RefSix

I’m too lenient and it backfired today

Big Cat

RefChat Addict
Level 6 Referee
Thanks for each of your comments. I've read each of them over the past few days and I appreciate the support. It seems I'm not alone having a game like this and I'm keen to get back on track next week. I won't lie that I have thought "why am I doing this?" and "do I need the hassle when I could be spending the afternoon with my family?" but ultimately the games leading up to this one were enjoyable and I felt a sense of satisfaction. One bad experience won't stop me and I'm determined to improve.

The comments about having a good game by not issueing cards are interesting and has reframed my thinking. I'd have said prior to this experience that a good game outcome would not be dishing out any cards but I now see see a different point of view.

I'm going to try and stop doing players a favour and aiming to manage the game without cards. This lead me down a path to where I found myself at the weekend and without that different way of thinking I couldn't get myself out of that situation.

Thanks once again :)
The best we can possibly hope and aim for, is to have influence on the participants so that games reach a fair conclusion with a minimal amount of fuss as often as possible We can't control this outcome, we can only exert influence
How good we are at influencing people (a.k.a. refereeing) will determine the how often we get close to this aim. Regardless, none of us can expect all games to pan out as desired, so we also have to commit ourselves knowingly to the inevitability of difficult experiences. Personally, I'm of a mind that we need to embrace the notion that we're destined for challenging encounters, because that's what's at the heart of being a football referee
Ask yourself if you want to experience difficult games. The answer has to be yes, because we need to progressively desensitise and adapt to the guarantee of having our temperament put to stern test
 
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one

RefChat Addict
Level 7 Referee
I'd have said prior to this experience that a good game outcome would not be dishing out any cards
A good game, actually a fantastic game, would be one that you personality and your player/game management skills was the reason you did not need to use your cards.

But when cards need to be used (despite all your efforts) and they are not, it's a sign of poor game management.
 

Mada

Member
Level 7 Referee
Small update after yesterday’s game. I tried to keep myself out of trouble and going back to basics as much as I could.

2 yellows, 1 sin bin and 1 yellow to a manager after the game. My tolerance levels were lower, I still copped some grief and low level abuse but my match control wasn’t questioned or lost like it was the previous week.

Thanks for your help and support getting me back on track.
 

Markjamesbfc

New Member
Level 4 Referee
Small update after yesterday’s game. I tried to keep myself out of trouble and going back to basics as much as I could.

2 yellows, 1 sin bin and 1 yellow to a manager after the game. My tolerance levels were lower, I still copped some grief and low level abuse but my match control wasn’t questioned or lost like it was the previous week.

Thanks for your help and support getting me back on track.
Sounds like you have bounced back.

I really like the dog lead analogy. Treat the game like you’re training a dog. At first you keep it on a short lead to maintain full control. As it starts to react how you want it to loosen the lead but never too far. Bring it back in at flash points like after a big tackle, goal and before/after HT/FT (similar to walking your dog past another dog or when it sees a squirrel).

I have found this really helps my game and the players start to referee the game themselves. You will hear them shout “don’t foul” “keep your arms down” “stand up” that’s when you know you have cracked it.

There will be a reckless tackle. React to it with a sharp blast of the whistle. Calmly caution the player and tighten up that lead again before you restart play.

Good Luck 👍
 

Darren83

New Member
Level 7 Referee
I did a friendly today first game in 8 months ( Wales) and at HT I realised I was letting too much go. 10 mins in to the second half 1 caution to each team and the rest of the game was much easier. I should have cautioned earlier but "its a friendly" kind of nonsense.

If I was to do that game again I’d have got my cards out, slowed the game down, not allowed the game to be played how I’d want to watch it and cracked down on the dissent

This is something I have to work on as my attitude is let the game flaw when it isnt always possible and it certainly isn't my problem if the game is naff. I have another friendly next week so I will be able to work on these things. I referee mainly youth football and I end up trying to ref senior the same as u14
 

socal lurker

RefChat Addict
. I referee mainly youth football and I end up trying to ref senior the same as u14

I think this is one of our big challenges as refs--recalibration to different ages/skill sets. And that applies to tone, tolerance, and fouls/misconduct recognition. I tend to find it harder to drop down—after doing a 19U, I have to remind myself to reset th physicality lines when I drop to a 14U or younger the same day.
 

Kes

I'll Decide ...
Level 5 Referee
Just go out and referee what's in front of you. Circumstances dictate that you might not always enjoy the match. Like @Big Cat said, you have to learn to desensitise yourself sometimes.

Plenty of analogies floating about on this thread ...

I prefer this one:

Don't get strung out about "doing the right thing" - just do the thing right. 😉
 

Arbiter

Member
Level 3 Referee
Well done you for the self-reflection and the effort at making a negative into a positive. You've put a lot in your opening post, but I want to focus on one little thing you wrote that I think deserves more critical reflection.

I couldn’t send him off as I didn’t see it.

I don't know that I agree. A lot of referees, even at the professional level, make gut calls from time to time. Howard Webb, famously, regrets not making a gut call in the 2010 World Cup Final when De Jong (?) kicked Xavi Alonso in the chest. He has said as much publicly: sometimes a referee needs to make a gut call. He was certain something happened, he was 80% sure he knew exactly what happened, but he didn't have a clear view. He now believes he should have issued the red card based only on the evidence that surrounded the incident, and I tend to agree with him.

It is a lot easier to rely on the "didn't see it" answer than to make a gut call. A gut call requires more courage because you are, to some degree, jumping into the unknown. But here's the thing: experience and football knowledge will help you here. If you've done, say, 500 matches, you start to get a very good feel for when things aren't right, for when a big thing has happened. When that feeling creeps in, I encourage you to use your football understanding and knowledge to make an educated guess and act accordingly. Any assessor worth their salt, when they ask what the red card was for, and you say "violent conduct, I believe the player kicked out at his opponent" is going to accept it.

This seems, to me, the moment where you really lost control. You can get away with a word instead of a caution, but to miss blatant violent conduct will ruin you unless you have extremely strong man-management skills and personality. Again, look at what it did to Howard Webb in 2010--and he's the definition of man management.

Oh and one other thought: no matter how many mistakes, bad decisions, or otherwise you have made in a match it is never too late to stamp your authority down. When the manager starts to stitch you up and act irresponsibly, he gets sent off. Simple as. You may have let dissent and other things go too far in other incidents in the match, but at some point you have got to put your foot down and say "no more, that's enough."
 
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Kes

I'll Decide ...
Level 5 Referee
Well done you for the self-reflection and the effort at making a negative into a positive. You've put a lot in your opening post, but I want to focus on one little thing you wrote that I think deserves more critical reflection.



I don't know that I agree. A lot of referees, even at the professional level, make gut calls from time to time. Howard Webb, famously, regrets not making a gut call in the 2010 World Cup Final when De Jong (?) kicked Xavi Alonso in the chest. He has said as much publicly: sometimes a referee needs to make a gut call. He was certain something happened, he was 80% sure he knew exactly what happened, but he didn't have a clear view. He now believes he should have issued the red card based only on the evidence that surrounded the incident, and I tend to agree with him.

It is a lot easier to rely on the "didn't see it" answer than to make a gut call. A gut call requires more courage because you are, to some degree, jumping into the unknown. But here's the thing: experience and football knowledge will help you here. If you've done, say, 500 matches, you start to get a very good feel for when things aren't right, for when a big thing has happened. When that feeling creeps in, I encourage you to use your football understanding and knowledge to make an educated guess and act accordingly. Any assessor worth their salt, when they ask what the red card was for, and you say "violent conduct, I believe the player kicked out at his opponent" is going to accept it.

This seems, to me, the moment where you really lost control. You can get away with a word instead of a caution, but to miss blatant violent conduct will ruin you unless you have extremely strong man-management skills and personality. Again, look at what it did to Howard Webb in 2010--and he's the definition of man management.

Oh and one other thought: no matter how many mistakes, bad decisions, or otherwise you have made in a match it is never too late to stamp your authority down. When the manager starts to stitch you up and act irresponsibly, he gets sent off. Simple as. You may have let dissent and other things go too far in other incidents in the match, but at some point you have got to put your foot down and say "no more, that's enough."

That ethos works ..... right up until the point where the player you've dismissed appeals the red card and then at the hearing when the panel ask you what you "saw" you either have to lie, or tell the truth and watch the player get off with it (as well as making yourself look a bit of a spoon?). ;)
 

Big Cat

RefChat Addict
Level 6 Referee
That ethos works ..... right up until the point where the player you've dismissed appeals the red card and then at the hearing when the panel ask you what you "saw" you either have to lie, or tell the truth and watch the player get off with it (as well as making yourself look a bit of a spoon?). ;)
I had one last year in which an attacker somehow dispossessed the GK (ball in hand) when my back was turned
As I didn't see the wrongdoing, I allowed the goal. Fortunately, the scoreline meant I didn't get much heat, but I subsequently realized that we don't need to see something to know (with a high degree of certainty) what happened. I should've taken a very safe punt and disallowed the goal.
That said, I'd find it much more difficult to dismiss a player for something I hadn't seen. The circumstances would need to be exceptional

Edit: I should've taken a very safe punt and disallowed the goal..... Or should I say, 'WTF was I doing with my back turned in the first place!'
 
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Arbiter

Member
Level 3 Referee
That ethos works ..... right up until the point where the player you've dismissed appeals the red card and then at the hearing when the panel ask you what you "saw" you either have to lie, or tell the truth and watch the player get off with it (as well as making yourself look a bit of a spoon?). ;)

In 15 years, I have found that players appealing is exceedingly rare (usually the paperwork that needs doing and the deadline it needs doing by is too much for them, the poor dears) and, when I do rarely get called to a hearing I've never been asked what I saw. What I have been asked invariably is whether there is anything I would like to add to my report. I always say no. They may then ask particular questions about the incident itself, but I've never had a question phrased as "what did you see" because they assume that I saw it.

In this case, the report would indicate that the player was sent off for violent conduct after kicking or attempting to kick an opponent while play was stopped. I have nothing to add to that as it says everything that needs to be said.
 

Arbiter

Member
Level 3 Referee
I had one last year in which an attacker somehow dispossessed the GK (ball in hand) when my back was turned
As I didn't see the wrongdoing, I allowed the goal. Fortunately, the scoreline meant I didn't get much heat, but I subsequently realized that we don't need to see something to know (with a high degree of certainty) what happened. I should've taken a very safe punt and disallowed the goal.
That said, I'd find it much more difficult to dismiss a player for something I hadn't seen. The circumstances would need to be exceptional

Edit: I should've taken a very safe punt and disallowed the goal..... Or should I say, 'WTF was I doing with my back turned in the first place!'

We all make mistakes. The best referees can get away with their mistakes by managing the situation. The rest of us have to learn from them so we can manage them next time.
 

Richard smith

Well-Known Member
Level 6 Referee
We have all had that match we've lost control of. the thing is that you identify the points that require rectifying.
I am heartened by the fact that in the OP you have listed points that you feel need worked on
Using the points noted as learning points, Is the way forward.
Like many have said in previous posts, try not to dwell on the fact that match control has been lost for too long

The best thing to do when falling off the horse, is get straight back on it
 

Big Cat

RefChat Addict
Level 6 Referee
We all make mistakes. The best referees can get away with their mistakes by managing the situation. The rest of us have to learn from them so we can manage them next time.
The best referees get away with their mistakes because they've learned from the same mistakes, made previously either by themselves or someone else
 

Arbiter

Member
Level 3 Referee
The best referees get away with their mistakes because they've learned from the same mistakes, made previously either by themselves or someone else

Yes: back when they were the rest of us. Their having learned from their mistakes is what made them great.
 

RustyRef

Administrator
Staff member
Losing control happens, and as referees get more experienced they can usually identify what the event was that caused them to lose control. Sometimes it is out of their control and whatever they had done it would still have happened, sometimes it follows on as a consequence of something they did or didn't do. This is something I've realised more since I started observing, from the side lines you can see things happen that lead to the game changing.

I had it myself a few weeks ago. Nothing had happened all game then the away left back made a lunging foul, my immediate reaction was caution but I talked myself out of it as I didn't feel the game needed it and there wasn't much reaction. With hindsight that was an obvious mistake as the temperature rose massively from that point, and I really had to up my game and use all of my experience to keep a lid on it. Had I cautioned I of course can't know for sure that it would have prevented the temperature rise, but I have to conclude there was a significant chance it would have.
 

Arbiter

Member
Level 3 Referee
Losing control happens, and as referees get more experienced they can usually identify what the event was that caused them to lose control. Sometimes it is out of their control and whatever they had done it would still have happened, sometimes it follows on as a consequence of something they did or didn't do. This is something I've realised more since I started observing, from the side lines you can see things happen that lead to the game changing.

I had it myself a few weeks ago. Nothing had happened all game then the away left back made a lunging foul, my immediate reaction was caution but I talked myself out of it as I didn't feel the game needed it and there wasn't much reaction. With hindsight that was an obvious mistake as the temperature rose massively from that point, and I really had to up my game and use all of my experience to keep a lid on it. Had I cautioned I of course can't know for sure that it would have prevented the temperature rise, but I have to conclude there was a significant chance it would have.

And, at the very least, had you cautioned then you could say that you did all that was reasonable to avoid the increase in temperature and the players just didn't want to play along. I have found that I have never bottled a call and had a positive impact on match control; I have had many bottle jobs bite me, though. I'm (slowly) learning not to bottle calls.
 

Darren83

New Member
Level 7 Referee
Just go out and referee what's in front of you. Circumstances dictate that you might not always enjoy the match. Like @Big Cat said, you have to learn to desensitise yourself sometimes.

Plenty of analogies floating about on this thread ...

I prefer this one:

Don't get strung out about "doing the right thing" - just do the thing right. 😉
I read this response the other day and I took this advice and apllied it in my game today.

5 min in 1st tackle 2 footed lunge by home followed by a bit of a confrontation. No messing Red Card for the tackle and yellow for away for the reaction.

1st reckless tackle caution for away, same later for home. In total 1 red 2 yellow home. 2 yellow away. Compared to my game last week where I was too lenient i had much better control of the game as the red and yellows were warrented which meant I wasnt cautioning to regain control.
 
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