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Question Number: 33433

Other 6/10/2019

RE: Adult

Melvin H. of Colorado Springs, Colorado U. S. A. asks...

This question is a follow up to question 33406

Following up on the question, does familiarity with the players or teams help officials minimize abuse in matches? If a referee has done a number of games with a team or player(s) over a period of time, does that help the players and coaches know the referees style of calling a match (and vice versa)?
Im not implying favoritism or a negative opinion of a team or players by officials.

Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Melvin,
In my experience it is indeed true that a referee is less likely to be abused by players or team officials that they are acquainted with. I think it's probably understandable that someone who has a social connection to a referee, is less likely to be overly abusive towards them.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Melvin
First off a referee should not officiate any game where he has a conflict of interest such as having played for the team or there are relations playing. Knowing players is not a conflict of interest.
As to whether a referee is less likely to be abused by someone who knows him personally I would say yes but not exclusively. I once had someone that I knew reasonably well make a derogatory comment to me after I had to send him off for a second caution. He later rang me to apologise profusely for his words.
I find that if the referee treats everyone with respect and professionalism that it is likely that players will reciprocate accordingly.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Melvin,
refereeing within a community chances are you will find the home teams become aware of you over repeated matches and adapt to your style somewhat. One of the greatest compliments I got was from a hometown player talking with an opponent about my efforts where the opponent said, 'He's pretty good for a hometown referee.' whereas the player looked at him incredulously & said, 'Is he from your hometown? The opponent confused said, 'No he from yours?' The player shook his head laughing , 'If he is, he has never shown it to be true!'

As my colleagues point out you get a lot of what you give but other things like a solid association that tracks records and establishes consistent discipline throughout the year and has meetings and seminars to explain and promote fair play. Despite the comment wishing I was more homey than neutral, he knew several things about my habits. Not once in over 5 years did he receive a caution for delay of the game or failure to respect ten yards but was witness to many opponents who did. lol

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