I’m sure all of you have witnessed verbal insults directed at referees from coaches, players, and spectators. Some of these might have been directed at you personally while you were officiating, or you might just witnessed another referee be verbally abused. The State Referee Committee (SRC) is working diligently to educate the soccer community of the negative impact this behavior has on the game.
Referees can be proactive to help prevent such verbal abuse. Here are some tips:
1. Enter the field dressed in a professional manner. Make sure you wear the proper referee uniform, have your shirt completely tucked in, socks up towards the knee, and wear referee shorts. Referees should arrive 30 minutes prior to a game.
2. Make sure you follow proper procedures in pre-game. Conduct a proper field inspection, check the players in, collect appropriate paperwork, and conduct a coin toss with team captains. The decision made by the team winning the coin toss is only which end of the field to attack; the other team takes the kick-off.
3. Be polite to all coaches, players, and spectators – even if they don’t deserve it. It’s your job to be professional even though others may not.
4. Know the rules, hustle on the field, communicate with your Assistant Referees, and have fun. You’re there to officiate.
5. Please don’t take reactionary comments personally. These include “ref – handball, ref – she is offside, ref – there’s pushing”. These are just spontaneous comments by overexcited adults who are frustrated by how things are developing in their game. Notice that these are not verbally abusive comments. Hopefully these comments are not happening after each call; this can be a form of abuse.
Super Liga only: referee MUST read the sportsmanship card to both teams near the parents’ touchline.
The “ASK, TELL, REMOVE” process is recommended for all officials to follow regarding conduct by coaches:
If a situation arises where there is irresponsible behavior, the referee should ASK the person(s) to stop.
If there is another occurrence of irresponsible behavior, the referee should inform that person that the behavior is not permissible and TELL them (insist) to stop.
If the non-accepted actions continue, the referee must REMOVE that person immediately.
Please use common sense and try to defuse problems before they get out of hand. Try to use the least intrusive response that will solve the problem.
Let your referee coordinator know if you are having difficulties with coaches and handling difficult situations. Each town has an experienced mentor that can work with referees to make sure they are succeeding on the field. If you need help – ASK!!
The next Monthly Seminar Clinic (counts for two hours towards the 2014 re-certification) is on May 15th from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm at Smithfield High School. The topic is “Choosing the right battle” and will be very helpful to those referees who seek advice on how to handle difficult situations such as player management and coaching issues. Miguel Lara, a grade-7 referee with vast experience at the regional level, will be the presenter.
Let’s continue with a great season!
State Director of Instruction