the game?
Sometimes you do the best you can, you say thank you for the information, now here is what we will do!

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi George
Totally unacceptable and there are a few option which include
1. Doing nothing and report it.
2. Confront the behaviour.
3. Walk away and report it.
My sense would be to probably do what suits your nature and the individual circumstances. I know a few referees who would go with No 2 and tear a strip off the guy. As it is the referees game an assistant can be relieved of his duties at any time. My approach would be depending on the circumstance and it probably would be to do nothing immediately given the time in the game here yet I would be speaking to the assignor and local observer shortly after the game.
As regards the reprimand I would not take that from a fellow referee. I can and gladly take opinion or views in the form of advice, opinion or a question yet I want a colleague to assist not insist. As regards bad attitude there is nothing in the laws that says that referees have to deal with poor attitude that makes a player to be disliked. He has to do something such as one of the cautionable offence and bad attitude is not one of them. We all comes across players with poor attitudes and those players are treated with zero tolerance. They must though be treated professionally and in accordance with the Laws. They have to do something such as dissent or USB to merit the caution.

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