Ref4Me

Referee retention idea

Trip

RefChat Addict
Level 5 Referee
I'm considering presenting this approach to the league I referee in. I'd be interested in comments from other referees.

Currently referees are appointed to games 'top down'. The higher divisions get the best refs, lower get the less good refs, and the bottom divisions have to find their own.

Referees award 'sportsmanship' marks to each team after every match. Each team has a sportsmanship rating, an average of their marks. My proposal would be give each match a sportsmanship mark which would be the higher of the two team marks. Then, order the matches by their sportsmanship mark. Count the available referees. Take the top X matches. Order those matches by division. Allocate top refs to top divisions as normal.

The upshot would be this: if you're a well behaved team you always get a ref. If you're a badly behaved team playing a well behaved team you'll get a ref. Two badly behaved teams will have to find their own ref.

There are two upsides:

1. a big incentive for teams to behave better
2. referees rarely have to officiate poorly behaved teams

Thoughts?
 
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es1

RefChat Addict
Level 4 Referee
i had a similar idea (but not as well thought out) where the best behaved clubs get the refs, it would definitely act as incentive for teams to work on their behaviour imo

the only other solution is to throw money at it (raise match fees) but that wont tackle the root cause
 

Viking

Q-1994, Re-qualified 2019 Worcestershire UK
Level 7 Referee
Would you though get unsporting teams deliberately being more unsporting so they can unsportingly referee their own games? I've noticed in the local Sunday league that a particular problematic team always gets a wizened ref so that nothing kicks off.

Nice thoughts in principle though. On the money point, a local team on the other side of the county border has started giving extra £10 for refs to come because they rarely get allocated any. Hasn't changed anything as all refs are allocated centrally anyway but it does mean my daughter makes an extra £20 for when she does two games there.
 

Justylove

Premium Member
Premium Member
Level 4 Referee
Double the penalties for anyone committing an offence against a match official. OFFINABUS against a match officialgoes to 6 matches and a £30 fine for a first offence and goes upwards from there.

Players and coaches will either learn quickly or will be spending a significant amount of time on the sidelines.

Likewise if it's from parents at youth level, ban the team from playing for <x> weeks. When the kids and other parents are being punished they'll either self police or take their kids to another better behaved club.

Big drive from County FA to all referees to encourage them to stand up to it and card players and coaches to help weed it out.
 

Justylove

Premium Member
Premium Member
Level 4 Referee
Double the penalties for anyone committing an offence against a match official. OFFINABUS against a match officialgoes to 6 matches and a £30 fine for a first offence and goes upwards from there.

Players and coaches will either learn quickly or will be spending a significant amount of time on the sidelines.

Likewise if it's from parents at youth level, ban the team from playing for <x> weeks. When the kids and other parents are being punished they'll either self police or take their kids to another better behaved club.

Big drive from County FA to all referees to encourage them to stand up to it and card players and coaches to help weed it out.
Ohh an add a penalty points system that dissent and offences against a ref counts towards. Hit a certain number of points and your team's gets banned for X games (and forfeits them 5-0).

For the most part it's a small minority that cause the problems. Make them the problem for the clubs and other players as it impacts their ability to play and things will change.
 
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Trip

RefChat Addict
Level 5 Referee
Double the penalties for anyone committing an offence against a match official. OFFINABUS against a match officialgoes to 6 matches and a £30 fine for a first offence and goes upwards from there.

Players and coaches will either learn quickly or will be spending a significant amount of time on the sidelines.

Likewise if it's from parents at youth level, ban the team from playing for <x> weeks. When the kids and other parents are being punished they'll either self police or take their kids to another better behaved club.

Big drive from County FA to all referees to encourage them to stand up to it and card players and coaches to help weed it out.

These are all good ideas but they are (mostly) within the remit of the CFAs. My experience with CFAs is that they won't make any decisions like that without an OK from the FA. I don't have that kind of reach.

But leagues are much more independent. And they are really feeling the squeeze at the moment. They might just be ready for something radical.
 

Kes

I'll Decide ...
Level 5 Referee
The only "anomaly" in all the above that I can see is that the "less good refs" often produce the "badly behaved team" by virtue of that. Not set in stone obviously and whilst a poor referee is no excuse for "bad behaviour" the two can go hand in hand.

Not sure how that could be factored in to the proposals above if at all but worth throwing into the mix ... :)
 

Trip

RefChat Addict
Level 5 Referee
Would you though get unsporting teams deliberately being more unsporting so they can unsportingly referee their own games? I've noticed in the local Sunday league that a particular problematic team always gets a wizened ref so that nothing kicks off.

Maybe, but that doesn't affect referee retention. And it doesn't affect well-behaved opponents either because they will get a league appointed referee.
 

Trip

RefChat Addict
Level 5 Referee
The only "anomaly" in all the above that I can see is that the "less good refs" often produce the "badly behaved team" by virtue of that.

I agree that makes sense. So you would expect that 'top' teams might get better sportsmanship marks because they generally get the more capable referees.

I'm going to test that theory by looking at the marks from last season. I'll come back to you.
 

JamesL

RefChat Addict
Level 4 Referee
I'm. Not sure if our RAO is already doing something similar re:appointments for the badly behaved teams
Ohh an add a penalty points system that dissent and offences against a ref counts towards. Hit a certain number of points and your team's gets banned for X games (and forfeits them 5-0).

For the most part it's a small minority that cause the problems. Make them the problem for the clubs and other players as it impacts their ability to play and things will change.
The problem I see with this is then the opponents lose out on a game which is unfair on them.
 

RobOda

RefChat Addict
Level 3 Referee
After a particularly bad season of bad behaviour, we were asked to mark the teams down for conduct.

They started at 10 points, lost a point for each caution, 2 for red cards or misconducts, were set to 0 if the match was abandoned due to their behaviour.

But if the team went below a certain mark, they would get summoned before the league, who would deal with them. I think the clubs faced a considerable fine the more often they got summoned.

Naturally, behaviour improved, just enough to stay above the mark required! :p
 

Gamespoiler

Active Member
Level 7 Referee
I think that there needs to be more support and training for referees. The teams that behave badly do so as it's just in their DNA and fines or scores against them won't change their behaviour.

As a football coach, there are numerous practical training courses available that I can participate in to improve my knowledge and practice. I can also progress through different levels by study and assessment. . Referees can get promoted, but that tends to be self-driven rather than based on completing 'badges' like coaches just mentioned.

There are referee associations out there but how effective are they and how much can they do meeting once a month on a shoestring budget? Do they provide real life assistance to referees on how to manage poor behaviour from players, coaches and or parents?

You can go over the laws of the game every day and read the IFAB book and look on YouTube etc and contribute to this forum but you're still doing this often on your own, just like on a matchday.

How do referees deal with an irate player or group of players screaming at them aggressively because of that single decision that one team agrees with and the other doesn't? It is hard without life experience to know how to deal with it and to show confidence.

So what I'm suggesting is more courses available for referees nationally on practical real life scenarios to enable referees at all levels to be fully equipped to deal with bad behaviour. I would like to think I deal with it sufficiently, but that is down to being a dad, having some life experience (being old) and working with children with behavioural issues on a daily basis. I've not had or seen a single referee training course, video or resource on behaviour management. If this was instilled into every referee then behaviour may not necessarily improve, but the way in which it is dealt with and managed would.
 

Kes

I'll Decide ...
Level 5 Referee
I think that there needs to be more support and training for referees. The teams that behave badly do so as it's just in their DNA and fines or scores against them won't change their behaviour.

As a football coach, there are numerous practical training courses available that I can participate in to improve my knowledge and practice. I can also progress through different levels by study and assessment. . Referees can get promoted, but that tends to be self-driven rather than based on completing 'badges' like coaches just mentioned.

There are referee associations out there but how effective are they and how much can they do meeting once a month on a shoestring budget? Do they provide real life assistance to referees on how to manage poor behaviour from players, coaches and or parents?

You can go over the laws of the game every day and read the IFAB book and look on YouTube etc and contribute to this forum but you're still doing this often on your own, just like on a matchday.

How do referees deal with an irate player or group of players screaming at them aggressively because of that single decision that one team agrees with and the other doesn't? It is hard without life experience to know how to deal with it and to show confidence.

So what I'm suggesting is more courses available for referees nationally on practical real life scenarios to enable referees at all levels to be fully equipped to deal with bad behaviour. I would like to think I deal with it sufficiently, but that is down to being a dad, having some life experience (being old) and working with children with behavioural issues on a daily basis. I've not had or seen a single referee training course, video or resource on behaviour management. If this was instilled into every referee then behaviour may not necessarily improve, but the way in which it is dealt with and managed would.

It's a good post, but ultimately, the problem isn't referees, it's the players, coaching staff and (to a certain degree) the spectators. Culturally, it's how football has evolved so unless that changes at the very top and filters down, there's not really a lot can be achieved by equipping referees with "management" skills, further training or otherwise.
 

Justylove

Premium Member
Premium Member
Level 4 Referee
The problem I see with this is then the opponents lose out on a game which is unfair on them.
In my experience, when a non problem side plays a toxic side, the non problem side doesn't really enjoy the game anyway.

Once examples are made, teams will either kick the offender's out OR will end up folding due to the fines that they face.

Short term pain for mid term gain.

Also there should be a name and shame - a bit like the local papers have "in court this week" the CFA should be publishing names and clubs.

Draconian? Yes, but what's the alternative?
 

Big Cat

RefChat Addict
Level 5 Referee
In my experience, when a non problem side plays a toxic side, the non problem side doesn't really enjoy the game anyway.

Once examples are made, teams will either kick the offender's out OR will end up folding due to the fines that they face.

Short term pain for mid term gain.

Also there should be a name and shame - a bit like the local papers have "in court this week" the CFA should be publishing names and clubs.

Draconian? Yes, but what's the alternative?
And the non-toxic side tends to get beaten.
 

es1

RefChat Addict
Level 4 Referee
In my experience, when a non problem side plays a toxic side, the non problem side doesn't really enjoy the game anyway.

Once examples are made, teams will either kick the offender's out OR will end up folding due to the fines that they face.

Short term pain for mid term gain.

Also there should be a name and shame - a bit like the local papers have "in court this week" the CFA should be publishing names and clubs.

Draconian? Yes, but what's the alternative?

the issue i see with this is that we're already losing teams for various reasons, won't this likely lead to even less teams / players? i guess that might eventually mean fewer games to ref which sort of helps but not in the right way.
 

Justylove

Premium Member
Premium Member
Level 4 Referee
the issue i see with this is that we're already losing teams for various reasons, won't this likely lead to even less teams / players? i guess that might eventually mean fewer games to ref which sort of helps but not in the right way.
I see 2 types of bad behaviour issues:

1) Where it's a small number of people in a specific team, most of the others don't condone the behaviour. Peer pressure and the threat of not dealing with the issue will lead to the problem people either stopping their behaviour or being chucked out of the club.
2) Where it's endemic in the club. Yes ultimately this will mean some of the clubs will fold, but reality is are they the types of clubs that football wants, abusing officials week in, week out.

Might even mean that players stop quitting the game because they don't enjoy it because of the toxic atmosphere.

Fewer clubs might actually mean all games covered, opportunity to have 3 officials on games and perish the thought, young referees being mentored and developed.
 

socal lurker

RefChat Addict
Ohh an add a penalty points system that dissent and offences against a ref counts towards. Hit a certain number of points and your team's gets banned for X games (and forfeits them 5-0).

For the most part it's a small minority that cause the problems. Make them the problem for the clubs and other players as it impacts their ability to play and things will change.
Our local AYSO program for 16U and 19U factors misconduct into the standings. Teams get a -1 in the standings for forfeits (in addition to the loss). Teams get a -1 in the standings for red cards (player or coach--or parent removed). Games are terminated with a forfeit if the coach is sent off (so that's a -2: 1 for the send off and 1 for the forfeit).

But I think the real change in behavior didn't come from those consequences so much as the leader of the program coming to the ref meeting and demanding that refs send off when it is warranted and promising to back them up when they do.

Expectations were set and behavior changed. Funny how that works . . .
 

Justylove

Premium Member
Premium Member
Level 4 Referee
Our local AYSO program for 16U and 19U factors misconduct into the standings. Teams get a -1 in the standings for forfeits (in addition to the loss). Teams get a -1 in the standings for red cards (player or coach--or parent removed). Games are terminated with a forfeit if the coach is sent off (so that's a -2: 1 for the send off and 1 for the forfeit).

But I think the real change in behavior didn't come from those consequences so much as the leader of the program coming to the ref meeting and demanding that refs send off when it is warranted and promising to back them up when they do.

Expectations were set and behavior changed. Funny how that works . . .
Yes isn't it strange that when there are rules to be enforced and the people at the top are rigourous about making sure they are, that change happens.....
 
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