Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Law 11

It is one of the simplest laws in the book but time and time again FIFA lists this as a point of emphasis. It really isn't as easy as it seems sometimes. If you haven't come across this tool yet, click away.

Interactive Offside Guide

This is a great refresher and helpful even for those "veterans" out there.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Training Session

we have some exciting news to share! The SRC will be hosting an intensive training session that will coincide with the 2nd weekend of the Gaylord Shepherd tournament. This is open to new referees with a focus on youth referees.This is not limited to referees in Albuquerque area; we will help referees from outlying areas with travel and lodging expenses. This is a great learning opportunity for anyone looking to advance. If you would like to participate or nominate someone please email me.

We also need people to help in the mentor role. If you can assist let me know.

More details to follow.

Friday, October 17, 2008

ODP Championships

For those of you that haven't heard or have neglected to respond...

NM will be sending eight referees to the ODP Championships in Phoenix.  The dates and more information are posted on the Region IV website.  If you are interested in going please send me an email.  

Sending me an email doesn't mean you are automatically accepted but it does mean you'll be in the running.  Many people apply every year and only eight get to go.  Email me with questions. 

Friday, October 10, 2008

Getting the most out of your yellow card

One of the shortcomings of training new referees is that we often don't dive very deep into teaching management techniques. This is no fault of the instructors or even the material; it's hard to fit everything you need to know into the limited amount of time given. That's why this blog is so important. We gave you the basics in class, now you're out in the real world and maybe it's not too easy sometimes. So I'm going to talk about some "higher-level" techniques to help you out. Remember to take from this only the things that apply to your game. Don't try to add too many new things to your toolbox too quickly. If you have questions, ask! So here are some tips about Getting the most out of your yellow card from US Soccer.

Getting the Most Out of Your Yellow Card

The referee’s response to a foul or act of misconduct must match or exceed the severity of the player’s action. In other words, the more severe the act of the player, the greater importance the referee should place on ensuring his actions/response send a message that the behavior displayed by the player will not be tolerated. The message the referee sends must not only be received by the player for whom it is intended but also to the other players, coaches, and spectators. An effective message that matches or exceeds the situation is the most effective tool in the referee’s ability to “draw his line in the sand.” By “drawing the line in the sand,” the referee provides the players, coaches, and spectators with measurable and visual evidence of what is acceptable behavior in that game.

The referee who merely relies on the issuance of a card (yellow or red) to send messages is a reactive official – an official who does not use his personality to prevent the next foul. Referees need to manage the game with their personality by picking the appropriate method of managing or dealing with a player.

Remember, the best referee is the referee who is seen and heard when the game requires the referee to be seen and heard.

Generally speaking, there is a continuum of referee actions needed to ensure that the referee’s response matches the severity of the offence. Top level referees find ways to send messages aside from using the whistle. They also utilize down time (when the ball is out of play) to connect with players. Often times the connection can be positive communication and encouragement. And give consideration: In response to every misconduct situation, referees do not need to reach for and display a card immediately. At certain times, a calculated and diligent approach to the issuance of a card is best.

By slightly delaying the “card” or “no card” decision, referees give themselves valuable seconds to assess the situation and to consider the action in context of the game and in context of the player who has committed the infraction. During this brief pause, the referee can make eye contact with the ARs and/or fourth official if needed to get their perspective. This almost inconspicuous pause can lead to more thought out decisions versus reactive decisions based upon emotion.

The following is brief overview of three important referee responses on the continuum:

    • Quiet word - During the run of play, referees can have a quiet word with players. This allows players to feel the referee’s presence prior to the referee blowing the whistle. Additionally, there are some fouls for which a quiet word is an appropriate response by the referee. The referee can run with the player as the player moves to position and during the movement convey the selected message.
    • Isolating the player - Once the referee has whistled the foul, the referee can opt to move the player aside and have a one-on-one conversation. The isolation of the player sends a broader message that will resonate with all game participants and is a visual message to spectators and the media that the player’s actions were not acceptable. By looking the player in the eye, the referee sends a stronger message and can use his personality to convey his displeasure. The “look” (body language) and tone of voice chosen by the referee is important as it must also match the severity of the offense. This tactic also slows the game down and gives the referee and the player’s time to think about their actions. Remember, the referee must always be under control and calm when demonstrating his displeasure and communicating with the players and coaches.
    • Issuing of a card - If talking with the player(s) has not worked, the referee should then consider a stronger message which would be the issuance of a yellow or red card. This does not restrict the referee from going directly to a card should the severity of the offence mandate it. Once again, however, the referee must make sure that the appropriate communication accompanies the displaying of the card. In many instances, the quick isolation of the player while the card is displayed is critical in getting the right message across.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Another way to learn...

Countless number of times on my drive home after a match I've review a game in my head. Sometimes you wonder how you could've managed an incident different or handled that problem player a little better.

We all have a lot to learn. Sometimes you can learn from another referee's experience, too. So I want to try something new. If you have a question that comes up shoot me an email. I won't post your name or the specifics of the match, but we can look at the general question and explore the answers.

With a few examples from you I'm sure we can have a weekly topic.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Uniforms - Part 1

This topic comes up a lot and for good reason. We stress the importance of referees wearing the appropriate uniform constantly; how it immediately buys you more creditability, is what is required of us and isn't too difficult to achieve. But somehow every weekend when I'm out at the complex I see several examples of how not to dress. This is not to say that as a group we aren't doing well. In fact I would say we're certainly moving in the right direction as far as the uniform goes. But even a few people choosing not to adhere make the whole group look bad. So today we'll look at a few common questions that are asked regarding uniforms...

"Why do you even bother worrying about uniforms? "

Besides it being our job to look appropriate (remember, you're being contracted by the leagues to do a job) dressing properly is simply a facet of taking this seriously. We have to try to do this job to the best of our ability and that includes looking the part. What do you think when a team shows up two minutes before kickoff with mismatched uniforms and doesn't even warm-up? Do you see how teams feel when we show up without our shirts tucked in and our socks sagging to our ankles?

"Can I wear a hat or sunglasses while I do the game?"

I personally stay away from wearing either sunglasses or a hat no matter what league I'm working with. You'll never see a professional referee wearing a hat or sunglasses. Specifically, under NISOA and NFHS rules referees are allowed to wear "solid black caps" during games. USSF doesn't mention that hats are allowed under the Guide to Procedures. They do make this mention of sunglasses/hats in the Q&A section of the website: "Under normal circumstances its not permitted for referees to wear headgear of any kind." My opinion is that we don't allow players to wear hats and sunglasses, so you should do the same.
[This advice doesn't apply to those who have medical conditions that require them to cover their head or eyes for any reason.]

"Can I wear jewelry when I'm doing a game?"

Just like I said above: If the players aren't allowed to wear something, why should we wear it? The exception, of course, is that we have to wear watches. This isn't a piece of jewelry instead its a tool. Other than the watch I say get rid of the earrings, bracelets (Lance will get over you not wearing the band for 90 minutes) and other adornment items. How can you tell a player to remove the very thing you're wearing?

As you could've guessed from the title of this post we'll break this up into two parts. I know its a dry topic, so let's just fix it so we can move on. Since it affects us all let's take it upon ourselves to clean up our appearance. People may think I'm a little bit of a jerk for asking my AR's to remove jewelry or leave their sunglasses in the bag, but I'm doing it for the good of the group. So let's help each other out and make sure we all look professional out there.

In the next few weeks we are going to be on the look out for referees caught looking professional. If you're one of the lucky ones who gets tagged for dressing right we'll reward you with a prize. So pull up those socks!