Level 3 Referee
No, come on. They don't know the Laws. Here's an example: I tell defender A to move away from the spot of the free kick. "He didn't ask for 10, ref." Nor does he have to. The Laws clearly indicate that you have to give him 10. They don't know the Laws.I'm not sure I agree. Having played for two decades, we knew who could and couldn't referee. I think referees overstate the LOTG. They're hardly rocket science. Most players/coaches have a fair idea of a foul/caution/dismissal when they see one, they just don't know the correct terminology.
Aside from Observer marks, there's nothing else to gauge performances at grass-roots
From my limited visibility of Club Marks thus far, they've roughly married up with my expectations of the referees I know
There is a remarkable difference between being paid to provide a service to a person, and what we do as referees. Referees are the authority on the pitch. When I hire a plumber, I am still the authority and if I tell him to stop work, he stops work. If a player tells me to stop officiating the match, I laugh at him. The difference here is that we are talking about an inversion of the authority. On the field of play, as referee, I am in charge. I don't share that authority with anyone -- though I do extend some advisory capacity to my Assistants. Certainly, I don't share that authority with players.They have their place. I'm not going to pretend they are perfect as far from it, but they serve a purpose.
There is evidence that on the whole club mark merit tables align reasonably closely to observer merit tables. Most supply league appointments officers will tell you that it is very rare these days to have referees in band A for clubs and E for observers, or vice versa, and even A and C or D are rare. And I remember the FA saying that at level 3 it was a similar story.
I've been a RefsSec at grass roots on several occasions and in my experience over a season club marks line up with my evaluation of referees I have seen, and for those that are on promotion schemes their observations marks. And there is the big problem if we didn't have club marks, I had 80+ referees on the panel so I can't go and watch them myself, and the vast majority weren't on promotion schemes. So without club marks how would I know which ones were performing well and which ones were absolute disasters?
And a final point to end on, referees are being paid to provide a service. These days when you as a consumer pay for a service, such as a builder, plumber, electrician, etc, it is common to rate them in terms of the service they provided. Hence the rise in sites like Checkatrade.com, Trusterdtrader.com, etc, why should referees be any different, after all clubs are consumers of their services? I don't buy that clubs don't understand how to mark referees, I know absolutely nothing about those trades I have listed but it doesn't stop me leaving a mark out of ten for them.
As for the other questions, I don't know of any other major footballing country that does club marks. Certainly not in North America and I don't imagine most of Europe does them either. I know for a fact that they aren't used in Italy or Australia. Yet they manage to find talent and promote it through the ranks.