Explaining to players

ref craig

RefChat Addict
and yes oliver i did caution a player because 1 it was at a goal kick and it was midweek so ive got no time for my decisions to be questioned and as mick said there was no need for question but im confused can they ask question or cant they


RefChat Addict
Craig, I don't think that there is a problem with players asking why a decision was given. The player may not have seen the action that led to the decision and is asking just for clarification, or they are trying to understand why a ref is giving a certain call. I dont think that initially asking for an explanation or asking why a decision is given constitutes dissent. However, once you make it plain that a decison has been given or you give your explanation then continued questioning of that decision is dissent. I had two questions yesterday which I certainly did not feel were dissent but were only players wanting clarification. One player apparentlly fouled asked me "Come on ref, why was that not a foul." Not dissent in my view. My reply was that the tackle looked fair as the other player seemed to have got the ball and the "fouled" player fell over the attacker's feet. Once the explanation was given, any further questioning of it would have led to a stepped approach for dissent. Another situation was a handball decision by me. Offending player asks "How was that handball ref, it came off my side?" Again, a player just appearing to want clarification of my decision. I was happy to tell him that from my position it appeared that the ball had bounced from his side and made contact with his arm which was out at an unnatural position. No complaints from the player (which would suggest that it was handball) but any further challenge to my decision would have led to consideration for dissent. I know that we all have our own level of tolerance for dissent and abuse, but I personally think that cautioning a player just because they have asked why you have made a decision is quite a low level of tolerance. Obviously it all depends on how that question is asked of course.

Ryan Owens

Token Colonial
Level 3 Referee
Have to agree with Mick on this one. When deciding dissent, a lot of factors should come into play including volume, and tone. A quiet, polite request for clarification is surely not dissent.


RefChat Addict
I'm with Mick and Ryan on this one.

I'll happily explain my decision to a player if they ask in an appropriate manner. I wouldn't consider somebody saying 'What was that for ref?' or 'I got the ball ref, what was that for?' to be dissent. A lot of the time, a simple explanation is well recieved by the player. In my opinion, it would be extremely unfair to caution a player just for asking for clarification of a decision.
I tend to find a quick explanation is usually well received. If a referee answers queries it shows transparency and a willingness to communicate in my opinion, which are both good tools for controlling the match.


Well-Known Member
I had a player in a game today who would ask me about the decision. The only thing he had going for him was that he was a nice guy and so I allowed him to have 20 seconds of my time! If it was an arrogant player who was questioning decisions in a negative way, they would have been going into the book!
and yes oliver i did caution a player because 1 it was at a goal kick and it was midweek so ive got no time for my decisions to be questioned and as mick said there was no need for question but im confused can they ask question or cant they
Mick has put it perfectly here. I played for many years and had all the time in the world for referee's who spoke to me, i am not saying have a full blown conversation just talk. I think a caution for dissent for asking a question is really harsh and i dont see why it matters when the game is being played? Do you referee differently in mid-week games?
Thing is I respond to players asking me questions because I captained a team for 10 years and got on we'll with every ref who I had a good dialogue with, end if the day we are all human and no one is perfect an a simple quick chat I find is always beneficial as long as I'm approached in the right manner

ref craig

RefChat Addict
well it a mistake to learn from but im like that at the weekend as well oliver but ive learnt now that they can question just long they ask nicely;)


RefChat Addict
Level 7 Referee
I have taken to saying to players & managers before the game
I have a million and one decisions to make out there. Same I will get right and others I may get wrong. You also have a large number if decisions to make, from who to play and where to pass to the ball.
You will never here me say that was a terrible decision or similar, all I ask in return is you give me the same courtesy. Seems to have worked well this season