RefSix

Club Marks

Arbiter

Member
Level 3 Referee
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
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.
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.
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.

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.
 

Southerner In The North

New Member
Level 9 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.

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.

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.
New Zealand do in basketball as my ex gf used to ref that but they get discounted if the club has misconduct charge in the game.
 

Big Cat

RefChat Addict
Level 6 Referee
They don't know the Laws
What is there to know? Like I say, overstated
Yes there's a bunch of freak occurrences to populate any LOTG quiz (many involving entering/leaving FOP), but other than that, it's mostly just terminology. That doesn't mean they could referee a game. Far from it. Worlds apart. They have no clue how difficult it is to consistently apply the Laws
 

Arbiter

Member
Level 3 Referee
What is there to know? Like I say, overstated
Yes there's a bunch of freak occurrences to populate any LOTG quiz (many involving entering/leaving FOP), but other than that, it's mostly just terminology. That doesn't mean they could referee a game. Far from it. Worlds apart. They have no clue how difficult it is to consistently apply the Laws

I just gave you an example. They don't know that the onus is on the defending team to give 10 yards rather than the attacking team to ask for 10 yards at a free kick.
 

Ben448844

RefChat Addict
Level 6 Referee
They arent perfect but club marks have their place. For example I got a gig in an u18 final at Bramhall Lane in my 2nd season as a referee. I wasn't on the promotion scheme (so no observations) so without the club mark scheme how would anyone know that my performances were worthy of the appointment? The vast majority of referees aren't on the promotion scheme and they need some form of marking system to give them the opportunity to get a final etc.
 

JamesL

RefChat Addict
Level 4 Referee
They arent perfect but club marks have their place. For example I got a gig in an u18 final at Bramhall Lane in my 2nd season as a referee. I wasn't on the promotion scheme (so no observations) so without the club mark scheme how would anyone know that my performances were worthy of the appointment? The vast majority of referees aren't on the promotion scheme and they need some form of marking system to give them the opportunity to get a final etc.
Might have picked you from the hat 😬
Just joking, of course 😛
I happen to agree. They are far from perfect, but in my experience and over the season the median scores will weed out the poor markers, either those that Mark high or low. And a good ref sec will challenge those that consistently mark poorly or will spot trends ie good mark when winning, poor mark when losing.
At supply league and contrib the marks are given by the secretaries and in most cases they take an objective view and mark appropriately. It's not all about the stuff in the middle either.
You can have the best game in the world but if the secretary had to chase you for confirmation he is going to remember that and mark accordingly.
Be punctual. Be smart. Be approachable. Be honest. And most of all, don't worry about club marks, if you do things right they will worry about themselves.
 

RustyRef

Administrator
Staff member
I happen to agree. They are far from perfect, but in my experience and over the season the median scores will weed out the poor markers, either those that Mark high or low. And a good ref sec will challenge those that consistently mark poorly or will spot trends ie good mark when winning, poor mark when losing.

Exactly that. When an "outlying mark" is awarded to a referee it will have all kinds of alarm bells ringing with the RefsSec, by that I mean if a referee who consistently averages 80+ suddenly gets a ridiculously low mark he will be looking at it. Did the marking team lose, are they normally low markers, and if the mark is less than 61 what does the written justification say. If it was nonsense, like just saying he got a penalty wrong, I would send it back and tell the club to try again, including a copy of the marking guidelines and criteria in the email. Most clubs then sensibly changed the mark, those that didn't and were repeat offenders got a very clear warning that if they were going to keep marking referees very low when they lost they would be only getting appointed the worst performing referees. After all, why should I let them unfairly potentially destroy a good referee's chance of promotion or a cup final? To be fair though I would say that once I'd given out a bit of education (otherwise known as threats of rubbish referees) the vast majority of clubs marked very sensibly.

What I would say is over the years I've appointed loads of referees to cup finals and I don't recall being disappointed with their ability, whereas conversely I've watched some of the panel referees on normal games and they have been, frankly, rubbish and I wasn't at all surprised by their average low marks.
 

Big Cat

RefChat Addict
Level 6 Referee
Exactly that. When an "outlying mark" is awarded to a referee it will have all kinds of alarm bells ringing with the RefsSec, by that I mean if a referee who consistently averages 80+ suddenly gets a ridiculously low mark he will be looking at it. Did the marking team lose, are they normally low markers, and if the mark is less than 61 what does the written justification say. If it was nonsense, like just saying he got a penalty wrong, I would send it back and tell the club to try again, including a copy of the marking guidelines and criteria in the email. Most clubs then sensibly changed the mark, those that didn't and were repeat offenders got a very clear warning that if they were going to keep marking referees very low when they lost they would be only getting appointed the worst performing referees. After all, why should I let them unfairly potentially destroy a good referee's chance of promotion or a cup final? To be fair though I would say that once I'd given out a bit of education (otherwise known as threats of rubbish referees) the vast majority of clubs marked very sensibly.

What I would say is over the years I've appointed loads of referees to cup finals and I don't recall being disappointed with their ability, whereas conversely I've watched some of the panel referees on normal games and they have been, frankly, rubbish and I wasn't at all surprised by their average low marks.
What do you mean by 'panel referees'?
 

Ben448844

RefChat Addict
Level 6 Referee
Might have picked you from the hat 😬
Just joking, of course 😛
I happen to agree. They are far from perfect, but in my experience and over the season the median scores will weed out the poor markers, either those that Mark high or low. And a good ref sec will challenge those that consistently mark poorly or will spot trends ie good mark when winning, poor mark when losing.
At supply league and contrib the marks are given by the secretaries and in most cases they take an objective view and mark appropriately. It's not all about the stuff in the middle either.
You can have the best game in the world but if the secretary had to chase you for confirmation he is going to remember that and mark accordingly.
Be punctual. Be smart. Be approachable. Be honest. And most of all, don't worry about club marks, if you do things right they will worry about themselves.

Almost definitely the case that admin helped get a final gig. I always made sure my admin was prompt not because of finals etc but because its just the right thing to do. Anyone who's ever helped run anything knows what a ball ache it is to have to chase people.

In my promotion pool this season, I got 2 observations in the first 3 weeks (need 3 in total). This is very handy in a truncated season to have 2 of them in already. Soon became clear why. The observations secretary sent an email out at the end of the first month of the season saying how annoyed he was that only one person had given them their fixtures as requested. 2 months in and another email comes out saying a similar thing. Must drive them nuts and they're bound to favour those that bother to respond to their requests.
 

Southerner In The North

New Member
Level 9 Referee
Almost definitely the case that admin helped get a final gig. I always made sure my admin was prompt not because of finals etc but because its just the right thing to do. Anyone who's ever helped run anything knows what a ball ache it is to have to chase people.

In my promotion pool this season, I got 2 observations in the first 3 weeks (need 3 in total). This is very handy in a truncated season to have 2 of them in already. Soon became clear why. The observations secretary sent an email out at the end of the first month of the season saying how annoyed he was that only one person had given them their fixtures as requested. 2 months in and another email comes out saying a similar thing. Must drive them nuts and they're bound to favour those that bother to respond to their requests.
Noted if going for promotion admin goes a long way.
 

JamesL

RefChat Addict
Level 4 Referee
Almost definitely the case that admin helped get a final gig. I always made sure my admin was prompt not because of finals etc but because its just the right thing to do. Anyone who's ever helped run anything knows what a ball ache it is to have to chase people.

In my promotion pool this season, I got 2 observations in the first 3 weeks (need 3 in total). This is very handy in a truncated season to have 2 of them in already. Soon became clear why. The observations secretary sent an email out at the end of the first month of the season saying how annoyed he was that only one person had given them their fixtures as requested. 2 months in and another email comes out saying a similar thing. Must drive them nuts and they're bound to favour those that bother to respond to their requests.
I remember when I first started. I got appointed to semi decent game on the line, Northern prem stadium, u18s game. First time in a proper stadium.
Ref secs had put me in it to haul me in about admin. (in my defence sync wasn't working on my phone so my emails weren't coming through. None the less it was poor.)
That gave me the motivation I needed to sort it out and 2/3 seasons later I was awarded referee of the year on that league and county FA referee of the year, which I know the ref secs played a massive part in that decision.. I am 100% confident it was down to my admin as much as my on field performance..
I always feel dispair for ref secs when I hear how many reappointments they have to do because people cant do their admin right.
 

Brian Hamilton

RefChat Addict
Observer/Tutor
I always feel despair for ref secs when I hear how many reappointments they have to do because people cant do their admin right.
Was one of the major contributing factor why I have just resigned mid season. I got sick to death of people "suddenly" realising that they had something else to do when it was their turn to make the slightly longer than average journey to a far flung ground and not having the balls to phone me to tell me but sending me a text on a Friday lunchtime
 

Ben448844

RefChat Addict
Level 6 Referee
Was one of the major contributing factor why I have just resigned mid season. I got sick to death of people "suddenly" realising that they had something else to do when it was their turn to make the slightly longer than average journey to a far flung ground and not having the balls to phone me to tell me but sending me a text on a Friday lunchtime

I haven't come off a game yet in the 3 1/2 years I've been officiating. Rang the ref sec of the Toolstation League on Monday to ask to be taken off a game on Boxing Day as my partners parents have asked us to come up north over Xmas (didn't think we would with covid and their health etc but now we can). Felt guilty about making that phone call. I just don't see how people can come off games the day before. Anyone who's ever run/managed anything wouldn't do it
 

es1

RefChat Addict
Level 4 Referee
Was one of the major contributing factor why I have just resigned mid season. I got sick to death of people "suddenly" realising that they had something else to do when it was their turn to make the slightly longer than average journey to a far flung ground and not having the balls to phone me to tell me but sending me a text on a Friday lunchtime

I'm into organising/planning so reckon a ref sec role is right up my street. That said I think I'd be mad to do it, just seems more hassle that it's worth and leave it upto some poor soul to sort!

Best of luck to whoever takes over from you, big shoes to fill!
 

Brian Hamilton

RefChat Addict
Observer/Tutor
I'm into organising/planning so reckon a ref sec role is right up my street. That said I think I'd be mad to do it, just seems more hassle that it's worth and leave it upto some poor soul to sort!

Best of luck to whoever takes over from you, big shoes to fill!
Don't! Spend the time with your lovely family. Far more rewarding than trying to support an undeserving volunteer workforce who crap on you on a regular basis while you compete with other equally stressed organisers who, like you, are fighting over a shrinking pool of resources.
 

es1

RefChat Addict
Level 4 Referee
Don't! Spend the time with your lovely family. Far more rewarding than trying to support an undeserving volunteer workforce who crap on you on a regular basis while you compete with other equally stressed organisers who, like you, are fighting over a shrinking pool of resources.

Yeah I can believe all of that...I shall indeed stay at home then!
 

one

RefChat Addict
Level 7 Referee
Don't! Spend the time with your lovely family. Far more rewarding than trying to support an undeserving volunteer workforce who crap on you on a regular basis while you compete with other equally stressed organisers who, like you, are fighting over a shrinking pool of resources.
Brian I feel your pain. But don't paint everyone with the same brush. It can be frustrating at times but it has its rewards (mostly the satisfaction of community service). There are many referees who are reliable and support the appointment person as much as they can. The few bad apples unfortunately make it very hard for everyone.

One thing I would say though that it is not something one can do long term. Those few bad apples eventually get under your skin.
 

Brian Hamilton

RefChat Addict
Observer/Tutor
Brian I feel your pain. But don't paint everyone with the same brush. It can be frustrating at times but it has its rewards (mostly the satisfaction of community service). There are many referees who are reliable and support the appointment person as much as they can. The few bad apples unfortunately make it very hard for everyone.

One thing I would say though that it is not something one can do long term. Those few bad apples eventually get under your skin.
I know @one I had some fantastic referees on my panel, quite a few who were on their way back down from level 3 and 4 but had stayed in the game. They would go to the ends of the earth for me and a chat with the managers after the game over a beer. They are the ones I will miss. But I'm done. I have an interview around the New Year to see if I can continue as a Tutor, but if that doesn't work out it's no biggy. As for Observing, that's very much on the back burner as I don't have time. I could be out of football - apart from watching my beloved Leeds United - for the first time in 21 years. Maybe I've earned the rest?
 
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