Here is an interesting short movie on being a referee.
Ever wondered what it’s like to be a referee?Daltonic Films and Major League Soccer (MLS) offer an in-depth look at one of the most difficult jobs in sports.
Posted by FOX Soccer on Sunday, October 25, 2015
A couple more scenarios as my season wraps up.
One of the leagues I referee in is a Sunday morning bar league where if half the team shows up not hung over, we’re in very good shape. The league is co-ed. A blue player has a ball kicked into his groin for the second time in a game. All of the guys on the field temporarily double clutch in sympathy. A Green player who recently gave birth to a 10 pound baby comes over to the blue player and says the following:
“Get up you wimp, that’s nothing, I passed a watermelon through my cooch and I’m playing”
What do you do?
You are called to be the referee for the large school women’s high school state final. The state central office gives you the following terms. The game is on Friday with a 1:30pm kick-off. You are expected to be at the field at least ninety minutes before the game. You are expected to attend the award dinner that evening. The game this year is on the other side of the state (they rotate sites) so it is at least a four hour drive. The other refs on the proposed crew are people you’ve never worked with before but by reputation, you don’t trust. The game fee is less than the standard single game varsity rate. The state association will neither pay mileage nor hotel.
I was AR-1 on an end of the year Division 3 women’s college game. Twenty one minutes into the game, #17 Green is bumped at mid-field, the center referee says it is trifling contact. The ball goes out of bounds in a few touches. #17 comes back to the center referee and asks for an explanation, gets a 4 second explanation and walks away. Five steps later, she says something, and the referee cautions her for dissent.
Her coach came up to me and asks quietly “What did she say”
“I don’t know, but it looks like she got the last word and paid for it”
“It’s strange, she is a nice player but this is her fifth dissent this year for no explosions. You, Smithson, Gonzales, Lucici and now Mathison have booked her for dissent. None of you are card happy. What’s going on…”
I heard nothing for if I heard anything, this is textbook taunting which means it is textbook red card. The game and the player did not need a red card. The league did not need a red card. If I had to officially hear the comment, I would have to have sent her off for taunting. Referees have amazing variable ears. Sometimes they are almost as good as teacher ears, and sometimes we can’t hear a herd of elephants trampling by. It is an amazing thing.
I turned the game down. Best case scenario I would have burned a full day of PTO, fourteen gallons of gasoline and be placed in an uncomfortable position. Just on mileage alone, I would have lost three of the very low game fee checks. The state office can’t figure out why the officiating at the regional qualifiers is always so much better than the officiating at the state finals. Those games are on the weekend, they pay twice regular rates, and the crews are crews that have worked together. I know when I am running a line for Carl, if I wave my flag, he trusts me to give him good, actionable information and that he’ll do something with it. The games are a challenge but a pleasure. The state finals are a hodgepodge crew done on the cheap. The state office argues it is an honor, but that does not put gas into my tank or pay tolls.
This type of conversation is one of the things that I love about officiating college soccer. Most of the coaches and officials have relationships where quiet words can be exchanged with mutual respect. In this case, I had to pause to think of why I cautioned #17 for dissent. The scenario was similar, she had gotten muscled off the ball legally in the midfield, thought it was a foul, and asked why I was not calling it. I said I saw a legal shoulder to shoulder charge and then I turned up field to follow play.
A few seconds later, she said in a voice that was reminiscent of my three year old protesting the decree that cookies are not dinner: “At least call it both ways, referee”
And as soon as the ball was dead, she got a yellow card for dissent.
Once I remembered that interaction, and then when the coach listed the other four referees who cautioned her, I smiled.
“Coach, four of the five referees, myself included have preschoolers at home. We hear enough whining there… and Smithson has an amazingly oppressed and misunderstood sixteen year old…”
The coach looked at me, laughed and said it made sense.
Other referees with adult children would have shrugged the comment off and gone on with the game, but personal experience of the referee does bias decision making.
In Europe they play friendly games. What is meant by that?
@JPL: In the American context, a friendly is something between a preseason game and and Spring Training in most cases, and then there are just money making exhibitions.
Friendlies don’t count to any standings and modified rules are applied. The most common modification is the substitution rules where instead of 3 players allowed on to replace another player, it could be 7 players or unlimited entry with no re-entry etc. Off-season friendlies are used to test new formations, see if a new position makes sense, and to give guys who don’t get a ton of in-season playing time time against better competition. In-season friendlies are for that to some degree as well, but also are the equivilent of “non-conference” college football games between big schools — an opportunity to play against really good competition for validation and assessment.
likean exhibition game. Not part of regular league play, doesn’t affect any standings, etc.
Vastly entertaining stories.
Thanks for the info.
“Friendly match” is the British name for what Americans call an exhibition game.
What Have the Romans Ever Done for Us?
For scenario 1 I think the obvious answer is, you get a watermelon and…
@What Have the Romans Ever Done for Us?: Rule 34 violation Rule 34
Anonymous At Work
Situation 1: I thought the options were laugh out loud, laugh and point, or smile and pretend you heard nothing…
Note the use of the past tense. Did she play while passing a watermelon through her cooch?
The Other Chuck
I guess you could punch watermelon-cooch-passer in the face during the game whenever you pleased, since it’s just nothing after all.
But eh, soccer could do with instilling a little extra machismo when it comes to “injuries”.
Basically I am finding out that I would never want you to referee a game that I played in.
#1: It’s co-rec. The answer is do nothing. Not because you pretended not to hear anything, but it is co-rec. Best case scenario for co-rec is that no one gets seriously injured and there are no fights. If you must do something, check on the guy who got hit in the groin to make sure he’s okay and not pissed at the comment.
#2: Personal preference. Don’t care. Would probably personally turn it down as I have a personal policy against paying own travel expenses for work. If they don’t pay travel expenses then they should hire someone locally.
#3: If saying “at least call it both ways” earns a yellow from you for dissent, I seriously believe you may have the wrong temperament to be a referee in a competitive soccer match. Yellow for dissent would be either: (i) persistently and continuous arguing over an extended period interrupting the match or (ii) using profanity directed at you, i.e. “that’s f___ing b.s.”.
And this illustrates a major problem I have with the way soccer is run in America. In this case it is referees applying American Football refereeing practices to soccer, with all the dictatorial nonsense.
scenario A: ask her what she did with the watermelon.
I don’t “get” soccer. I never played, I’ve never watched, and when people try to explain it to me I have a MEGO moment. But please keep up these “You Be The Ref” posts because I absolutely love them. Couldn’t tell you why, but I do.
My answer to 1 would be to laugh and then pivot to a way to not give a card.
I’m with Linnaeus; I wouldn’t have carded for taunting, but I might have gotten between the players, nudging Green aside and sotto voce saying to her, “That may be, but you weren’t on my field 10 seconds after the umbilical cord was cut. Shut it.”
…and meanwhile in Louisiana, supposed “good guy” John Bel Edwards is crowing about how much meaner he’s going to be to Muslims and those filthy Syrians than that spineless wimp David Vitter.
So I guess our alternative to tire rims and anthrax is rotting fish heads encrusted with tapeworm eggs.
The lesser evil, right? Bon appetit!
The Guardian‘s football page has a weekly comic-strip, “You Are The Ref”. Three reader-suggested scenarios each time, each with a one-panel illustration, and a footy-celeb caricature (Richard doesn’t do those, alas). Readers submit in the comments what they’d do if it was them with the whistle. An experienced former referee supplies his own answers with an explanation on Monday.
What would you have done in Scenario 1 if a man had said something equivalently dickish? ‘Cause that sort of talk is the thing that would lead to some minor retaliation on field, except in the case that actually happened it was a woman, so a hard shoulder to the face is less likely to happen. How much of your non-reaction was ‘it ain’t no thing’ and how much was ‘well, they’re probably not going to hit a girl’?
Yes, but think of all the great exposure you’ll receive! /HuffPost
If the game’s that important they should be willing to compensate the refs who work it. It’s only one game, it’s not going to break them. I’d maybe work it once for all that awesome honor and prestige, and to stick it on the resume, but definitely one and done.
Another case that I didn’t see anyone mention is that international friendlies may be used as a tune-up before a big tournament or game. For example, there will be a gap of about 8 months between the end of World Cup qualifying tournaments and the actual 2018 World Cup. That’s a long time for a team to get rusty if they aren’t playing any actual games. To help shake some of the rust off, teams will play a few international friendlies in the month or two leading up to the Cup.
@Brandon: I did nothing on #1 besides chuckle, I explained why I did nothing.
As for 2, yep, I’m not losing money to referee.
And for 3, the sequence was a reasonable question, a reasonable response and then whining. The first two parts of the interaction sequence are simple professionalism/responsible adults talking. The last part brings the game into disrepute as it is not a spur of the moment emotional reaction to a call/non-call, the decision was ten-fifteen seconds in the past.
@daveNYC: It could be a dick move but all the other players laughed as the guy on the ground liked to puff his chest out big about how strong and tough he was. Different games need different responses.
@Brandon: “That’s fucking bullshit” directed at a particular person is immediately in the orange zone (a player to his own coach, I have wiggle room) a player to opponent or player to referee, that is foul and abusive from U-8 to international friendlies especially if it is not in the first second after a hard challenge/no call.
That is not dissent it is send-offable and if the ref does not send the player off when he is yelling “that’s fucking bullshit” loud enough for other people on the field to hear, the ref is a) likely to lose control of the match for at least the next 10-15 minutes and b) fail an assessment if s/he is being assessed on that game.
Dissent is verbal or physical demonstration that brings the game into disrepute by making a spectacle of professional communication.
In scenario number one, i laugh my ass off, then suggest to the Green coach that he get her off the field before some men’s rights activist decides she needs a torn ACL.
@burnspbesq: There is no coach for that league… the teams are doing good if they have enough sober players to put out only a half-drunk line-up
@Brandon: BTW, I changed the names of the other referees involved, but one is a former FIFA, and the other is a current MLS ref, so if I’m calling it wrong I’m in good company.
I think it was less what she said than the fact she was walking away and her back was turned to him when she said it. If she had said that to his face and he flagged her for dissent right then and there, you’d be right: players getting their nose out of joint over a call they don’t like is nothing new. But when you say it to the ref’s face, that’s the point where they remind you that if you disagree with their call, you can 1) have your coach take it up with the head ref, 2) leave the field and take a seat, or 3) be done with it and get back in the game.
Referees are there in part to keep the game moving. They can’t stop everything cold just because some special snowflake has never heard the word ‘no’ come out of Mommy’s or Daddy’s mouth.
Richard, did you hear about this incident in Ireland?
FYWP. The second blockquote isn’t one, it’s my added comment. Now I can’t edit the post again.
FWIW, I agree with you.
It’s probably not worth bringing up to the RM fanclub, though.
pseudonymous in nc
Richard: There was a programme with Pierluigi Collina shown on Sky Sport in the UK last year just before the World Cup. If you can get hold of it one way or another, it’s worth a look.
@Richard Mayhew: And they also have ‘closed-door friendlies’, where fans are not permitted to attend.
Not aware of any US-equivalent.
White Sox-Orioles game, April 29th, 2015.
Chicago Cubs in Sept when they are in last place and 32 games back is very close.