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Question Number: 31640

Mechanics 7/10/2017

RE: High School

david of seattle, wa usa asks...

Thoughts on using a different style of whistle during different types of play?

I always use a typical whistle, Fox 40 or similar. But I was thinking of getting a few different types of whistles depending on situations

If i'm doing a high level game where a fight may break out, getting one of those whistles that people bring if their boat capsizes that is super loud and shrill and breaking it out of my pocket to break up a fight (using a regular whistle during the game though)

A fun tournament for 10, 11 year olds, where there are 10 games at once, maybe a duck call whistle or train whistle

Answer provided by Referee Jason Wright

Hi David,
I used to use a 'less harsh' whistle when I was refereeing small sided junior games - those games simply don't need a high-pitched, 120db whistle. Outside of that I used the same whistle for everything else - you can still control volume and tone with how hard you're blowing.

At those tournaments where you have a lot of small fields next to other it can be nice to have a different whistle to everybody else, but it's no big deal.

Personally I wouldn't worry about bringing a different whistle onto the ground with the intent of using it just in a specific circumstance (such as a fight) - you're likely to have so much going on that you need to think about that you probably won't even think about your other whistle!

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi David
It is also helpful to have whistles of varying tones. Situations such as ULittles, games on adjacent fields, other sports close by can be managed more easily with a whistle that has a particular tone that the players tune in to. Stick with that whistle throughout the game.
In addition a referee can train himself to use the whistle to *talk* using varying strengths, the series of whistles and even the tone through the uses of the force used, the hand over the chamber etc. Much like a wind musical instrument.
I use a Fox Sonic and I can use it for a small peep, a regular tone and a very loud blast. Also a series of short blasts can get a player to look at you so that he can be say moved back etc. It is a skill that a referee can develop through practise

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Answer provided by Referee Joe Manjone

High School Rules require officials to have at least two whistles in the event a backup whistle is needed. As the other refs indicated, having whistles with different tones because of game site noise or skill level of athletes is recommended. However, using different whistles in the same game for different situations is not recommended because your focus to get another whistle may distract you from game events. I hope that you have a successful season.

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Answer provided by Referee Gary Voshol

I would avoid using gimmick whistles, as they may cause coaches and spectators to think that you're not taking the game seriously. Yes, it's U-little rec, but the teams still want a ref that they feel is knowledgeable.

Having more than one whistle available is good, especially when you find yourself reffing at a complex with multiple fields. If your whistle sounds differently than the one on the next field, the players may be less confused.

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