Monthly Archives: May 2013

Referee Positioning

This diagram represents a Diagonal system of c...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have a tendency to overreact when given advice or feedback about my weaker areas. When I got the typical feedback early in my career that my whistle needed to be stronger, I worked on it to the point that feedback now is the opposite. Last year I was advised that my whistle could be quieter in some situations – players three fields away were stopping play!

I have heard the comments we all do at association meetings and recertifications about avoiding the “referee retention circle” (center circle). In the past I have also received direct guidance, advice, and/or feedback about my positioning. As a result, over the years, I have worked to get wider and go deeper on my diagonals. I have also tried to follow the general advice to always be able to see play and one assistant referee. In attempting to meet these objectives, I had adopted some bad habits (from good intentions) that result in suboptimal positions for the current play, reactive rather than proactive movement for the next phase of play (consequently having to work too hard), and extreme positions (wide or deep) that exacerbated the first two problems.

Last year, Mark Geiger (at the time NJSDI) gave a USSF presentation at a SRANJ meeting about some new concepts on referee position that are evolving. These concepts address the issues I mention above. I am attempting to absorb the material and work it into my toolbox. This weekend, I will be using a tournament and feedback from colleagues to fine-tune the approach. Like any attempt to break habits, I expect it to be rough around the edges at best, if not downright clumsy and awkward. I will report back on my experience. In the meantime, here is the positioning presentation:

Positioning – Revised

Enjoy, and have a great holiday weekend (and don’t forget why we recognize Memorial Day)…

A Question about Crew Support

Bench View of Rocha Sending Off

(Photo credit: joncandy)

As a result of my recent email about AR responsibilities, I received the following question:

When you stated “Support the referee if questioned by coaches/players – NEVER indicate that the referee made a bad call!”, what if I were to signal a foul that clear to everyone but the center waved the call off?  How can I support the center ref if he disagrees with my call, especially if I am on the coaches’ side and as the game continues the coach comes over to talk to me during play?  They will probably ask why the center did not agree. What should I say?

That is a great question! (And somewhat ironic that it comes at the time of the retirement announcement of Sir Alex – one of the most famous referee bait-ers)

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Managing Injuries

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(Photo credit: goatling)

State Referee Emeritus (and NJSDI) Derek Von Langen delivered a USSF presentation on managing injuries at the May meeting of the SRANJ. He discussed the Laws of the Game that reference injury management, and then presented the USSF position on injury management in youth and amateur soccer. He stated that the Laws of the Game state that a referee shall stop play only for serious or severe injury. What constitutes serious or severe is up to the referee’s judgment on that day in that match. It will depend on the age and expectations of the players.

With youth players, and even with most amateur players, safety is the overriding concern. For U-10 any time a player is on the ground from a possible injury, we shall treat it as serious and STOP THE MATCH. As the players get older, we might wait a moment to see if they get up, but if there is any doubt, we STOP THE MATCH. For any obvious severe or serious injury, we MUST STOP THE MATCH.

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