Ref4Me

Referee retention idea

lincs22

Supply League Observer
Staff member
Observer/Tutor
Currently, the leagues have no power to punish in-match misconduct. That belongs to the CFA. All leagues can punish is admin faults.....

The CFA's can't make a decision, as if it is not the manual, the FA will reject on appeal.


The FA needs to act
 
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Trip

RefChat Addict
Level 5 Referee
I don't particularly want to Referee well behaved teams on a regular basis

This is a fair point, and one I considered. Also that some referees would prefer to get a top level game than a well behaved one. Both those preferences could easily be accommodated I think.
 

Big Cat

RefChat Addict
Level 5 Referee
This is a fair point, and one I considered. Also that some referees would prefer to get a top level game than a well behaved one. Both those preferences could easily be accommodated I think.
Quite honestly... and I'm sure this trait will wear thin over time, I ask for difficult games; teams that are causing problems etc. And to varying degrees, I'm getting them (when I'm bloody fit enough to grace the FOP!)
I see it as some sorta 'personal development plan'. Plus, I just don't think I'll improve unless the teams are competitive. And, more often than not, there's a direct correlation between behaviour and competitiveness. The teams that are harder to Ref win more games because they make sure they do, one or another (at all levels)
The above bullishness of mine will taper off I'm sure, once the novelty of Refereeing starts to wane
 
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RustyRef

Administrator
Staff member
The obvious problem is if you don't appoint referees to the troublesome teams they are probably quite happy with that. And the teams that lose out are their opponents who get kicked off the park with no protection and no come back on the troublesome team.

Whilst I agree that club and player behaviour has reduced the number of referees, it isn't just that. Other sports are also struggling, and Covid has played a big part. Whether people aren't comfortable coming back with infections still high, or I think more likely they have just got used to doing other things on a Saturday and Sunday, both will have had a big impact. And dare I even say Brexit, in my area there are a lot of referees from Europe, especially Eastern Europe, and I know of a lot that have moved back to their home country following Brexit.

There clearly needs to be stronger sanctions for abusing referees, whether verbally or physically, and that comes down to the FA. Whilst CFAs issue the sanctions they are bound by the FA's policies and often run scared of being taken to appeal if the sanction is too severe and it goes to appeal at Wembley. But even if stronger sanctions are in place I think there will still be a serious shortage, a lot of people just seem to have walked away from refereeing during Covid and lockdowns.
 

lincs22

Supply League Observer
Staff member
Observer/Tutor
A lot of posters are saying make the punishment harder, longer and more importantly expensive for the managers/club officials.

The ultimate problem is that person gives up and nobody else is willing to run the team, so it folds. The CFA loses a club (and money !).

The CFA are targeted to increase involvement. Very few players are becoming involved in the operation of the club. They want to turn up and play.

None of this affects the problem with referees, but does explain sometimes the FA worries.
 

Trip

RefChat Addict
Level 5 Referee
The obvious problem is if you don't appoint referees to the troublesome teams they are probably quite happy with that. And the teams that lose out are their opponents who get kicked off the park with no protection and no come back on the troublesome team.

My proposal means that well behaved teams will always get a referee regardless of how unpleasant their opponent is. It's only if you get two badly behaved teams that they don't get a ref.
 

Trip

RefChat Addict
Level 5 Referee
A lot of posters are saying make the punishment harder, longer and more importantly expensive for the managers/club officials.

The ultimate problem is that person gives up and nobody else is willing to run the team, so it folds. The CFA loses a club (and money !).

The clubs would be incentivised to remove troublesome players. If they don't and the badly behaved team folds, that a plus isn't it?
 

OIREF!

RefChat Addict
There clearly needs to be stronger sanctions for abusing referees, whether verbally or physically, and that comes down to the FA. Whilst CFAs issue the sanctions they are bound by the FA's policies and often run scared of being taken to appeal if the sanction is too severe and it goes to appeal at Wembley. But even if stronger sanctions are in place I think there will still be a serious shortage, a lot of people just seem to have walked away from refereeing during Covid and lockdowns.

In 20 years refereeing I've seen referee shortages season after season. However, this season is by a long way the worst I have ever seen. In the leagues in which I referee the match secretary always struggled but usually managed to get all games covered eventually. This season we're seeing 6-8 postponements a week for no referee and even that's with quite a number of referees covering more than one game. The issue of abuse very much remains but, like you, I think the circumstances of the last 18 months has lead to a lot of referees not continuing and also new referees not coming through.
 

zarathustra

RefChat Addict
Level 6 Referee
A lot of posters are saying make the punishment harder, longer and more importantly expensive for the managers/club officials.

The ultimate problem is that person gives up and nobody else is willing to run the team, so it folds. The CFA loses a club (and money !).

The CFA are targeted to increase involvement. Very few players are becoming involved in the operation of the club. They want to turn up and play.

None of this affects the problem with referees, but does explain sometimes the FA worries.
I guess then if that were to happen, then teams would need to decide whether abusing referees is more important to them than playing football.

The CFA are between a rock and a hard place, they have to try and look after their referees, while also trying to keep participation up and keep the clubs and leagues happy.
 

Big Cat

RefChat Addict
Level 5 Referee
We're all creatures of habit. I once played and officiated golf on a habitual basis, but my golf club closed due to reduced participation and financial ruin. That coincided with my son taking up football which triggered me to do the Refereeing course (something I'd always considered but never got round to) and a change of my habitual hobby. So presumably, Covid has acted as a firebreak for many Referees. It'll take a long time to repopulate the Refereeing numbers and incentives to achieve that
I wonder if playing participation has dropped off in a similar way. Either way, the shortage of Referees is sure to contribute to a further depressing decline in the grass roots 11-a-side game
 

one

RefChat Addict
Level 7 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?
Good upside, the downsides I can think of.
The games in the biggest need for a referee are the the ones that don't get one (without a decent referee the game goes to sh!t very quickly and gets abandoned.). A nightmare for the the leagues.
Referees need poorly behaved teams from time to time to challenge them to hone their player and game management skills.

What do you do when best behaved team is playing the worst behaved team?
 

Trip

RefChat Addict
Level 5 Referee
The games in the biggest need for a referee are the the ones that don't get one (without a decent referee the game goes to sh!t very quickly and gets abandoned.). A nightmare for the the leagues.

Yes. But the point is to retain referees so that a smaller proportion of games don't get one. If it works it's to the league's benefit.

The marks on which a team is judged is the marks awarded by the referee - not the marks awarded by their opponents. I am guessing that referees mark teams more on the basis of how they treat refs rather than how they treat their opponents.

But you might be right that there would be more abandonments.

Referees need poorly behaved teams from time to time to challenge them to hone their player and game management skills.

And they would still referee badly behaved teams - but not two at once.
 

Big Cat

RefChat Addict
Level 5 Referee
Maybe some of that nauseating wealth from the top can cover the cost of the Referees course. To get numbers up, a massive incentive to make a leap of faith into Refereeing is needed, not a chunk of cost to deter most folk
Covid has screwed retention, perhaps irretrievably. New blood would be healthy. Shame it won't happen

The solutions to the problem are not rocket science. But they don't directly generate wealth at the top of the game, so they won't happen
 
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Viking

Q-1994, Re-qualified 2019 Worcestershire UK
Level 7 Referee
I wonder if teams at grassroots really care if there's a ref. If a coach does it they can happily coach whilst reffing and ensure 50,50 decisions go the right way. They don't know the LOTG and neither does the other coach. There's a little bit of inbuilt leeway on decisions as opposed to mouthing off against someone who knows the LOTG.

Re swearing, at HT a coach recently calmly asked the qualified but potentially no longer registered ref, to take action against an opposition player who had sworn twice in frustration at decisions and once at one of his u14 players. The coach said that he'd taught his players not to swear or show dissent. He was told by the ref that he was the ref and would be reffing it his way.

Refs need to take appropriate action because this refs actions will lead to a problem for next weeks ref.
 

Ben448844

RefChat Addict
Level 5 Referee
I wonder if teams at grassroots really care if there's a ref. If a coach does it they can happily coach whilst reffing and ensure 50,50 decisions go the right way. They don't know the LOTG and neither does the other coach. There's a little bit of inbuilt leeway on decisions as opposed to mouthing off against someone who knows the LOTG.

Re swearing, at HT a coach recently calmly asked the qualified but potentially no longer registered ref, to take action against an opposition player who had sworn twice in frustration at decisions and once at one of his u14 players. The coach said that he'd taught his players not to swear or show dissent. He was told by the ref that he was the ref and would be reffing it his way.

Refs need to take appropriate action because this refs actions will lead to a problem for next weeks ref.

Players definitely care if there's a ref. Ultimately most players want protection and fairness, and the best way to get that is from an independent person. I've been in teams who've moaned about the ref to the point of practically hating them or believing them to be so poor that the game would suffer because of them. But ask any of those players if they preferred to have a coach or that ref they would choose a ref every time.

I reckon I played over 1000 matches in my lowly career and I dont recall ever not having a ref. A handful of games where the ref didn't turn up or cancelled last minute, but the game was cancelled because there was no independent ref. The idea that you would play without an independent ref was ludicrous to us all as we'd only ever experienced football with a qualified ref from u9s to being mid 30s.

Now teams will either be used to playing without a qualified ref, or they're about to get used to it. It will be interesting to see if adult football can continue successfully in the medoum/long term without a qualified ref and what effect it will have
 

OIREF!

RefChat Addict
I wonder if teams at grassroots really care if there's a ref.
Absolutely they do. At the grass roots level where I referee teams have the option to referee themselves if no referee is appointed. Almost without exception the game will not go ahead.
 

lincs22

Supply League Observer
Staff member
Observer/Tutor
Absolutely they do. At the grass roots level where I referee teams have the option to referee themselves if no referee is appointed. Almost without exception the game will not go ahead.
Most leagues in this area have to play the match with or without a referee. Not playing gets both clubs charged with a late postponement.

The trouble is there is no money for referee development, only for the chosen few on the promotion scheme or in CORE.

My thoughts, abolish the RA's so they become the referee support depts of the CFA. RA have little money, few active members, and are closing across the country.
 

Worthingwhistle

New Member
Level 7 Referee
I completely agree with every point raised in this discussion, but ultimately I believe the only people concerned about referee retention and treatment are Referees themselves, most clubs and players don't give a jot about the welfare or pressures put on officials ,more than once a manager has given me my fee and told me its "money for old rope".The county FAs need to keep club and player registrations rolling in to cover staff salaries so banning repeat offenders or fining clubs and players for every misdemeanours until they upsticks and move on just won't happen. As Big Cat says some of the vast wealth from the top of the football pyramid could easily cover course fees and kit costs (I for one feel kits should be hugely subsidised).Do we think this would ever happen ? Unlikely at best I'd say .The role of a referee at grass roots has to be enjoyable the vast majority of the time to make younger Referees stick around because the lure of £20/£25 for 2 hours +work just isn't enough .
I still do it because I enjoy a run out on a weekend chasing past glories but I must admit it wouldn't take to much nonsense to hang the whistle up.There are good Clubs,managers and players out there who believe in the integrity and values of our game but unfortunately they're increasingly drowned out by the others who only believe in themselves.
 

Ben448844

RefChat Addict
Level 5 Referee
The perception of referees needs to change from the top. Let them speak to the media. Let them have personalities. Actually punish dissent. Call it out at every opportunity on Sky and BT. Promote refereeing properly. The only part of refereeing that's promoted is the failed respect campaigns. Never seen anything on tv about attracting refs to the game. All I ever see is criticism.

And for God's sake can we actually do something about dissent and criticism from managers during the gane and after! Everytime the camera is on the 4th official he's being screamed at. Who in their right mind would look on TV, see that and think "that's a job I'd like". There is literally no reason why a manager or coach should communicate with a referee. None at all. They are their to coach/manage their players. There was an article last week that the Spurs players are uneasy because the new managerial team give the officials so much abuse. But why is it allowed to happen. How about 0 tolerance of communications between management and officials? It really has got to that point in the PL/CL for me. Its dreadful to watch and is a hindrance to attracting young refs.

I'm ranting incoherently now 🤣🤣 I'm just sick of the abuse officials get and even more so the absolute inability/unwillingness of the powers that be to stop it. Its weak.
 
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