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  1. Amateur or Professional?

  2. Purpose The purpose of this training is for referees to acquire a new paradigm or to gain an epiphany on how they approach Division 1 and 2 games NTSSA State In-Service Clinic 2011

  3. Vive le différence… • Professional versus amateur • Who is the referee’s customer? • For one: the audience • For the other: the player • One is paid to play soccer • The other plays for the love of the game NTSSA State In-Service Clinic 2011

  4. Understand the Culture. • The Africans (not African-Americans) grow up in a very different environment. • Very proud • Hourly paid menial labor • High skill level (play 100 hours a week) • Bragging rights – want the trophy NTSSA State In-Service Clinic 2011

  5. NTSSA State In-Service Clinic 2011

  6. Understand the Culture. • The Hispanics (not Hispanic Americans) also grow up in a very different environment. • Very religious • Hourly paid menial labor • High skill level (play 100 hours a week) • Bragging rights – want the trophy NTSSA State In-Service Clinic 2011

  7. How do they play? • Both cultures play pickup games – without a referee and without a fight • Most often they see the foul coming and avoid it • Handling is cheating – unacceptable behavior • They come to PLAY and are passionate about their game! NTSSA State In-Service Clinic 2011

  8. What does this mean? • The referee needs to understand the culture • Understand what to call and not call • Otherwise, the referee will cause the temperature level of the game to rise • Calling the game off is never acceptable behavior and can have severe repercussions NTSSA State In-Service Clinic 2011

  9. What should the referee do? • Be creative and establish rapport • During pre-game make sure the ARs understand the need to be selective in calls • Talk to the players constantly, lots of use of voice – scream, “No foul!” before the event NTSSA State In-Service Clinic 2011

  10. Prepare for the Game • Look up the teams performance • Find out what happened in prior meetings • If the web site is not updated • Ask other referees • Google the team name • Some have a team web site NTSSA State In-Service Clinic 2011

  11. Referee Know Yourself! • To thine own self be true! - Shakespeare • Do you have BMT? (Big Match Temperament) • Some referees perform better – the bigger the game, the better they perform • Under pressure – they FOCUS NTSSA State In-Service Clinic 2011

  12. Referee, Know Yourself! Other referees, as the game progresses and the dissent rises, blow the whistle more weakly. • Under pressure – they FOLD NTSSA State In-Service Clinic 2011

  13. Find the balance • The hardest thing to teach a new referee is how to blow the whistle. • After they learn that, then we have to teach them not to blow the whistle • WAIT: if player is fouled, does the player look for the whistle or get up and play? NTSSA State In-Service Clinic 2011

  14. Find the balance • Find the balance – where both teams accept calls made and not made. REMEMBER they are used to playing without a referee NTSSA State In-Service Clinic 2011

  15. What does the referee bring? No referee = No trophy So a referee is needed • With no referee, if a trivial foul • They get up and play on – the player reacts to the responses from team mates NTSSA State In-Service Clinic 2011

  16. What does the referee bring? • With a referee, they are immediately testing the referee. If he gives them the trivial foul, the precedent is set. Be prepared to whistle every trivial foul or watch the dissent rise • As the player would – tune into the teams response to the foul NTSSA State In-Service Clinic 2011

  17. Cautions • Remember, a caution is a CALMING exercise • Do not flash cards – remember these teams are used to playing without referees, so a card could be a personal insult (unless it is a pride issue and retaliation for something the referee missed) NTSSA State In-Service Clinic 2011

  18. Be creative • What can you do to control the game without resorting to cards? • Build rapport • Find some humor • Slow the game down • With substitutes, or go and chat with an AR if needed NTSSA State In-Service Clinic 2011

  19. Be creative • Talk to the coach (higher level amateurs will have one) • Get to know the names as they call to each other • Talk to all the players before or at half time NTSSA State In-Service Clinic 2011

  20. Advantage • In a scrimmage, there is no advantage. A foul is a foul. • In a game ONLY a referee calls an advantage • Be sure to find the time to talk to the offended player and explain the advantage call NTSSA State In-Service Clinic 2011

  21. Advantage discussion • DO NOT engage in argument about the severity of a foul – diffuse the situation • “I am sorry if you thought the foul more severe than I did.” and move on NTSSA State In-Service Clinic 2011

  22. Take a risk • Please do not risk losing control BUT • Before giving a caution, ask” • WHAT DO I EXPECT FOR THIS CAUTION • If the answer is regain control of the game – issue caution • If the game is hot and YOU (yes, the referee) have not found the balance TRY TO TALK THE PLAYER DOWN • Taking a risk can pay off. The referee can always issue a caution at any subsequent event – so consider carefully NTSSA State In-Service Clinic 2011

  23. 5 levels of control • Voice • Whistle • Yellow card • Red card • Abandon game Note that it is a PROGRESSION. Once one level does not work, the referee must go to the next. NTSSA State In-Service Clinic 2011

  24. What is the payoff for this approach? • The referee gets to finish more games • The players start requesting the referee and do not see the referee as an opponent • The players request referees for finals – the ultimate compliment The major difference is after game players from both teams thank the referee • Compared to the referee needing a police escort NTSSA State In-Service Clinic 2011

  25. Accepting a final • When players request referees for finals – it is the ultimate compliment • Leagues should make the same fuss of a job well done by the officials as the league does of the winning team • DO NOT ACCEPT A FINAL WITH A FRIEND PLAYING • THAT IS NOT AN ACCEPTABLE REASON TO REQUEST AN OFFICIAL and violates the referee Code of Ethics! NTSSA State In-Service Clinic 2011

  26. The Epiphany • The player comes to play – looks forward to playing, and is passionate about playing • Without a referee, the players can get through a full scrimmage • When YOU - the referee - are thrown into the formula, YOUR CALLS OR NON-CALLS change the tone of the game • Issue cards with caution! NTSSA State In-Service Clinic 2011

  27. Pride in Playing NTSSA State In-Service Clinic 2011

  28. Is this all new? • If you think this is all new… • Here it is – straight off the assessment sheet NTSSA State In-Service Clinic 2011

  29. Assessment Criteria NTSSA State In-Service Clinic 2011

  30. Referee Criteria 1:Personality and Communication 1.1 Personality and Presence: Influencing the Future • Varied personality to defuse and prevent the NEXT foul • Personality / presence influenced outcome, channeled players to act positively • Personality offered a calming influence, body language appropriate NTSSA State In-Service Clinic 2011

  31. Referee Criteria 1:Personality and Communication • Referee utilized creative techniques and out-of-box thinking to prevent and manage situations • Referee changed temperament and approach as game dictated thereby sending effective messages NTSSA State In-Service Clinic 2011

  32. Referee Criteria 1:Personality and Communication 1.2 Communication • Established “open line of communication” with players and coaches without being overly communicative • Used all communication tools to “Draw the line in the sand” so all know what to expect • Used more than the whistle to communicate and manage the game NTSSA State In-Service Clinic 2011

  33. Referee Criteria 1:Personality and Communication • Utilized “down time” to manage players and the game • Knows when to use the “quiet word” vs. the public admonishment • Proactive communicator NTSSA State In-Service Clinic 2011

  34. Referee Criteria 2:Game Control and Flow 2.1 Misconduct: Game or Player Need It • Got the 100% Misconduct situations correct • Moments of truth addressed appropriately • Cautions given because the game and/or player needed it NTSSA State In-Service Clinic 2011

  35. Referee Criteria 2:Game Control and Flow • Used personality to manage / control the game versus card as the situation / game dictated • Referee got something in return for the cards issued • Referee utilized preventative techniques to eliminate / prevent misconduct NTSSA State In-Service Clinic 2011

  36. Referee Criteria 2:Game Control and Flow 2.2 “Big Picture” Approach in Game Context • Did not use the “big picture” as an excuse for not addressing 100% misconduct situations • Was a “proactive referee” • Used discretion and common sense • Decisions were fair NTSSA State In-Service Clinic 2011

  37. Referee Criteria 2:Game Control and Flow 2.3 Allowed Game Flow – Took Risks • Encouraged flow through calculated risk taking • Recognized the minor/trifling/soft challenges (what players accepted) • Ensured player safety was not at risk • Applied advantage as required NTSSA State In-Service Clinic 2011

  38. Referee Criteria 2:Game Control and Flow 2.4 Foul Recognition / Discrimination • Discretion and common sense • Managed the game to maximum enjoyment and entertainment • Felt the “temperature” of the game and increased influence NTSSA State In-Service Clinic 2011

  39. Referee Criteria 2:Game Control and Flow • Avoided decisions that would have been technically correct but practically wrong • Used consistency and applied equality and fairness in decisions • “Smelled” / anticipated the foul before it occurred NTSSA State In-Service Clinic 2011

  40. Referee Criteria 2:Game Control and Flow 2.5 Tactical Approach • Understood the tactical/technical approach of the teams/players and adjusted as the game required • Ability to “read” game and adjust • Utilize flexible game plan keeping with the changing demands of the game • Identified “key” players NTSSA State In-Service Clinic 2011

  41. Referee Criteria 3:Teamwork • Referee empowered the team • Created an environment which ensured “critical game situations” were addressed • Preparation / pregame • Reflected research / prior history of the teams NTSSA State In-Service Clinic 2011

  42. Review • The amateur players come to play • Higher division teams play for pride • Higher division players often have menial positions, this is their opportunity to excel and feel good about themselves • Culture has an impact on how the player and or team perform NTSSA State In-Service Clinic 2011

  43. Review • The referee has a direct impact upon the game • The referee needs to be prepared and prepare the team • The referee needs to be creative, build rapport apply preventative measures NTSSA State In-Service Clinic 2011

  44. Review • Game management needs to reflect the tone of the game • The referee should use personality to control the game versus card • If issued, the referee should gain something in return for the card NTSSA State In-Service Clinic 2011

  45. In Conclusion • To successfully referee and finish a division 1 or 2 game, it is entirely in the hands (or pockets) of the well prepared referee NTSSA State In-Service Clinic 2011