What do you think of this match report

Discussion in 'Referee' started by Keep, Sep 24, 2003.

  1. Keep

    Keep New Member

    Aug 21, 2003
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    I'm starting to doubt my abilities as a ref after this match and one other that was similar earlier this fall.

    Let me preface this by explaining that this is from an adult, co-ed, recreational league that has players at all skill levels from beginner to advanced and all age levels from 20s to 50s. It's not designed to be a 'hard core' league at all--there's no slide tackling, no high kicks at all, etc. It's run through a company's rec program. I ref some of the games as a favor to the director.

    Match 2 Notes:

    1. Yellow card issued to grey player for dissent. From the beginning of the match one of the grey players was basically running people over. The first time I verbally warned him and did not stop play. The second time I stopped play (to call the foul/free kick) and called him over. I asked him to cool it because I didn’t want to pull out the cards. As he was walking away he turned back to me and called out, “I didn’t realize we were having a tea-party!” I blew the whistle again and issued him a yellow card for dissent.

    2. Yellow card (2CT Red card) issued to grey player for unsporting behavior (jumping at opponent) and/or persistent infringement. This was the same player, less than 5 minutes later. A ball was kicked deep and a yellow player was waiting to receive the ball with what looked like a chest-trap. The grey player jumped, I believe to try and head the ball, but jumped directly at, into, and on top of the yellow player. This was not a 50/50 ball. Because the jump was so blatantly into the opposing player and from a player that I’d already warned and carded, I issued the second yellow.

    3. At halftime, I called the captains of both sides over and let them know that I was concerned about player safety and asked them to talk to their respective sides and get them to cool down and play with less aggression. There were several players on both sides that, while technically not breaking any rules, were starting to go at each other more and more aggressively. Both captains agreed to talk to their teams.

    4. With about 6 minutes to go in the match, there was a bit of a scrum for the ball near the yellow goal area. No fouls, but a lot of jockeying for the ball. As it cleared out, one of the grey players called out at me to ‘call some fouls,’ ‘call it both ways,’ ‘didn’t I see that,’ etc. I let it go for a bit as he was just venting, but when he carried on and started urging his teammates to attempt to injure the yellow players because “that’s what they’re trying to do to us,” I verbally warned him to watch it (without stopping play). The grey captain told him to let it go as well. As this player came back up field, he looked directly at me and started complaining about the call again. I blew the play down and issued a yellow card for dissent.

    5. When I issued that yellow, a grey team player on the sidelines started yelling into the field complaining about the calls. Again I let it go for a few seconds, but when he didn’t give it up, I went to the sidelines, told him that he couldn’t hear everything going on on the field and that I would make the calls. He ignored me and kept complaining, so I issued him a yellow card for dissent, and called the captains to me.

    6. By this point there was just over four minutes left in the match. I stopped the clock while talking to the captains and told them that the match was getting out of hand and if I heard any more comments from either team or rough play from either team I was going to end the match. They agreed, but before I could even restart play the player from point #4 above continued complaining loudly about the calls. I deemed that the match was too far out of hand, especially considering only four minutes remained, so I blew the whistle again and called the end of the match.

    I even told the captains before each match that I call a very tight game in order to protect player safety because we all have to go to work in the morning. On one hand I feel like I took too much control of that match tonight, but then again on the other hand I feel that if I had not made those calls, players would have gotten injured, because the skill players on both sides decided they wanted to play a very hard, physical game (and some of the non-skill players were getting caught in the middle). I don’t know if it’s because I went through the class and see a lot of stuff that these players are used to getting away with. I don’t know! I hate pulling cards, and I think some of these guys don’t grasp the concept or something, because when I have to card them it just enflames their anger even more.

    I’m torn because on one hand I know that I’m making the correct calls, but on the other hand I’m starting to seriously doubt my refereeing strategies and abilities. Maybe I should just put the whistle down and keep time and let them go at each other. Am I on the right track with these calls and the way I handled it, or do I need to go to remedial ref school? :-\
  2. blech

    blech Member+

    Jun 24, 2002
    let me preface this by saying that i'm sorry that i can't tell you more, but i really think this is the kind of situation where someone would need to be there in order to give you the kind of advice your seeking

    from your account, it seems to me that everything that you did was by the book. it also seems that you gave verbal warnings first, trying to diffuse the perceived situations that way, before moving on to cards. was there more you could have done? i don't know. i certainly wouldn't beat myself up over it. and, as angry as some of them may have been, there very well may be others who appreciate the fact that you were doing what you could to ensure a safe game. unfortunately, we often don't hear from them, and usually do hear from those that are upset!

    i assume it's just frustration talking, but i wouldn't just put away the whistle and be a timekeeper. if that's what they want, have them get someone else to do it.

    as for game management, that's a very personal thing. some refs go to the cards early, others are able to stop things through verbal warnings. some tolerate a lot more in terms of dissent, others don't. you might ask yourself if you think the players would have responded differently to a different tone (were you firm, were you friendly, smiling, serious, etc.), but i wouldn't beat myself up too much over this. and, who knows, maybe next time, they'll understand that you're serious and shape up from the beginning.

    i'm interested to see what some of the more experienced refs say on this subject.
  3. jacathcart

    jacathcart New Member

    Oct 11, 2002
    Tacoma WA
    It certainly is true that you had to be there, but my guess is that the nitwits you were having trouble with are the same guys who track at warp speed down the lower intermediate slopes to show everyone how good they are while leaving beginners and unskilled skiers running into trees and sprawling trying to avoid them.

    People who use games like this to show off their vaunted strength and skill are simply jackasses and you should not waste a moment of your valuable free time wondering if you were too harsh on them. They have no lives and I would bet that they are as abusive, controlling, and surly at work as they are on the field.

    These nitwits are very dangerous to the unskilled and less fit players who are unable to avoid risky situations and defend themselves.

    My speculation is that if these nimrods were on a pitch with a fit skilled side opposing them they would be whimpering.

    understand - I have no strong feelings about this but I have had my fill of athletic bullies who throw their weight around among weaker kids, adults, or elders.

    IMHO your gut feelings had to be trusted. You believed things were getting out of hand and someone was going to get hurt. In a game where the players are wage earners, moms, dads, and can't afford to be laid up you did what you believed was right and your belief was based on the dynamics of that game. My vote is that if yiou thought you did the right thing there then you did!

  4. LotharDSM

    LotharDSM New Member

    Oct 3, 2002
    Des Moines, IA
    I'm a team rep in a CoEd Over-The-Hill League (over 25 for Men) that has an upper and lower division to try to divide up the players into different levels so we don't have the situation happen (as often) where the competetive and non-competitive players "co-mingle".
    HOWEVER, as a league we try to come to grips with this by making it very clear that the team reps are responsible for their team and how the players act. I'm also a ref with the league and as a whole we stress that the league is for recreational purposes (sliding is not allowed either). Generally, when it comes to a player being red-carded the team rep is asked to make certain it won't happen again and if it does the player will be banned from the league, which has happened. We also make sure the players understand what the league is about and those that can't handle the "Rec" aspect of it eventually leave. The league has been around awhile and we all know each other, so we probably don't have the number of "problem" occurances many other similar leagues do. My sig-other is also the commissioner of the league and she rules with an iron fist, so most of us guys are scared of her anyway. :D
    Anyhoo, it sounds like you did the correct thing with your actions. BUT, I would make sure the director or commisioner knows what happened and ask for their guidance, they should know what YOU are expected to accomplish as a ref and what to let go, it's "their" league and they need to let you know how to conduct business.
  5. dadman

    dadman Yo soy un papa

    DC United
    United States
    Apr 13, 2001
    Reston, VA
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Good advice from all above, but I want to add my view as a player (one of those "older, less-skilled" ones).

    Keep, we need you out there. I'd rather have someone who understands the level of the competition (indoor coed rec, in my case) and calls it accordingly. jacathcart is right--every session we come up against new teams full of testosterone-fueled glory hounds (of both genders) that are playing at the lower levels as an ego boost. The facility tries to move them up to 1st or 2nd division, but that doesn't happen untill the end of the session after they've "run the table" and literally flattened the competition. I think that the man in the middle, who centers for all skill levels in consecutive games on the same field, doesn't want to get in the way of attractive play or excessively interrupt the game since the clock desn't stop. Alone and often stationary at midfield, they miss a lot of the aggressive language, elbows, shoves and challenges at the goal ends. I recognize it's not any easy job, by any means. Still, it can be pretty obvious when bodies start flying.

    So, please, stick with your principles. The finer points of player management will come. You are doing the right thing: protecting the players and the spirit of fair play. We do all have to go to work in the morning. And also know that the majority of the teammates of those you book are rightly embarrassed by those yahoos.

    I'd have qualified 20 years ago. I must be pretty far down in the valley by now... :)

  6. uniteo

    uniteo Member+

    Sep 2, 2000
    Rockville, MD
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States

    check your PM's please
  7. Keep

    Keep New Member

    Aug 21, 2003
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    Thanks for the comments, everyone. It just plants so much doubt when I know a call needs to be made, and I make it, but it doesn't seem to help control the match, and I end up taking so much control of the proceedings, especially to the point of having to stop the match (and in a #$%^ rec league fercryinoutloud).
  8. Red Star

    Red Star Member

    Jan 10, 2002
    Fayetteville, AR
    Rec League

    I think that you handled it right, this is truly the worst part of being an official. I have an observation and a suggestion.

    Observation: I play in a similar league. I have observed that often the palyers are better served if the official rarely gives advantage simply because the players are so wound up they tend to react violently to fouls that are not called, regardless of the reason. It is simply game management. I don't know why but pride and ego just explode sometimes in these situations.

    Suggestion: When things begin to heat up start calling every little thing you see. The players will pick up on this and calm down. They will either calm down or run out of players due to ejections. When faced with a choice between playing or taking a series of free kicks they will usually calm down, if not the game was too far gone anyway.
  9. Keep

    Keep New Member

    Aug 21, 2003
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    Re: Rec League

    Those're good points, and something I'll definitely keep in mind (Only 2 more matches for me to ref in this session, anyway). I think that in this match, as you mentioned in your last line, this match was too far gone, and I'm glad I stopped it when I did. Especially so since I had talked to the captains twice about calming their players down and keeping them playing clean. It's interesting that you mention calling every little thing, because that was one of the things I told the captains when I talked to them at halftime. Told them that I didn't like making a lot of calls, but if the players couldn't control themselves there were going to be a lot more whistles.

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