Ref4Me

Hesitation with cards

Tom_R

New Member
Level 8 Referee
I'm just curious to know if anyone else was really hesitant with their cards when they first started. The problem I have is that I see a clear incident which deserves a yellow card and I just don't show the card this then leads to the match spiralling out of control. I'm fully aware I do this on a regular basis and the effect of it. I don't think it's an issue with my confidence, as a 15 y/o I'm more than happy to speak to parents and coaches about their behaviour when they're being aggressive as this doesn't intimidate me at all I just don't use my cards when I should.

Any help would be greatly appreciated as I feel this is a major set back in my game currently.
 
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Anubis

RefChat Addict
The fact you recognise the requirement to show the card is promising

People dont seem to want to be known aa that ref who dishes out cards, maybe this plays in their mind

Evrrything that happens in your game is managable. Sometimes that will be the word in passing, sometimes public warning, sometime, the ONLY way of managing it, is a card, especially when red

Try this, ( if I explain it clear enough). When doing your game, and the tackle comes in, mentally remove yourself and imsgine its someone elses game that you are watching. With you now watching as a referee, instead of being the referee, would you expect the ref to caution?
if so, simply do it. Dont overthink it. If your first thought is, thats a card, go with it
As you gain experience you will predict the card, ( if he fouls him now its red) and so on.

You are stating, you dont use your cards when you should, so, you are halfway there already, if you know its a card,just do it.

your self analysis shown so far will stand you in fair fettle
 

ChasObserverRefDeveloper

Regular Contributor
This is an issue for 90%+ of the newly qualified referees we mentor, so you are not alone.
First comment on a side issue is that you should not be speaking to parents - if their behaviour is unacceptable speak to the home team manager and tell him/her what action you need to be taken.
Regarding cautionable and dismissal offences, adopt a process something like this:
1) If you see an offence blow the whistle
2) Whilst whistling, think "Is a card needed?"
3) If so, blow again and say "Yes please, 5 - over here please"
4) Take the offender a few metres to a neutral area, which allows you to decide yellow or red and prepare
5) Process the caution, ignoring the fact that some present may not agree with your decision
6) The final part of the caution (in England) is to show the card. Having done so, tell the kicker to wait for the whistle, get into position for the kick, take a breath, whistle for the restart.
After the first one or two cautions, this process becomes natural.
Well done for asking the question
Good luck
 

Tom_R

New Member
Level 8 Referee
Thanks guys, I'll definitely take the tips on board and try to implement them to phase out the problem I'm having
 

one

RefChat Addict
Level 7 Referee
I'm just curious to know if anyone else was really hesitant with their cards when they first started. The problem I have is that I see a clear incident which deserves a yellow card and I just don't show the card this then leads to the match spiralling out of control. I'm fully aware I do this on a regular basis and the effect of it. I don't think it's an issue with my confidence, as a 15 y/o I'm more than happy to speak to parents and coaches about their behaviour when they're being aggressive as this doesn't intimidate me at all I just don't use my cards when I should.

Any help would be greatly appreciated as I feel this is a major set back in my game currently.
It's the culture that has been built around refereeing. You don't ruin the game, the action that triggers the card does. You can still punish player actions with cards and have empathy. Giving cards does not mean you are bad at player management, in fact it could mean the opposite. Being passionate or banter does not mean disrespect. Cards are okay at youth level. I can keep going but there are many myths and accepted concepts in football built into most of us because we all (almost all) start as players. Once you look past those you'd realise giving cards is not a disservice to the game but it is part of it when justified.
 

higdawgy

New Member
Level 2 Referee
I found to get over the confidence part, if I was sure straight away that something was a booking, grab the card straight away.
Removing the time to get worried and lose confidence I've got the card in my hand already.
 

LothianRef

Member
Level 5 Referee
I found to get over the confidence part, if I was sure straight away that something was a booking, grab the card straight away.
Removing the time to get worried and lose confidence I've got the card in my hand already.
Slightly risky if you lose sight of the offender/didn’t catch their number to call them back as then it’s visible to everyone that you’ve planned to card someone. If the card isn’t out though then you can just about get away with it although there may be some moaning if it looked a fairly obvious offence.
 

ChasObserverRefDeveloper

Regular Contributor
I think showing a card for a caution is pretty much international 😜
It is, but the point I was reinforcing for a new UK colleague is that the approved caution/dismissal procedure finishes with the card being shown, as opposed to the showing of the card earlier in the process as some have mentioned in other posts on the subject.
 
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es1

RefChat Addict
Level 4 Referee
i definitely had this problem, took me months and maybe a dozen games to caution anyone (despite there being multiple occasions where a card was warranted).

i still remember the first time i did it and i took his name and didnt even show him the card! procedure was awful and he turned and sprinted away before i could show it.

as @ChasObserverRefDeveloper says, have a defined procedure in mind and do your best to follow it, that way it'll feel more natural
 

JamesL

RefChat Addict
Level 3 Referee
I was total opposite. Had my first caution in my first game. U12s.
In that game I also ordered a penalty retake twice for both teams encroaching too. I was obviously keen. 🤣
Respect to OP, next time you see a caution, ask yourself, what is the consequence to not showing the caution? You've indicated and are aware that it's loss of match control which is far worse than an uncomfortable 30 seconds or so.
The other advice I can think of is practise at home. Seems silly, but it will de sensitise you to the process and hopefully get them cards flowing and county fa coffers filled up.
 

Anubis

RefChat Addict
Footballers, and coaches, despite their desperate pleading for mercy, generally, are aware of what merits, or should merit, a caution

simply give them what they expect.

Probably every ref has done it, player makes what they know is a yelloe card tackle, yet somehow we decide a talking to will suffice.
Your game is now as good as over, as the players now know they are in control. not you.
 

Quarryref

Active Member
Level 3 Referee
I was definitely guilty of that and, speaking to other refs, I think it's very common when you first start. Probably even more so if, like me, you've played at a reasonable level for years. In my early days, I definitely confused empathy for / understanding of the game with continuing to think like a player, rather than a referee. The former is useful in working out what is going on, but you need your referee's head on for decision-making.

There are 22 players on the pitch to think and act like players. They don't need another one !
 

gman1978

New Member
Level 7 Referee
I agree with what everyone has already added. I came into reffing later (after finishing playing) and still found it hard initially to draw the line. I eventually did show a card in a fiesty U12's game in which the goalkeeper of the home team ended up with a nasty tackle going in on him.
The way I look at it is: I could have and should have stopped that by issuing card / cards earlier to calm things down.
Lesson learnt for me and fortunately the keeper wasn't badly injured but that was more luck and not down to me being in control!
 

Mada

Active Member
Level 5 Referee
Look through some of my previous threads in my first couple of seasons. I originally thought a successful game was where I kept my cards in my pocket and to manage it myself but I found out the hard way that it's not the right approach. There were some very helpful comments in those threads that helped me change my perspective.

The trick is consistency. If there is a reckless challenge that you let go in the first half, how can you justify a caution in the second half for the other team? It makes your life very difficult. It's best to deal with the situation there and then. Warnings and letting things go tends to come back to bite you.
 
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Kes

I'll Decide ...
Level 5 Referee
Nothing much to add to the good advice dished out so far.

Just remember that as the referee, you've a job to do. Players (and coaches) might do their best to make you feel as if you're ruining their day or being "harsh" by getting your cards out but at these times you really have to be strong and switch off from it. You're not there to make them happy or placate them. You're there to enforce the LOTG in a fair and unbiased manner. Do that and you can't be wrong, ever. How they feel about it is up to them. ;)
 

socal lurker

RefChat Addict
A useful mantra on card I’ve heard is that you need to give the card if the Game needs it (100% misconduct that needs to be handled every time), if this game needs it (the cards that we could go either way with that are needed to throttle down today’s game), or if the player needs it (today’s game might not be too hot, but this player is demonstrating that he needs his behavior sanctioned to control what he will do the rest of the game).
 

GraemeS

RefChat Addict
Level 5 Referee
We're all aware that issuing a card can feel "mean" to the player in question - but what about the player on the other side of the tackle?

Failing to show that card means a fouled winger looses out on the advantage of their opposing full back being on thin ice for the rest of the game. Or the opponent has been allowed to clatter them without sufficient punishment.
Or even in the worst cases, losing out on a player advantage for the rest of the game.

Why should the offended-against team lose out on an advantage they deserve because you're feeling card shy? You're hired to keep the game fair, using cards is part of that.
 

Mac

New Member
Level 7 Referee
Players will always give you an opportunity to set your line in the sand, miss that and you risk match control. Stay alert for the first opportunity they give you and set the standard for the rest of the game.
 

Kent Ref

RefChat Addict
I'm just curious to know if anyone else was really hesitant with their cards when they first started. The problem I have is that I see a clear incident which deserves a yellow card and I just don't show the card this then leads to the match spiralling out of control. I'm fully aware I do this on a regular basis and the effect of it. I don't think it's an issue with my confidence, as a 15 y/o I'm more than happy to speak to parents and coaches about their behaviour when they're being aggressive as this doesn't intimidate me at all I just don't use my cards when I should.

Any help would be greatly appreciated as I feel this is a major set back in my game currently.
When i first started i was too soft and this caused me problems (You're inconsistent ref etc).

For the majority of my time reffing i switched to as many cards as i am forced to do. That said my record in nearly 30 years was 6 yellow in one game (over 10 years ago though).

Now, i've moved to a slightly softer stance and i'm still managing games but with more talking, less cards.

Once clubs / players know you then they will either mainly tow the line or reap havoc - depending on your responses.

I once saw a video of me reffing (1st year - 4th game) and i went to caution a player for a deliberate handball (stopped an attack) and once i saw he was already cautioned i changed my mind about the caution. So bad on my behalf.

We learn.
 
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