RefSix

General communication

Kieran W

Well-Known Member
#1
Was at the Notts County vs Crawley game yesterday, not really a bumper crowd so you could hear the shouts and communication between players a lot of the time (especially plenty of dissent towards the senior assistant which went unpunished, of course)

Something which I also managed to pick up was the amount of talking the referee did, not one-to-one but just general shouts or talking aloud during the game. A few of the referee's calls were questionable but the players just seemed to accept the decisions most of the time so I think this communication definitely aided his match control.

What I'd like to know is what sorts of things would he be saying, does anyone on here have any go-to phrases and what can I do in my games as I feel this is definitely an area I could improve in?
 
#3
I have settled on some kind of script of phrases. I've found that if I improvise during play - start to talk more - then I inevitably contradict my speech with a decision.

Pro-active warnings: no holding, hands down, even: don't foul, that's on the limit-calm down. I use all of those but... you have to be ready to follow through. It's no good to keep giving the same warnings without action. "No holding guys" is my favourite - as a ref or lino - as it makes it so easy to give the offence when it happens seconds later.

Complements: good shot is useful for making players remember you are human - and for calming down a problem talented player, good save is great when the players aren't sure about a corner decision.

At least for me, the most important verbal communication during play is: go on, carry on, keep going - when there's been contact, you do not see or want to whistle a foul and the player(s) want to play... for borderline fouls: not for me, fine for me, that's OK... The best refs I work with come with the lines throughout the game. I have also found it works at all ages.

I save "I saw that" or "I've seen it" for advantage situations if there is time to consider an advantage e.g. while the ball is in the air.

A few years ago I got into some running banter and humour but I try to keep that to pre game and post game now. I smile and am polite but the bantz is just asking for trouble - either the team get jealous, use it as an excuse, or the player takes it too far...

I think the pro game on the telly is different - MO is not constantly telling Eden to carry on because Eden is going to fall over when he wants to!
 

one

RefChat Addict
#5
Agree with all the DOs above. My biggest DON'T is don't over communicate. It makes your important messages less effective (just like using the whistle). There is absolutely no need to yell out goal kick when everyone knows it's a clear goal kick. Same goes for a throw in direction when it's clear.

If anyone complains about a decision nicely, my response is "I know I'm not perfect but I have to make a decision and always make the one I think is right". That usually ends it.
 

Sheffields Finest

Maybe I'm foolish, maybe I'm blind!
#6
If you want a bit of banter with a serial appealer...... watch the ball go out of play, listen for the multiple 'our ball' requests including his, wait a bit and then vocally ask said player which way he thinks, he'll obviously say his own way, to that you must answer, loudly 'WRONG!!', smile and signal the other way (assuming thats your call).... It makes him feel so important for 5 seconds and then you have a laugh on his behalf!!!
 

GraemeS

RefChat Addict
#7
If you want a bit of banter with a serial appealer...... watch the ball go out of play, listen for the multiple 'our ball' requests including his, wait a bit and then vocally ask said player which way he thinks, he'll obviously say his own way, to that you must answer, loudly 'WRONG!!', smile and signal the other way (assuming thats your call).... It makes him feel so important for 5 seconds and then you have a laugh on his behalf!!!
I certainly wouldn't recommend this technique in every situation....
 

Ciley Myrus

RefChat Addict
#8
For nothing calls like 50 50 throws on the half way lin, if someone has a moan, I might say something like. " tbh I was not sure, I will try get the next one right"
I also might, when getting the next throw correct, esp if its the most obvious one ever, if said player is around, go " told ya I would get the next one right". Hopefully get a wry smile if nothing else
Humility goes a long way. Empathy.
Same on total guess gk corner kick ones where you go safety first, something like. "That was a tough one to call, yes i went safety first but I would do the same at the other end too"
Of course in small doses.
I find a good one when giving a "soft' free kick is "ok yes you got the ball but you got a bit too much of him too". This for me tends to placate the player into thinking his tackle was kind of ok.
On the rare occasion am too quick with whistle for an advantage, I have no issue putting both hands up apologetically and going "sorry guys I was too quick with the whistle"
A few top level guys I have been on with say "work with me guys", trying to install a belief thats its not a you and us attitude
I guess like anything you find what works for you in time
 

lincs22

Supply League Observer
Staff member
Observer/Tutor
#9
The only comment I am always wary of the referee / AR saying is "No foul".

Is this an instruction not to foul as you are watching, or a decision as no foul has occurred. Confusing :confused:
 

bester

RefChat Addict
#10
The only comment I am always wary of the referee / AR saying is "No foul".

Is this an instruction not to foul as you are watching, or a decision as no foul has occurred. Confusing :confused:

Confusing to who? Probably one of the commonest verbal instructions from player to player on a football pitch. Are there many referees who use it to say it to indicate they don't think it was a foul?
 
#11
I have settled on some kind of script of phrases. I've found that if I improvise during play - start to talk more - then I inevitably contradict my speech with a decision.

Pro-active warnings: no holding, hands down, even: don't foul, that's on the limit-calm down. I use all of those but... you have to be ready to follow through. It's no good to keep giving the same warnings without action. "No holding guys" is my favourite - as a ref or lino - as it makes it so easy to give the offence when it happens seconds later.

Complements: good shot is useful for making players remember you are human - and for calming down a problem talented player, good save is great when the players aren't sure about a corner decision.

At least for me, the most important verbal communication during play is: go on, carry on, keep going - when there's been contact, you do not see or want to whistle a foul and the player(s) want to play... for borderline fouls: not for me, fine for me, that's OK... The best refs I work with come with the lines throughout the game. I have also found it works at all ages

I save "I saw that" or "I've seen it" for advantage situations if there is time to consider an advantage e.g. while the ball is in the air.

A few years ago I got into some running banter and humour but I try to keep that to pre game and post game now. I smile and am polite but the bantz is just asking for trouble - either the team get jealous, use it as an excuse, or the player takes it too far...

I think the pro game on the telly is different - MO is not constantly telling Eden to carry on because Eden is going to fall over when he wants to!
Pretty much what I do. Like you I've found 'No foul' 'Good challenge' 'Nothing wrong with that' etc helps cut down on the dissent.
 
#12
Agree with all the DOs above. My biggest DON'T is don't over communicate. It makes your important messages less effective (just like using the whistle). There is absolutely no need to yell out goal kick when everyone knows it's a clear goal kick. Same goes for a throw in direction when it's clear.

If anyone complains about a decision nicely, my response is "I know I'm not perfect but I have to make a decision and always make the one I think is right". That usually ends it.
Another one is 'Sorry if I got that that wrong. Looked that way/corner/gk etc from my angle' Only use this for those 50/50 decisions that get a player reaction that tells you that you might well have been wrong. I don't think you can use for KMIs like penalties, where you need to be confident and 'sell' the decision.
 
#13
The only comment I am always wary of the referee / AR saying is "No foul".

Is this an instruction not to foul as you are watching, or a decision as no foul has occurred. Confusing :confused:
Can't agree with that. I use after a challenge, especially if there is a shout for a foul. Tend to use 'No holding' 'Leave him' 'Easy' etc as the verbal warning.
 

lincs22

Supply League Observer
Staff member
Observer/Tutor
#14
Can't agree with that. I use after a challenge, especially if there is a shout for a foul. Tend to use 'No holding' 'Leave him' 'Easy' etc as the verbal warning.
The latter is how it should be for the warning. Using No foul risks a referee or AR saying it and another official comes "over the top of them" awards the free kick. Seen it, done it and written the report on it....

Ruins match control of the official...
 
#15
"Don't foul" or "no holding" is what I use when AR.
"No foul" if I am ref and want to stop any appeals before they start.

One little warning here: I have learnt to be very cautious as AR. If the referee is close enough then he/she can decide to be proactive - let them take the lead. I learnt the hard way that it doesn't look good if you are in the middle of saying "don't f..." as if there hasn't been a foul yet... and the ref blows!
 
#16
The latter is how it should be for the warning. Using No foul risks a referee or AR saying it and another official comes "over the top of them" awards the free kick. Seen it, done it and written the report on it....

Ruins match control of the official...
Yes that's a fair point - I was talking about when working alone as a referee. You're correct - I've very nearly said 'No foul' to a challenge near me as an AR, only for ref to give the foul!
 
#17
Was at the Notts County vs Crawley game yesterday, not really a bumper crowd so you could hear the shouts and communication between players a lot of the time (especially plenty of dissent towards the senior assistant which went unpunished, of course)

Something which I also managed to pick up was the amount of talking the referee did, not one-to-one but just general shouts or talking aloud during the game. A few of the referee's calls were questionable but the players just seemed to accept the decisions most of the time so I think this communication definitely aided his match control.

What I'd like to know is what sorts of things would he be saying, does anyone on here have any go-to phrases and what can I do in my games as I feel this is definitely an area I could improve in?
What were your thoughts on the game in general and of the refereeing? I'm a crawley fan and I'm interested in what you thought
 

Kieran W

Well-Known Member
#18
What were your thoughts on the game in general and of the refereeing? I'm a crawley fan and I'm interested in what you thought
Consistent with his decisions. Let lots of pushing and climbing for headers go unpunished. Obvious fouls not given or given the opposite way for no reason. The first yellow for Virtue is as clean a tackle as you can get, right in front of the AR who doesn't budge but somehow ref sees a foul and shows a yellow card.

However, he gets the key match incidents spot on for me. The penalty for handling is clear I think, the second yellow for stopping a promising attack and our keeper only has himself to blame for the most stupid red card I've ever seen.
 

RustyRef

Administrator
Staff member
#19
Proactive communication is incredibly important. If you tell someone not to foul an opponent and he does it anyway you can just stand there and say I told you so. Just be careful what you say - "don't foul him", "careful", "easy fellas", etc, are all fine. What I don't like to hear, and I do hear it a lot, are "stay on your feet", "don't dive in", etc, are too specific and cause issues. Even with the current laws a defender can go to ground and win the ball, so for a match official to tell him not to is worrying for me.

The most important time for a warning is when two players are charging towards each other, especially when one of them has just had a bad touch or overrun the ball. A loud shout of "careful" might well be too late to prevent one of them launching into the challenge, but it certainly helps sell the rd card that you then hold up after.
 
#20
Proactive communication is incredibly important. If you tell someone not to foul an opponent and he does it anyway you can just stand there and say I told you so. Just be careful what you say - "don't foul him", "careful", "easy fellas", etc, are all fine. What I don't like to hear, and I do hear it a lot, are "stay on your feet", "don't dive in", etc, are too specific and cause issues. Even with the current laws a defender can go to ground and win the ball, so for a match official to tell him not to is worrying for me.

The most important time for a warning is when two players are charging towards each other, especially when one of them has just had a bad touch or overrun the ball. A loud shout of "careful" might well be too late to prevent one of them launching into the challenge, but it certainly helps sell the rd card that you then hold up after.

Totally agree with you. Trying to anticipate to what could happen is always a good idea, but you should never dig yourself a hole.

In addition to yours, one I usually use is related with high balls that are about to be challenged in the air, in which I shout "elbows out" to remind them that I don't want any arm used as a threatening weapon.

Most of the times it works fine for me.
 
Top