Monday, 13 May 2013

Should a referee have played the game?

"Where's the free-kick, our girls are getting hurt out there"

"You have a whistle in your hand, use it"

Ah, the great life of a ref getting advice from parents and coaches.

Blue player advancing to goal, takes a shot but as she does so an Orange player blocks the shot. Blue players foot bounces back and she ends up on the floor crying. Cue the shouts from parents and coach.
Perfectly fine play as far as I was concerned and the ball shooting out sideways and not forwards showed it was a block and no foul.
I would have been proud to have made that tackle.

Now that I've taken up the whistle and stopped being an active player, has my past playing experience been helpful? Or does having a 'players mindset' bias my decisions? Should all referees be made to play?
( should all parents and coaches?)

How has it helped?

Good positioning on the field - I know where the ball is likely to go and what the plays will be so I can be there and ready to make a decision.

Dirty tricks - not so much a problem at the young ages but soon they start to pick up some of the little tricks of a shirt grab or a tread on an opponents toes. If you've been on the receiving end of some of these ( or done some yourself cough cough) then you know what to watch out for.

Judgement - was it a foul or a great tackle? Just because little Jenny is on the floor and crying doesn't mean it was a foul as in the incident at the start of this post.

Is it essential?

No - with practice and experience the above skills can be picked up.

There are also a whole other bunch of skills that you need - communication with the coaches, parents and players, interaction with your two assistant referees

What does the Internet say? A quick search found this:

 "It is ironic that, often, referees are described as ‘failed footballers’ "

 Doesn't this sound somewhat familiar?

1 comment:

Joe said...

Well stated! To be a good referee, you need good referee skills. Those may be assisted by having been a player, but the refereeing skills are the important part, not how you got there.

Being a Test Manager is similar. There are management skills that you simply must have. Having experience as a tester may help you get there, but it's not the most important part.