Ref4Me

Fourth Official Help

Ref Luca

New Member
Hello everyone,

I am due to be doing a County Cup U12 Final game as a 4th official. I am quite an inexperienced ref with only 26 league games done so I have no experience with being a 4th official and the subject was not covered during my course.

I have access to the list of duties that a FA 4th official would do but not sure all would apply to this age group. I understand there are quiet a few more experienced refs on here so could anyone give any tips or thing I should do as a 4th official.

Many thanks!
 
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one

RefChat Addict
Level 7 Referee
The biggest help I found is managing the benches well enough and allowing me to concentrate on the field.

There is also the list from law 6.2
Screenshot_20220302-082838.jpg
 

ChasObserverRefDeveloper

Regular Contributor
Hello everyone,

I am due to be doing a County Cup U12 Final game as a 4th official. I am quite an inexperienced ref with only 26 league games done so I have no experience with being a 4th official and the subject was not covered during my course.

I have access to the list of duties that a FA 4th official would do but not sure all would apply to this age group. I understand there are quiet a few more experienced refs on here so could anyone give any tips or thing I should do as a 4th official.

Many thanks!
Congratulations! Great to get a County Final so early in your refereeing career.
There will be a CFA representative there to guide/assist (hopefully)
If using a stadium, the managers/ coaches may not be used to a technical area, in which case just ask them in advance to stay in the area.
The referee will brief you as to what they want you to do.
Most important - relax and enjoy the day.
 

Ref Luca

New Member
Congratulations! Great to get a County Final so early in your refereeing career.
There will be a CFA representative there to guide/assist (hopefully)
If using a stadium, the managers/ coaches may not be used to a technical area, in which case just ask them in advance to stay in the area.
The referee will brief you as to what they want you to do.
Most important - relax and enjoy the day.
The biggest help I found is managing the benches well enough and allowing me to concentrate on the field.

There is also the list from law 6.2
View attachment 5487
Thanks to both of you! I'm looking forward to it as I think it would be really good experience.
 

Russell Jones

RefChat Addict
Level 3 Referee
Most important thing will likely be to ensure that the subs procedure is as tidy as possible, especially as the teams will probably be used to just sending on the new player before the outgoing one has left the FOP. Keeping note of which players are actually on / off the FOP will also be important in case the tie is decided by Kicks From the Penalty Mark (only players on the FOP at the final whistle are allowed to take kicks)
 

Ben448844

RefChat Addict
Level 4 Referee
At the end of my first year of refereeing I got a 4th official gig at the u18 Cup final at Bramhall Lane. Its more of an honour appointment than having much to do on the day, so well done for getting the appointment.

I found the job weird because I didn't know where to sit/stand so just stood between the 2 benches. Only time I got involved in the gane was reminding the managers to tell me what subs they were making. I think I once told a coach to stay in the technical area but he's genuinely just walked away from it innocently because he's not used to it and we just laughed.

It's more a reward for your performance and commitment during the season. Commitment being key as its common for those who appoint officials to finals to reward those who've been regularly available during the season,good with admin and helping them out at short notice. Enjoy.
 
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Anubis

RefChat Addict
Surprising to see a key responsibility omitted so far, to quote the book

" the on field officials assist the referee with offences when they have a clearer view than the referee"

Its easy to imagine the 4th is a tech area bouncer. You are not. You are eyes, ears, to on field matters. If occupants in the tech area are interfering with your role, deal with them, or get the referee to do so.
SFP tackle where you have the best view, credible, referee unsighted etc, its your call. Ditto v/c.

Noting cautions, subs etc are admin and of course must be immaculate, you as 4th tho are there as a match official, to play an active role in " assissting the referee to control the game"


might be totally diff at u12 and of course your inexperience is not a criticism, but do not allow yourself to be a sounding board, Given your proximity to them, and the wont have to shout ( draw attention to themselves) to question things, you could be in for ear ache. Nip it in the bud, early. If you come away at the end rattled by the behaviour, its down to your own inactivity.

Purely personal take re occupant behaviour, i like to use the term " drawing attention to yourself". If you have an occupant that all and sundry can see is thus, they need dealt with.
If that occupant is tho " out of control" then they are gone, out the tech area.
Good measure of that can be ar2 on the other side. If they can see/hear someone in the tech area is a menace, then you can be rest assured everybody else can too, and you need to do something.
 

PinnerPaul

RefChat Addict
Level 7 Referee
Its a big day for Under 12s and their parents and the managers, don't under estimate that, so as others have said their minds won't be on the confines of the technical area or the niceties of subs procedure!

Introduce yourself by your first name, make sure you have the spare ball(s) to hand and find out from the referee exactly what he/she wants from you - especially regarding subs - for example do they want you to supervise alone or do they want both you and the senior AR at the halfway line for each one? Also clarify beforehand what happens if the referee can't continue - at this level usually the senior AR would take over, you would take their place and a County official would do 4th duties.

Enjoy the game - its sometimes a nice change to be 'involved' in these games without the pressure of being a participant, manager or one of the 3on field officials!
 

Anubis

RefChat Addict
Its a big day for Under 12s and their parents and the managers, don't under estimate that, so as others have said their minds won't be on the confines of the technical area or the niceties of subs procedure!

Introduce yourself by your first name, make sure you have the spare ball(s) to hand and find out from the referee exactly what he/she wants from you - especially regarding subs - for example do they want you to supervise alone or do they want both you and the senior AR at the halfway line for each one? Also clarify beforehand what happens if the referee can't continue - at this level usually the senior AR would take over, you would take their place and a County official would do 4th duties.

Enjoy the game - its sometimes a nice change to be 'involved' in these games without the pressure of being a participant, manager or one of the 3on field officials!


Sorry no! This is completely wrong. As 4th you are one of the on field officials.


its vital newer officials understand this, you are absolutely one of the on field officials.
 

PinnerPaul

RefChat Addict
Level 7 Referee
Sorry no! This is completely wrong. As 4th you are one of the on field officials.


its vital newer officials understand this, you are absolutely one of the on field officials.
Get your point, think the rest of my post explained that it is not a jolly, but hey ho, can't please all the people etc etc etc :p
 

Quarryref

Active Member
Level 3 Referee
Making sure you have spare balls to hand is a good tip.

I well remember a colleague doing 4th for the first time struggling to untie one of those ball bags to get a spare one out, with everyone in the stadium looking at him. Properly embarrassing and I am sure it felt like an eternity to him before he finally got it undone.

Have one near you and ready to go.

But most important thing is to enjoy it and help the participants enjoy it. I've managed a kids' team in a County Cup final and having 4 proper officials, who looked the part and took their jobs seriously, was part of what made the occasion for the kids.
 

JamesL

RefChat Addict
Level 3 Referee
I recall my 1st under 12 final as a 4th official.
You'll be pretty much invisible to them as they aren't used to having NARs nevermind a 4th.
Still some really useful tips in this thread.
Tip From me if it's. Rolling subs and you are headed for pens do tell the managers to make any changes for the pens before the final whistle and be sure you know who is on FOP at the end and who can't take part.

In a higher level game (no offence intended here, ref might ask you to count fouls etc. But that's overkill for junior football I reckon.)
 

one

RefChat Addict
Level 7 Referee
Tip From me if it's. Rolling subs and you are headed for pens do tell the managers to make any changes for the pens before the final whistle and be sure you know who is on FOP at the end and who can't take part.
This is a good tip. A youth game I 'observed' a while back with no 4th went to shoot out. Just after the full time whistle of extra time all players, subs and managers got into a huddle on the pitch for instructions and whatever they did, with the referee or AR's oblivious to it. There was no way to know if the right players remained on the field for the shootout. So my added tip is, ask the bench to remain off the field and help keep the player on field to remain there after the final whistle.
 

Anubis

RefChat Addict
This is a good tip. A youth game I 'observed' a while back with no 4th went to shoot out. Just after the full time whistle of extra time all players, subs and managers got into a huddle on the pitch for instructions and whatever they did, with the referee or AR's oblivious to it. There was no way to know if the right players remained on the field for the shootout. So my added tip is, ask the bench to remain off the field and help keep the player on field to remain there after the final whistle
That last ' tip' is unrealistic, and unenforceable.

The practised and correct procedure is to keep an up to date record DURING the game, as to who comes off, goes on etc
This is basic admin and a prerequistie of officiating. It is sheer folly to fabricate methods of chasing your own tail, whereas if you perform the required duty dilligently at the time, you then do not need to take retrospective action.

to clarify, you have no authority to prevent a bench from entering the fop at the final whistle. To try to do so takes us down the confrontation route, and we dont really wish to be going there.
 

RustyRef

Administrator
Staff member
That last ' tip' is unrealistic, and unenforceable.

The practised and correct procedure is to keep an up to date record DURING the game, as to who comes off, goes on etc
This is basic admin and a prerequistie of officiating. It is sheer folly to fabricate methods of chasing your own tail, whereas if you perform the required duty dilligently at the time, you then do not need to take retrospective action.

to clarify, you have no authority to prevent a bench from entering the fop at the final whistle. To try to do so takes us down the confrontation route, and we dont really wish to be going there.
That's fairly easy to do at senior levels, less so at grass roots where there are repeated subs allowed, and often you won't have team sheets so won't necessarily have a record of which players started the game. It could be worked out from going through your notes, but it has long been viewed as best practive to try and keep subs off the pitch once the game ends. I've taken that approach for 20+ years and never had a problem with it or had any confrontation as a result.
 

Anubis

RefChat Addict
That's fairly easy to do at senior levels, less so at grass roots where there are repeated subs allowed, and often you won't have team sheets so won't necessarily have a record of which players started the game. It could be worked out from going through your notes, but it has long been viewed as best practive to try and keep subs off the pitch once the game ends. I've taken that approach for 20+ years and never had a problem with it or had any confrontation as a result.

Blank paper, number off, number on, each and every sub

you now have an accurate note of who is n the pitch at the end.

At the end, players can come and go as they wish, toilet if they so desire.

must be regional because I have never used, nor seen said practice. Its certainly not a command you can issue, nor one you can sanction if not adhered to
 

SpecsSaver66

Active Member
Level 7 Referee
When I had Local League Cup finals appointments as both a ref and an assistant there weren't even such things as '4th officials.' It's beaurocracy gone mad,I tells ya.'
 

santa sangria

RefChat Addict
Had a good fourth case in the classroom this week - top level - comms - DFK from left side outside the box - fourth instructed to come down the touchline to watch the wall.

(Hilariously in this case the fourth missed a blatant handball but hey ho…)
 
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