Hopefully you were able to catch the classic rivalry of Chivas USA vs. Galaxy or, like me, recorded it and watched it later. As I was watching it I put myself in the referee's shoes. You know coming into that match that it's going to be a tough fought match and has the potential to blow up on you. We've probably been in a game like that before. Sometimes I think it is harder to handle a game that you know is going to be hard because you can get overly nervous thinking about the game and make mistakes.
So what do you do? Well if you watched Ricardo, a FIFA referee, in this game he chose to set the tone early on. I was impressed by his communication with the players; especially when I saw his "use your head" gesture early in the match. I could tell the player understood and it was a beautiful way to get a message across to not only the player involved but the whole field. I was so happy to see that US Soccer highlighted that moment in the Week in Review. Make sure to click here to read the whole article.
But you don't have to have that big white badge on your shirt in order to be able to effectively communicate with players. Visual gestures, your voice and body language help you control players during the game. Using these tools properly mean you rely less on your whistle and more on your personality to achieve game control. As we have been saying more game control means you can have more flow through risk taking. Overall this means a smoother game for you, more fun for the players and more entertainment for the fans.
All three of those guys watching your summer league game from the park bench will thank you!