RefSix

Pre-match instructions

Brian Hamilton

I am the storm
Observer/Tutor
#1
Designed for use at a Cup Final but can be adapted to a normal game.

1. Pre-match – third team, work together, warm-up
a. Third team – you’ve reached the final just like the players, based on your ability and have earned your appointments so well done
b. Work together – both teams will want to win and the only friends out on the field are your colleagues so look after each other
c. Warm-up – it’s an easy trick to impress those who watch all their football on the tv. To the experienced eye, it shows you are taking this game as seriously as the players
d. Appoint a senior assistant who will replace you if you can’t continue for any reason
e. Your senior writes down everything you write down while your junior keeps an eye on all the players while you and the senior assistant are writing
f. The junior assistant should record times of all the goals, while you and your senior assistant watch the players

2. Admin - team-sheet, jewellery and boot check
a. Team sheets – ask for them about 30 minutes before kick off but if they aren’t provided then you want the name of all the players, especially if it is roll on-roll off subs. Write them all in your notebook so that it makes your cautioning easier
b. Jewellery – no player wears a single item. This is a time to establish your authority
c. Boot check – a time to mix with the players, maybe make a joke or two to relax them and you

3. Entrance – together, check nets, witness toss, into position
a. Enter the field by leading the teams out like they do for Champions League games. Tell the managers 30 minutes before kick off that is how they will enter the field. Do the Respect handshake with the home team shaking your hands, your assistants and the away team. The away team then shake your hands and your assistants
b. Check nets – assistants break and check that nets are pegged down. They are responsible for letting you know if there is a problem but they should also resolve any issues with their net
c. Witness toss – winner of toss chooses direction to play, loser kicks off
d. Position – shake hands with your assistants and they move to their patrol path. They should run right wings, that means covering from the halfway line to the corner flag, alongside the left backs

4. Offside – see, acknowledge, miss
a. If you think there’s been an offside offence, just have a glance to your assistant
b. This is really important just after every goal, check your assistant isn’t signalling that an infringement has occurred
c. Explain offside using PIG, player in an offside position when the ball is last touched/played by a team mate but ask them to “wait and see” if two players are going for the ball at the same time, one offside one not and the one offside
i. Plays the ball
ii. Interferes with an opponent by distracting them or preventing them from playing the ball
iii. Gains an advantage by getting the ball from a rebound off the goalkeeper or goal frame
d. You will see the assistant’s signal, stop play, they indicate far, middle or near, ball down, indirect free kick signal (arm straight up and stays up until someone else plays the ball after the free kick or it goes out of play), restart the game with a blast on your whistle
e. You will miss them, they need to maintain their signal until you see them, then it’s as per d above
f. You will see them but the ball is going to the goalkeeper with no one else near, then just play advantage to the goalkeeper. If an attacker is near, then stop play as per d above

5. Throw-ins – thirds, leading, eye contact
a. Divide the touchline into thirds
b. In their third, they signal and unless they are really obviously wrong, you go with them
c. In your third, they go with your direction every time
d. In the middle third, you indicate which direction and use eye contact to lead them or point the direction at waist level. Take your time and both go the same way

6. Corners – ball in arc, behind flag both sides unless called
a. Assistant to check the ball is in the arc and stand behind the corner flag when the kick is on their side
b. Assistant to stand behind the corner flag when the kick is on the opposite side from them
c. They are to watch for the ball crossing the goal line for a goal, goal kick or corner kick

7. Goal kicks – check 1st kick in each half
a. Check the 1st kick in each half from in line with the goal area
b. Check other kicks from in line with the penalty area

8. Fouls & Misconduct – tempo management, credibility, advantage, cards
a. Tempo management – assistants need to gauge your tolerance level for fouls and help you out
b. Credibility – they really should only give signals for free kicks which occur within 15m or so from their position
c. Advantage – if they indicate a free kick should be given, but you play advantage, they need to keep moving
d. Cards – if they want you to issue a card, they need to tell you who did what and what they think should happen
e. At free kicks, if it’s near their position ask them to watch the ball to make sure it isn’t moved while you walk out the 9.15m

9. Penalties – yes, no or help; goal line judge, infringements
a. Yes – you give the penalty and they shouldn’t attempt to over rule you
b. No – you cut the grass and they shouldn’t come in with a signal unless someone has punched someone else behind your back
c. Help – you know something happened. If they think it’s a penalty, they should give an agitated flag signal and move swiftly towards the corner flag
d. Goal line judge – they move to a place on the goal line halfway between where the goal line touches the lines marking the outer edge of the goal areas and penalty areas
e. They need to see if the ball crosses the goal line for a goal and/or the goal keeper moves more than 1m off his line before the ball is kicked. If he does, they should stand still and let you know you need a re-take, if it was saved

10. Mass confrontations – observe, runners, come together
a. If one happens, you and they should observe who is doing what – form a triangle around the incident
b. The one nearest the technical areas should ensure no one runs on from there
c. When it all calms down you come together
d. You work out your dismissals first and then your cautions
e. Send away team players off first and home team players off second
f. Allow a delay between sending them so they don’t start fighting again
g. If you feel you will not be able to regain control, especially if spectators have entered the field, then consider abandoning the game

11. Benches – manage, if not possible, bring me over
a. Technical areas – put your most senior person next to them
b. They should attempt to manage any misconduct by the managers/coaches/subs
c. If they can’t, then they should call you over
d. You issue one warning and any further infringements, bin them!

12. Substitutions – one off, one on; named, jewellery and boot check
a. Control them by only allowing the sub to enter the field when the player he is replacing has left the field
b. Your assistant needs to check they were named before kick off
c. Re-do the jewellery and boot check for the sub joining the game, even if they have been on before

13. Time down
a. Near the end of each half, tell your senior assistant how much added time you will be playing so he can tell the managers
b. This is the minimum you will play

14. Exit – half time, come together, no discussion
a. Half time – assistants should run to your position so they can act as witness if anyone says anything to you
b. Don’t enter into any discussion on the field, just offer to talk to the person 15 minutes after the game has finished

15. Second half – substitutions, check nets
a. Second half – check there’s no substitutions being made
b. Assistants to check nets again as per 3d above

16. Same sides unless there’s a problem
a. Assistants to stay on same side so they will have a new defence to look after
b. Only change this if one assistant is getting a lot of grief from people around him

17. Exit – full time, come together, no discussion
a. Full time – assistants should run to your position so they can act as witness if anyone says anything to you
b. Don’t enter into any discussion on the field, just offer to talk to the person 15 minutes after the game has finished


18. Feedback – private and open

a. After the game ask your assistants if there were any mistakes and listen carefully so you understand why the other official feels differently about one of your decisions
b. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or challenge their statement so you understand better
c. This discussion takes place in private
 

DanCohen17

Simply The Best
#4
My own personal thing, and something that was heavily discussed between L3's, L4's & assessor's alike, is to finish with mass-con & penalties, therefore this is freshest in the mind of AR's (and ref) and is the biggest threat to match control and the game itself.

Somewhere, buried deep in my Dropbox, is my old NAR spiel. I'll see if I can dig it out this week!
 

mike mcgill

level 4 & cfa assesor
#5
Dan
why not finish with off side as mainly some assistants switch off once they have herd perceivably there most important bit so I leave off side until the end so as they have to keep listening to you all the way through, works for me
 

DanCohen17

Simply The Best
#6
Dan
why not finish with off side as mainly some assistants switch off once they have herd perceivably there most important bit so I leave off side until the end so as they have to keep listening to you all the way through, works for me
Whilst I understand your thought process, and like the idea, the majority of officials that ran my line when I was a 4 were more than competent and capable, especially at offside's. Additionally, with almost all referees using near-identical speeches for offside, they've probably heard it thousands of times before. Finally, as the referee, I can do very little in terms of offside's (yes, I could impart an additional piece of information to aid an offside decision, but these are fortunately rare), and they aren't commonly involved as KMI's, therefore not something that should lead to gaining or losing match control. Penalty decisions, or mass-con's on the other hand, are.

Just my two pennies worth and what I used to do. I felt it worked for me, you may feel differently and what you do works for you. There's definitely no right or wrong here
 
#8
Brian, do you mind if I ask the thought behind being behind the flag on both corners? I've always come in front of the flag when it's on the opposite side so I can see the goal line clearer. Not challenging, just interested. Thanks.
 

Brian Hamilton

I am the storm
Observer/Tutor
#9
Brian, do you mind if I ask the thought behind being behind the flag on both corners? I've always come in front of the flag when it's on the opposite side so I can see the goal line clearer. Not challenging, just interested. Thanks.
To come in front of the flag puts you on the field of play when your patrol path is along the touchline. The point is so you can act as goal line judge. It you're short or it's windy and the flag is blowing in your face, then move inside. Do you come inside even if the referee says stand behind?
 
#10
I wouldn't come in front if told to stay behind as I would follow their instructions, none of the Refs this season (my first season doing the line on the county league and Rymans youth so not greatly experienced) have said not to. I'm about 6' so the flag isn't in my face, just always done it. Was just interested in your view point.
 

Brian Hamilton

I am the storm
Observer/Tutor
#11
I wouldn't come in front if told to stay behind as I would follow their instructions, none of the Refs this season (my first season doing the line on the county league and Rymans youth so not greatly experienced) have said not to. I'm about 6' so the flag isn't in my face, just always done it. Was just interested in your view point.
In the grand scheme of things it's no biggy. Perhaps they haven't noticed.
 
#12
To come in front of the flag puts you on the field of play when your patrol path is along the touchline. The point is so you can act as goal line judge. It you're short or it's windy and the flag is blowing in your face, then move inside. Do you come inside even if the referee says stand behind?
I don't follow that at all. Stepping just onto the field is just as far off the 'patrol path' as staying behind the flag. Just seems like a micro management sort of comment.......
 

Brian Hamilton

I am the storm
Observer/Tutor
#13
I don't follow that at all. Stepping just onto the field is just as far off the 'patrol path' as staying behind the flag. Just seems like a micro management sort of comment.......
Thanks for your opinion. The position of the assistant at corner kicks is consistent from the top of the professional game to grassroots in England. If you choose to do things differently in your part of the world or to question tried and tested methods, that's fine. Please don't issue sideswipes by saying it's a certain kind of comment.
 
#14
Not a sideswipe at all - I was offering one perception you might find from your AR's. It's called constructive criticism.
If it's something that's normally important enough to mention in your part of the world so be it. It wouldn't cop a mention over here, so hearing that would be leaving the AR's thinking '....what the?'

My prematch also tends to be quite long as well. I tend to do it (fairly normal here) when we're stretching together during our warmup. At least that way I'm not standing there lecturing them for 5 minutes. Some referees keep it quite brief, but there are risks with that. I've sat in more than one changeroom where the AR's have been exchanging bemused glances at an odd prematch!
 
#15
My pre-match varies depending upon who I am working with, for example yesterday's game I had two very experienced Level 5s who I have worked with before, both of whom have officiated at a higher level, and as such the pre-match was kept brief and focused mainly on reminders about things I might do slightly differently to others. On Tuesday night coming up, I have two ARs I have never worked with, one Level 6 and one Level 7, so my pre-match will be much more involved.

Structure is usually;
  • Senior/Junior AR, match record.
  • Pre-match - kit check, leading teams out (where are we spinning?), nets, coin toss, back to lines (left backs)
  • GK/corners
  • Throw ins
  • Offsides
  • Fouls and misconduct
  • Penalties
  • Subs
  • Benches/technical areas
  • Mass cons
  • Final remarks
Regardless of who I'm with, it is always conducted on the field whilst we're all still in matchday dress, complete with cup of tea in hand! I keep it friendly and light-hearted regardless of content, as I find it helps everyone relax a bit, and always end by reminding us all to officiate with a smile on our collective faces, and to have full confidence in our decision-making. Sounds like something out of a Disney film I know ;) but in my first ever Supply League line as a 17-year old Level 7, I worked with two of the most miserable blokes ever to walk the face of the earth, and I resolved that teams I led would be welcoming and inclusive; I want both the assistants to feel as important in the team as I, because at the end of the day, they are!

Visualization helps: I always say, "at 4.50 (or 9.40) we'll be sat in the dressing room talking about the top-class performance we've all just delivered!"
 

Ryan Owens

Token Colonial
Level 3 Referee
#16
I find that my pre-game discussion generally depends on who I am working with (whether I know them or not, whether they are, in fact, competent by my estimation, whether I know of any particular weaknesses of theirs that need to be dealt with).
 

Brian Hamilton

I am the storm
Observer/Tutor
#18
@Brian Hamilton Could you explain this:
7. Goal kicks – check 1st kick in each half
a. Check the 1st kick in each half from in line with the goal area
b. Check other kicks from in line with the penalty area
Until recently (last couple of seasons), the instructions were to stand in line with the edge of the goal area and ensure the ball was placed on the line or inside the goal area. It was felt that ensuring the assistant was back up in line with the 2nd rear most defender was more important than ensuring the ball was placed correctly. The instructions were changed so that the first kick in each half was checked to ensure the ball was correctly placed in the goal area, from a position in line with the edge of the goal area, for the first goal kick of each half. After that, each kick should be checked from a position in line with the edge of the penalty area (i.e. 16.5 m from the goal line) which gave the assistant a 16.5m head start on the run up to the 2nd rear most defender.

Hope that make it a little clearer.
 
#19
Until recently (last couple of seasons), the instructions were to stand in line with the edge of the goal area and ensure the ball was placed on the line or inside the goal area. It was felt that ensuring the assistant was back up in line with the 2nd rear most defender was more important than ensuring the ball was placed correctly. The instructions were changed so that the first kick in each half was checked to ensure the ball was correctly placed in the goal area, from a position in line with the edge of the goal area, for the first goal kick of each half. After that, each kick should be checked from a position in line with the edge of the penalty area (i.e. 16.5 m from the goal line) which gave the assistant a 16.5m head start on the run up to the 2nd rear most defender.

Hope that make it a little clearer.
Of course - got confused as thought it was for the ref - but, yes, clearly instructions for the ARs.
(The first kick of the half is new to me - good one)
 
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