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Tuesday, 30 September 2008 20:47

Would you want to be a ref?

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As a relatively new referee to the 'circuit', each week I have had the unenvious task of taking all my training on the laws of the game and put these into practice. At the start of each game I ask to speak to the teams and tell them about how I like to operate.......

I prefer to deal through the captain for any issues and I wont tolerate personal abuse. At the kick off I speak to captains one to one and ask them to help me keep down the comments us referee's 'attract' (as obviously a decision against one team is usually disputed!).

I am met in the main with nods of agreement and I have to say so far in the main I have enjoyed myself.  However there are two examples I would like to share with you of how being a ref is no easy matter and hopefully you will see which way I (and i hope I speak for my colleagues!) prefer to be treated.

One game I officiated the home team got a drubbing, I ended up booking the home captain for persistent dissent 88 minutes into the game (I admit i couldnt take any more carping it was incessant all the game).

Despite nods of agreement at the start of the game he blamed me for 'losing them the game'? A dodgy penalty decision I hear you cry - not one given.   Maybe they had a bad day and not me?

Another game the captain greeted me at the halfway line and I gave him my usual speech, he nodded and agreed to be the conduit for the team for any issues.

Any comments he made were friendly, well mannered and delivered with no maliciousness at all, we discussed many aspects of the game and at no point was he rude, condescending or nasty (despite the dodgy line calls and some decisions that he disagreed with!).

It was a joy to referee.  Every week I am amazed at how many games have no referees and given the two examples above it's no wonder why.

I urge teams to choose the captains wisely as they have a huge responsibility on their shoulders.  Help us to do a better job.....I understand respect works both ways....

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