Referees Using Two Watches

Discussion in 'Referee' started by ilyazhito, Apr 7, 2021.

  1. ilyazhito

    ilyazhito Member

    Manchester United
    Spain
    Feb 9, 2021
    I've noticed that some referees wear two watches on the field, especially at the highest levels. I've also seen that one watch counts down while the other counts up. What is the purpose of the second watch? Is it a backup to track time elapsed, and then used for added time?

    I'm curious because I've only used one watch before, and want to see your tips for using the second watch.

    P.S. At what levels, in your experience, have you used added time for games?
     
  2. threeputzzz

    threeputzzz Member+

    May 27, 2009
    Minnesota
    I was once doing a HS game where I stopped my watch for an injury and forgot to restart it. I have worn 2 watches ever since - one I stop and start, the other I don't touch.
     
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  3. Rufusabc

    Rufusabc Member+

    May 27, 2004
    I have always used 2 watches, and it stems from accidentally stopping my watch when I was doing a match solo years ago. The watch an my left wrist is the “official” watch and it counts up and down and the one on my right wrist counts up.

    I add time as needed and the lower the level the only time I really ever add much is for injuries, and if the game is a blowout then magically that added time disappears.

    The higher the level the more added time comes into play especially with late substitutes, time wasting on GK’s, etc. In some leagues, goal differential is used as an advancement and any late goal by the team losing is sometime cause for celebration. Therefore, I add time. I have a spintso watch which keeps a pretty good record of how much I need to add, and you can get a feel for the coaches/players to see if they want to keep going. Also, sometimes coaches are mollified about time wasting if you let them know you are aware of the TW, and you’ll be adding time. When the time comes, let the players and coaches know (if possible, on a drive by) how much you are adding. Please phrase it in this manner if you could: “Coaches, there are at least two added minutes.” That way if something occurs, you have a time to base it on. Like if the ‘keeper decides to take :45 seconds on a GK and your card him, you still can put back that extra time wasted.
     
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  4. akindc

    akindc Member+

    Jun 22, 2006
    Washington, DC
    The second game I ever centered, my watch battery died at the beginning of the second half. Had to ask a coach to keep time...embarrassing.
    Been wearing two ever since.
     
  5. socal lurker

    socal lurker Member+

    May 30, 2009
    I've always used two watches, and would feel naked without the second watch. The backup serves to protect against watch failure, battery dying, and user error. (Was a bigger issue back when I started, and one of my watches was a handheld, wind up stop watch . . .)

    I'll add time at any level if warranted. (Especially at lower levels, field scheduling may create pressure or directions from competition authorities to limit or bar time adding.)
     
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  6. Kit

    Kit Member+

    Aug 30, 1999
    Herkimer, NY, USA
    Club:
    Everton FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    #6 Kit, Apr 7, 2021
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2021
    No matter how you phrase it, you can always add time into stoppage time. When you announce stoppage time, it is supposed to be the minimum time that you will add. This is so you can add more time for anything that happens in stoppage time (injuries, cards, subs, time wasting, etc),
     
  7. Kit

    Kit Member+

    Aug 30, 1999
    Herkimer, NY, USA
    Club:
    Everton FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I wear two watches as well (one counts up and the other counts downs). Generally when someone asks me how much time is left, I look at the countdown watch so I don’t have to do quick math in my head. However, the count up watch is the official time.

    Generally speaking I am pretty conservative when it comes to stoppage time. I will add it if needed, but in my experience, stoppage time always seems to be when bad things happen!
     
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  8. jayhonk

    jayhonk Member+

    Oct 9, 2007
    On the other hand,
    At the suggestions of the experts, I wore two watches on my first day reffing, but I thought I looked ridiculous at the level I was working -- local rec and rec-plus. Since that first day, I have relied on one. I confirm that at least one AR has a watch, and the High School clocks around here are pretty reliable. Sometimes working youth games both kid ARs will be without, then I just ride the edge. In 15 years, I have never had an in-game watch failure. Lots of user-errors, but thats on me. I do carry backups in my bag, but I don't set them or anything. they are just in case I wore my primary watch inside after my last game and forgot to put it back in my bag.

    I use an RFT-100 thats counts down, then buzzes quietly. Most youth games are in pretty tight time slots, so any time I add is less than 20 seconds, usually less than 10. On adult games, I let an attack play out but not very long. If they complain, I just tell them they were already playing in added time.

    Since my only watch is a countdown timer, any notes I take during the game, I use the time shown. If I have to file a report, I then do the math -- not on the field. I did that at first, with bad results, now its all about KISS.
     
  9. voiceoflg

    voiceoflg Member+

    Dec 8, 2005
    I use two watches, both counting down. The one that keeps running vibrates when time is up. The other one I stop and start as needed, and it beeps when time is up
     
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  10. cleansheetbsc

    cleansheetbsc Member+

    Mar 17, 2004
    Club:
    --other--
    left arm I wear a Timex Ironman with both stopwatch and timer. Timer counts backward from 30,35,40,45 depending on the rules so I get the alarm when time is up. Stopwatch counts in 'normal' FIFA upwards count as backup.

    Also wear a Garmin using a running app for backup and GPS recording.
     
  11. IASocFan

    IASocFan Moderator
    Staff Member

    Aug 13, 2000
    IOWA
    Club:
    Sporting Kansas City
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I used to wear one watch, and had several oops, forgot to restart or when did this half start moments. Now, for HS with scoreboard and timers, I concentrate on keeping the game clock right. I have had several issues with timers forgetting to start or stop the game clock, and we've tried to get the time corrected or, in rare cases, kept the time on the field.

    Now I wear both a garmin and an iwatch. If I don't have a timer I wear a third watch with a stop watch, and use the iwatch as backup.
     
  12. mathguy ref

    mathguy ref Member

    Nov 15, 2016
    TX
    Club:
    Manchester United FC
    iWatch on left that counts down and never stops. Timex Ironman on right that gets stopped and started as needed. It counts up.
     
  13. Law5

    Law5 Member+

    Mar 24, 2005
    Beaverton OR
    Casio counts down and I stop/start it as appropriate for high school and college games. Garmin counts up and is not stopped for any reason. In case of user failure to restart the Casio, I have some prayer of knowing when to end the half.

    I was once AR2 on a college game during which the referee TWICE came over to ask how much time was left. (No scoreboard at that school in those days.) He had forgotten to restart after goals. The second time, I thought about just giving him my watch but I quickly realized we would be in real trouble if he forgot to restart a third time. I never asked AR1 if he was running a backup clock.
     
  14. fairplayforlife

    fairplayforlife Member+

    Mar 23, 2011
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Everyone has pretty well covered it. It’s always good to have a back up.

    One counts Dow as that’s generally what I get asked with regard to time. This watch also vibrates when time expires.

    Other watch counts up so I can note the minute of goals, cards etc without having to do math. This is also my GPS watch.
     
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  15. Ghastly Officiating

    Tottenham Hotspur
    United States
    Oct 12, 2017
    Typically for leagues that have goal line technology, one watch is for that as well.
     
  16. ilyazhito

    ilyazhito Member

    Manchester United
    Spain
    Feb 9, 2021
    Thanks for all the input. I wanted to figure out how and why officials use 2 watches. I understand the topic now, and will be practicing with both one and 2 watches until I figure out what works best for me.

    RE: added time, if I understand correctly, it comes into play more at the older levels, because time lost there starts to matter more. However, that's a discussion for a different thread.
     
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  17. frankieboylampard

    Mar 7, 2016
    USA
    Club:
    Chelsea FC
    Nat'l Team:
    Spain
    I wear two watches. But only because I started tracking my fitness levels. Left hand is Garmin gps watch, (HR and distance) that stays on all the time and counts up. My right hand is the official game time Casio target watch that counts up.

    for USSF matches it always runs and then calculate added time based off feel. HS we keep the time on us (no official scoreboard) so I pause when I feel like it (or if need be).
    For college I try to keep the scoreboard clock as accurate as possible Bc I’ve been known to forget to start my watch after cautioning or stopping it.but I also run my watch on the right hand with pauses and starts

    Added time only for higher level youth, if the tournament, showcase allow for it/require it. All DA matches, amateur, adult matches when need be. a national assessor from AZ once told me: nothing good comes from added time.
    I stick by that philosophy.
     
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  18. gaolin

    gaolin Member

    Apr 21, 2019
    I've only used 1 watch (Garmin Forerunner 245) but I'm sure I'll eventually run into the whole "user error". Maybe. I do more USSF than HS so no need to reset... :)

    I only see higher-level refs use two watches around here but only for U16+ and above.
     
  19. RefIADad

    RefIADad Member+

    Chelsea
    United States
    Aug 18, 2017
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I'm pretty much like the others who wear two watches. Garmin (also my everyday watch) on my left wrist, countup stopwatch on my right wrist. I was lucky in that my mentors when I started officiating strongly encouraged me to wear two watches. I thought it was dumb - until my third or fourth game when the watch battery on my primary watch quit.

    Even when I have a scoreboard and am on the line, I wear that second watch. It's just habit for me now.
     
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  20. LampLighter

    LampLighter Member

    Bugeaters FC
    Apr 13, 2019
    Always have two because of the Apple Watch now. Seems just a standard part of the uniform along with two pens and two whistles. I sometimes rock just one if I'm on the line backing someone up and there's a stadium clock.
     
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  21. Pierre Head

    Pierre Head Member+

    Dec 24, 2005
    I know who said that. Wrong then, wrong now.
    Show me something good in soccer that came from AZ :D

    PH
     
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  22. frankieboylampard

    Mar 7, 2016
    USA
    Club:
    Chelsea FC
    Nat'l Team:
    Spain

    Hahaha if I have to give add time by all means give it. But if I can avoid it then I will. The person were thinking of has an indifference towards socks. lol
     
  23. LampLighter

    LampLighter Member

    Bugeaters FC
    Apr 13, 2019
    I mean, he's got a point. We don't get paid for overtime :p
     
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  24. Law5

    Law5 Member+

    Mar 24, 2005
    Beaverton OR
    I don't know if it's the same guy but one time I was sent to ODP Regionals in Phoenix. (Back when ODP was important.) It turned out to be a tough deal, since, as soon as we arrived in early afternoon, we were assigned to a game that night. U-16 boys and I've got the whistle. My first time with comms.

    The next morning, at breakfast, in front of all of the officials, the Arizona assessor (may have been the SDA) calls me out about a foul I called. "Took away an advantage, a pretty good one, too." I had NO idea what incident he was talking about. None. All I could think to say, very slowly, was "Sixteen year old boys." The silence was absolutely deathly. He thought about it for a second (I don't remember if he twirled his mustache or not) and said, "That's a good answer. Yeah, it's a very good answer." End of discussion. :)
     
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  25. fairplayforlife

    fairplayforlife Member+

    Mar 23, 2011
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    The funny thing is those of you that have met the old KY SRA know the mustache twirl is a real thing. Lol.
     
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