too much bark not enough bite...what's the proper ratio of talking to carding?

Discussion in 'Referee' started by superdave, Sep 29, 2003.

  1. superdave

    superdave Member+

    Jul 14, 1999
    VB, VA
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    One of the many games I watched this past week prompted this question; it might have been Arsenal's Friday match with Newcastle. Anyway, the CR talked over and over again to the players, only cautioning once. The thing is, it didn't really work, and in the end he had to pull out the plastic a few times, and the players, by their demeanor and body language, didn't respect him.

    My question is, is there a ratio a CR shouldn't go past in a match? Or is the right "unit of measurment" not the match, but each player? (By that I mean, should a CR not pay attention to how often he talks to players, but only to how often he talks to each individual player.)

  2. whipple

    whipple New Member

    May 15, 2001
    I don't think there are any hard and fast rules, so much as there are guidelines we use after observing what goes on before the match, and during the opening minutes. For example, I prefer to manage players behavior verbally and try to assess who, if any, are going to be troublemakers so I can get close to them quickly, settle them down, or give them a verbal warning, before they start getting out of hand.

    When I have warned a player, and they are subsequently guilty of misconduct, they are cautioned and a card is displayed with very few words. They had their chance. They know what they have done so there is nothing more to say.

    On the other hand, when a player, who has shown no previous indication of misconduct, is guilty of a cautionable offense, I make a point of getting them aside for a more lengthy discourse, during which, depending on their reaction, I may not caution, but if I do, they now know why.

    When it is a send-off offense, I say as little as possible. This is a highly volatile situation so the less said the better. Just get the player off as quickly as possible so play can restart. My feeling is that the time for education is past.

  3. kevbrunton

    kevbrunton New Member

    Feb 27, 2001
    Edwardsburg, MI
    Chicago Fire
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I watched the Newcastle v. Arsenal match and Mike Reilly did "just" talk to players several times when it SEEMED he was ready to book them. But I disagree with your statement that it was not effective. I am pretty sure that he never once had that player committ another hard foul soon after the talking and more importantly, he didn't have the fouled player committing a hard foul in "response". So in my opinion, it worked.

    Of course, at this level, he eventually had to pull a couple cards, but IMO he managed the match well.
  4. Statesman

    Statesman New Member

    Sep 16, 2001
    The name says it all
    Anybody remember what happened with Brian Hall's match where the benches cleared and started fighting? One of the problems in this match was the devaluation of the yellow card. Hall used it frequently early on, causing its value to depreciate for more serious challenges. Then when hard challenges not worthy of a send-off required punishment, the yellow card reduced the seriousness of the foul to the same level of less harsh fouls committed earlier. This was not adequate in the minds of the players and eventually the fight broke out.

    When you have a match like Arsenal vs. Newcastle, or Arsenal vs. Man Utd for that matter, the referee has to be more careful when issuing cautions. You want the yellow card to be a symbol of serious punishment so when you use it it really means something. It also prevents lots of send-offs for second cautions later on if the match is going to be physical.

    Instead of hopping to the card, the "bark" of the referee should be used -- talking with the players, publicly admonish them, stern warnings, etc. Keep up the public chats with borderline cautionable offenses until one of the players you already talked to screws up again. THEN when you nail him with a card the tone has been set very clearly.

    The other perception you have to fight is that a game with many cards is a game out of control. If you keep dishing them out, no matter how well deserved, the players will stop responding to them altogether. It's a fine line to walk between management and injustice.
  5. jc508

    jc508 New Member

    Jan 3, 2000
    Columbus, Ohio area
    Hindsight is always 20-20. I remember a game where a number of assessors watched and all agreed that the problems that occurred were the direct result of the referee not carding or at least addressing a situation early in the match.

    Talking to the players depends on many, many factors. Tamborino was a great talker and he was able to control the players with a few words. However, if someone else had said the same words, it may not have worked. Your verbal expression, your body posture and overall demeanor say so much in addition to the words themselves. Collina can say, "play nice," and all is well, but if someone else did it, they may be insulted and make the game a living hell.

    When you talk to a player, that player's body language will tell you volumes if you need to or should say more. Your additional words of wisdom my not just be waisted, but they may aggravate the situation.

    I believe that this is one of primary factors in separating the really great referees from the others. Reading the players before and during the early part of the match may give the referee the information as to just how much talk, and what type of talk, the players will tolerate and accept.

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