Availability & Demand on L4 Referees

#1
After reading up on alot of promotion related threads, one thing I've come across alot is how things become more demanding when you reach L4. Is there really much difference in terms of the amount of middles/lines you would do at say L5?
 

JamesL

Well-Known Member
#3
Theres more to it than that as well. I find i am travelling much further so I am out for longer in the day.
There are more midweek games. Referees want to be at games 90 mins before instead of an hour.
Expecatations from players managers and spectators is also increased.
As a newbie level 4 I can honestly say that what you've read on here is true.
 

TopCat

Active Member
Level 7 Referee
#4
Theres more to it than that as well. I find i am travelling much further so I am out for longer in the day.
There are more midweek games. Referees want to be at games 90 mins before instead of an hour.
Expecatations from players managers and spectators is also increased.
As a newbie level 4 I can honestly say that what you've read on here is true.
What do you actually even do for 90 minutes before a game?
 

Yampy

Well-Known Member
#5
What do you actually even do for 90 minutes before a game?
'Press the flesh', arrange the teamsheet exchange, check the pitch, do pre match, talk to observer, change into kit, warm up, kit check for teams, walk out and Respect handshake. Time flies by.
 

RustyRef

Moderator
Staff member
#6
What do you actually even do for 90 minutes before a game?
Sit in the board room drinking coffee.

Once you get to Nation League Premier it is much longer, generally you are looking at being there for 12.30pm for a 3pm kick off and 5.30pm for a 7.45pm kick off.
 

TopCat

Active Member
Level 7 Referee
#7
'Press the flesh', arrange the teamsheet exchange, check the pitch, do pre match, talk to observer, change into kit, warm up, kit check for teams, walk out and Respect handshake. Time flies by.
Still find it half to believe that can't comfortably be done in an hour but then who am I to say! Respect any ref particulately those who have gone up the levels.
 

lincs22

Supply League Observer
Staff member
Observer/Tutor
#8
'Press the flesh', arrange the teamsheet exchange, check the pitch, do pre match, talk to observer, change into kit, warm up, kit check for teams, walk out and Respect handshake. Time flies by.
You forgot - bribe the observer....

There is not much free time in the 90 minutes, and that's before things cause you problems. Referees like to get into "game mode" so want to be there and forget about the journey.
 

lincs22

Supply League Observer
Staff member
Observer/Tutor
#9
Still find it half to believe that can't comfortably be done in an hour but then who am I to say! Respect any ref particulately those who have gone up the levels.
They plan for problems with the journey, so when there are no problems, everybody is there early.
 

Brian Hamilton

I am the storm
Observer/Tutor
#10
You forgot - bribe the observer....

There is not much free time in the 90 minutes, and that's before things cause you problems. Referees like to get into "game mode" so want to be there and forget about the journey.
Unfortunately we spend much of our time before kick off, pressing the flesh too :(
 

santa sangria

Well-Known Member
#11
As an aside, from the frozen north, for my biggest games we have to be there an hour before - still public recs, full ceremonials, up to 100 non-paying punters. For these I typically have to sit while my two colleagues spend 20 minutes on their phones! 45 in advance mins seems perfect when there's no maze of tunnels to negotiate (see Tap, Spinal). 30 mins is not enough to change, brief and have a proper warm up, as well as meet the coaches, inspect at leisure etc.

Thankfully it is only 90 mins or more here for the top three men's divs and women's prem. Though that is what I am gunning for next with the flag. I dread to think... am I gonna have to get on the 'gram!?!
 

RustyRef

Moderator
Staff member
#12
When I first got onto the Conference list I thought that 2.5 to 3 hours before kick off was massively overkill, but in most cases it passes in no time at all. You have safety briefings to go through, and in some cases police briefings if there is a big crowd expected. There's the pre-match instructions, interaction with the observer, the referee often has their coach there, briefing with the captain and member of coaching team, etc. The only time I found it to be a problems was the few occasions where I didn't get on with the referee, but thankfully there were only a couple of those. Often you'd be listening to people like Dermot Gallagher, Paul Taylor, Jarnail Singh, Steve Bennett, recount stories from their refereeing careers and this passed the time really quickly.

At level 4, if you are in the middle you decide when to get there but it will be a minimum of an hour before. Personally I would always aim for 90 minutes before as that way if there are problems you have a bit of contingency. The difficulty here is the assistants aren't "in the system", so you can ask them to turn up early but they can effectively say no as long as they are there an hour before.

When you are on the line as a 4 the rule is still an hour before, but if the referee asks you to be there earlier you are expected to do so. I once had an assistant say he could only get there bang on an hour before, and once he'd told me where he was coming from and when he was leaving I got him taken off the game. There was zero contingency, and the slightest delay would have made him late, and anyone living in the South East of England knows that the slightest of delays is almost inevitable. The general expectation on contrib games is anything between 75 and 120 minutes before kick off in my experience.
 
#13
I've found that it seems as though, during the games at a higher level it is much more intense, but before and after the game you get treated better. Also, the higher up you go the more travelling and longer the days, which is something I'm looking forward to as I move up!
 

AdamG

New Member
Level 4 Referee
#14
@L9212
You've hit the nail on the head with your OP mate.

The big difference at level 4 from level 5 is that everything now becomes expected/demanded.

For example, closed dates have to be submitted online roughly 6 weeks in advance, any changes after this must be done by email and are generally frowned upon.
Coming off a game at last minute is also a big no no unless under really exceptional circumstances (most again don't go down well), this then has a big impact on your promotion to level 3 especially if you're a repeat offender because you get marked as being unreliable which is just as bad as being a terrible referee in the eyes of the FA.
I've found that I have got more games in at level 4 rather than 5 (I've had saturday + a midweek for the first two months of the season). However the frequency of games can vary massively, might get 3 in a week then nothing for a fortnight etc, it all depends on when you're needed.

In terms of arrival times, I feel at supply league, anything over an hour and a quarter is a bit excessive, as is arriving in a shirt and tie in most instances. The reason being because whilst it is drilled into us that we're now at a much higher (semi pro) level, the supply leagues around near me are only just a step up from the local county leagues and I think we as referees are a bit overkill at this level compared with the attitudes of the players. Contrib however is much different to supply league so i can understand the times for that.
 
#15
Very interesting, comparing England and Wales. In the Cymru Alliance (tier 2) we arrive an hour before kick off and get everything done in that time (just about), have a coffee, team sheets, walk about pitch, set up comms, changed, warm up, changed, out to smash the game.

Shirt and tie isn't required as much, Welsh Prem is tracksuits now and below is usually polo shirt, or shirt and tie.
 

Paul_S

Member
Level 4 Referee
#16
The number of games isn't the most difficult part. It's the availability, in particular how you have to try to know your availability (and stick to it) so far in advance. So, we had to put November's availability in the system in the last week of September. The appointing must be difficult so it's not really a whinge as such - just a reality that it's not always easy to know that far in advance.

Where I am, it seems like they try not to give you any really silly midweek jaunts. Saturdays you can go a long way, but it's all worth it if you get an ex National League club with the best part of 1000 people there to watch.
 

Justylove

Well-Known Member
#17
The number of games isn't the most difficult part. It's the availability, in particular how you have to try to know your availability (and stick to it) so far in advance. So, we had to put November's availability in the system in the last week of September. The appointing must be difficult so it's not really a whinge as such - just a reality that it's not always easy to know that far in advance.

Where I am, it seems like they try not to give you any really silly midweek jaunts. Saturdays you can go a long way, but it's all worth it if you get an ex National League club with the best part of 1000 people there to watch.
Salisbury per chance?