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Question Number: 33692

Other 10/6/2019

RE: Under 19

Barry of Dallas, TX USA asks...

Does it make sense that there could be a referee who is a mediocre assistant referee but exceptional center referee? Say a referee who has some attention deficit disorder and therefore gets lazy when they are AR, not the best offside recognition or staying immediately with 2nd to last defender, but put them in the center and they are consistently viewed as one of the best referees even on high level matches because they have exceptional foul recognition, game management skills, positioning, etc when they can put all their focus onto the ball in play for the entire length of a match that they don't have to necessarily do as AR

Is this such a crazy concept? Would a referee have to be an exceptional AR if they are an exceptional CR, or is it considered that maybe they require different skillsets that tailors someone to one vs the other?

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Barry,
not so crazy just different characteristics and mental attitudes. That said, mutual respect makes either job far more tolerable! But a willingness to play a supporting tool is needed
There are various attributes to each job that require, focus, anticipation and the ABILITY to actual stay with play. Fitness plays huge part as does anticipation, ARs who are simply not able to adjust to the high speed of fast incoming and outgoing players have very difficult time on offside evaluations because they can not maintain proper positioning at all times. . . Keeping your PRIORITIES straight and assisting the referee in their duties means doing yours well. Your mistakes are his mistake, make no doubt about it! The CR shoulders all the responsibility when things go wrong even if he shares the accolades with you when things go well.

The CR attention on play is all over, whereas the AR is more focused on location of specific players & potential for general help to the CR given your quadrant concerns and the look up or down touchlines and goal lines you are better positioned to make certain calls. I tend to hold the opinion that an ARs duty is harder to maintain focus over long stretches where he is not factored in ongoing active play at one end of the FOP. So the mind wanders slightly, quick reversal and offside????

Ego occasionally plays a part in the overall scheme of development but time weeds out the ones who are in it only for themselves. ARs who think they should be the CR and CRs who ignore their ARs create a reputation over time that I think mostly rules them out as they advance. That said I have seen some arrogant SOBs at high levels as well as recreational. Given these center referees & ARs who do officiate at high levels are CONSTANTLY scrutinized, mentored, examined, tested, trained, under go assessments, physical & mental training. I think what ever deficiencies they have are well known or have been exorcised from their character.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Barry
FIFA has recognized this for a long time due to the specialist role of assistant referees and that those with exceptional AR skills are chosen for that role only . Rugby for instance uses referees as assistants.
My experience is that not all good referees make good assistants. The reasons are not always apparent yet Obelieve it is to do with concentration, visual acuity, attitude and interest in the role, sprinting speed to mention a few.
I have seen plenty of good referees who struggle in the AR role and vice versa. So as the old saying goes *horses for courses*

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