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r. marnhout

When the USSF made their decision to start to "age out" a lot of the current state 6 refs and replace them with younger folk, the result was that we now have a fair number of VERY young state 6 boys and girls who are being thrust into positions where they lack the maturity to man-manage volatile situations.
I have seen a number of games just like the one you mentioned, where the concept of 100% misconduct was taken far too literally and the game descended into chaos.
Now I well understand that new blood IS needed , but almost all of the new crop is getting fast-tracked rather quickly.
It takes years to accumulate the skills needed to handle truly elite teams (or cranky old adults for that matter) and I have seen few 21-23 year olds who can handle it. Running ability is well and good, but it's not everything.
[Response from Ed: I must stress that the game I observed did not "descend into chaos" or anything like it. But nevertheless you raise very good points. A good example of this is in the English Premier League where the older referees such as Dowd, Walton and Halsey are clearly able to deal with the players and avoid errors more than some of the younger guys, who were seen to be out of their depth.]

John Matthew

Somehow the referee here is "missing" game experiences and or "assessments" from good assessors. The cautions weren't needed or justified, but he has the state 6 badge. Its obvious that older refs must be replaced, but it should be even more obvious that those "replacement" refs need to replace " the experiences and training" that goes out with the older refs.

Probably even more important in this "referee sustaining process" are the new assessors that are replacing the older assessors.

Now that is the keystone of the referee organization, in my opinion.

Tim Barnes, Jr.

Re: too many cards-
i can only interject the fact that many of the referees in possession of the higher badges are quite booksmart & athletic. The technical aspect is analyzed and achieved through countless hours of film and study. Man management & the psychological aspect of the game lends room for improvement. The psychological aspect (speaking to the players; praising good effort, showing empathy, etc...) is every bit as important to the referee as is being booksmart & athletic. How many times is the card used for the misconduct (the correct book choice) when the referee couldve avoided the situation entirely if only they'd expended a little more effort and gotten 'in-tune' with the game? Silence is not golden in this game! This is a game of passion and the referee must possess that same passion! It's not a badge of honor to brag about sending the bully off. It's much, much, more rewarding to get into his head and modify a behavior through praise and empathy. Remember, 'does the game need it?' the next time you reach for the pocket. Many times you will come up empty handed! Keep up the great work guys.


Why is that just because you have a lot of cautions in a game means that you did not control the game well or it was not a well refereed game? I understand that you shouldn't have that many cards in a U14 game, but I see it at the professional all the time where commentators, fans, players, and even referees say that having 10 cautions in a game means you didn't referee that game well. Having a low number of cautions doesn't mean you refereed that game well nor does having 13 cautions in a match mean you refereed that game poorly.

Also, Ed referees such as Dowd, Halsley, and Walton are really poor examples and are not very good referees. If you mean they allow players to do whatever they want and scythe guys in half then yeah they are better referees. Also, allowing players to constantly scream and berate you doesn't make you a good referee.

[Reponse from Ed: the point I was making about the game II referred to in the post was that the cautions were undeserved, both for the nature of the fouls and for match control. I did not say that a game with a lot of cards is poorly refereed in general. Yes, sometimes this is a sign of strong refereeing when needed. But also it can mean that the cautions are ineffective and therefore some other means should be used also. The point about the more senior or experienced referees is that they don't make simple errors and show confidence that gets through to the players. Also the players accept their decisions more readily. ]
[Additional point from Ed: You may not think Dowd is a good referee, but clearly the FA (and myself) disagree with you. Dowd is the referee for the 2012 FA Cup Final. This is the most prestigious referee appointment in England.]


Here in Southern California, the big move is to train and upgrade the younger referees asap. Unfortunately, what you describe is happening. Some (not all) young referees have the book skills and the mechanics to pass the exams and run like the wind. The problems come when they try to apply the "formula" to officiating.

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