Sunday, October 28, 2007

Interesting Weekend - More Lessons

Well, I knew things were going too well. I haven't had a problem with a coach in a long time, so I'm due.
Let me describe the scenario. We are in the 2nd half of a U-14 boys game. To give you an idea of the entire picture, I had a very minor dissent issue with one of the red team's coaches. My assistant made a solid offside call on a defender's deflection to an offside red player. This coach had a few things to say about it. I pointed out a defender deflection does not reset offside and the call would stand. He went on about it, but I ignored him.
About mid way through the half, a ball goes out of touch right in front of red's bench. This is on my half of the touch line. My assistant signals a throw in for red, but I overruled him as I was 10 feet from the play and saw the ball touch red on the way out. The same coach as above starts debating me on the call, pointing out the assistant pointed the other way. I responded that I was overruling him and the call would stand. That wasn't enough to satisfy the coach, so I booked him for behaving irresponsibly in the technical area. I showed him the card (yes, we show cards to coaches in NJ) and we played on.
About 7 minutes later, the red goalkeeper made a save. While he was on the ground in possession of the ball, the white team kicked at him, causing me to stop play for dangerous play. While getting off the ground, the goalkeeper taunted the white team about the call. I immediately showed him the yellow card for unsporting behavior.
Now that you have the background, I'll describe what happened. At the end of the game, both coaches confronted me coming off the field. The first coach continued the debate of whether or not I could overrule my assistant. He said I couldn't do that and he also identified himself as a referee. I pointed out that, as the referee, I had final say on all decisions on the field and he didn't have to agree with me. Then the other coach starts in on me about the caution of their goalkeeper. Apparently, he didn't agree that what I heard was taunting. I pointed out that it's my opinion that counts in relation to facts on the field. I also said the conversation was over as we were not going to arrive at any useful conclusions. Here's the part that bothered me. As I walked away, these guys followed me and persisted with their arguments! In thinking about this later, I could not come to any conclusions as to what these guys thought they were going to accomplish. It really doesn't make any sense. Thing about it: One issue boiled down to a ball in or out of play call. The other was misconduct, but only a caution and probably wouldn't amount to much when reported to the league. I've taken to trying to put myself in the coaches shoes to at least understand their motivations when debating calls. This one I don't understand. What do you think of this?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


The situations you describe are common on the field and you need to find your way of managing these when they arive. Each official has there own way of handling scenarios like the ones you describe. I will give you my feed back for each.
When I have situations where I am closer to the play then my AR and I have to over rule I always try to give a quick explanation. For example if I have blue playing red and my assistant calls for a blue throw in but I saw something different I alwasy try to say no other way deflection off of blue number 11 his knee ect ect. By doing this I am giving accountability to my call along with what I saw. Coaches sometimes want an explanation of why your doing what your doing. Yes, you are correct when stating to the coach I have the final say and I am going to over rule my AR. But, just calmly say coach I saw this and for that reason I am over ruling. I think you will find that especialy with how close you described yourself to the play the coach will give you the benefit of the doubt if he still disagrees and he will also appreciate the explanation of why you made your decision.

In the other scenario you describe I have a question were the other ARs with you during this time? Remember it is very important for you to walk onto and off of the field as a team for exactly the reason you are describing. I think you handle yourself the right way but always remember that there is safety in numbers. One other thing I would like to ask is that would talking to the goalkeeper accomplish the same goal as the yellow card being issued? Remember cards are only one of the tools we have for managing both players and coaches. One of the most important tools I feel I have during my match is me talking to players. When ever I am doing a match I talk to players through out the match. I find that by doing this I can get out of situations where cards are warranted and still accomplish the same goal.
Remember there are many different ways to manage a sitution. People find certain things work well for them better then others. Try and find what works best for you.