RefSix

Referee With 4th Official

Justylove

RefChat Addict
Level 5 Referee
I got appointed to a County Cup middle where I'll have a 4th official as well
I've done plenty of games leading a team of 3, but never one with a 4th before.

Typically in a 3 the senior AR keeps the match record in case of needing to come on. I know the 4th official will do this, but is there also a need for a senior AR to keep a record as well?

Also for subs, the 4th official handles, but do you ask the benchside AR to assist if there are multiple subs happening at once or just leave it all to the 4th official to handle?
 

Russell Jones

RefChat Addict
Level 3 Referee
Congrats, great appointment!

Key thing to check is who would replace you should you go down. Might be the Fourth Official or might still be your Senior Assistant. That person obviously needs to keep a full match record ... no harm in others doing so but not as necessary.

From personal experience, it's very helpful for the Senior AR to help out the Fourth when multiple substitutions are happening. Got marked down earlier this season for fumbling a bit with the subs board on a double substitution :confused:
 

Justylove

RefChat Addict
Level 5 Referee
Congrats, great appointment!

Key thing to check is who would replace you should you go down. Might be the Fourth Official or might still be your Senior Assistant. That person obviously needs to keep a full match record ... no harm in others doing so but not as necessary.

From personal experience, it's very helpful for the Senior AR to help out the Fourth when multiple substitutions are happening. Got marked down earlier this season for fumbling a bit with the subs board on a double substitution :confused:

Thanks, it will be the 4th official who takes over.

I was going to suggest the AR helps with multiple substitutions, but wasn't sure if that was needed or not!
 

JamesL

RefChat Addict
Level 4 Referee
Great timing, I am in the same boat as you. Will be watching the thread keenly for any tips.
 

RustyRef

Administrator
Staff member
Typically with a 4th official he will record everything, but normally the senior AR will also record all cautions and misconduct, sometimes with junior AR recording goals.

These things probably need covering, over and above what you'd do for a team of 3 briefing.

- roles and responsibilities if one official goes down. Usually if the referee is injured the 4th official takes over, but sometimes one of the ARs will be senior to the 4th official so he would take over instead.

- what you want the 4th official to record. I would get him to record absolutely everything, including a stoppages log. Every time there is a stoppage, injuries, subs, lost ball, generally anything 30 seconds or more, get him to note it down (time taken and reason), that way if there are complaints about how much or little added time you play you have evidence to throw back at them.

- who does what at substitutions. Should AR1 always come and help out or should that only be if there or 2 or more changes. If AR1 is helping who does the kit check. Assuming you don't have comms, who gets the signal to you for a sub, typically AR1 would get told and then buzz the referee. If you don't have buzzers 4th man would tell AR1 to raise flag, but realistically you'd both be shouting "ref, sub".

- how do you want the benches managed. Should he keep warning about too many standing, or just do it a few times and then give up and report them after the game. What do you want around managing behaviour, will you come over for a chat or if you are coming over does that mean a card is coming out. Remember the clubs probably won't be used to technical areas, let alone a 4th official, and it isn't uncommon for them to look like bus shelters. Regardless of standing numbers, make sure only those named are in there, and make sure no one under 16 is in there. If you have team sheets and then take action against someone in the TA who shouldn't be there it will not look good if it goes to a hearing. If the team sheet doesn't have a section for TA members get them to write the names on the back.

- what happens at half time and full time. I would ask my 4th official to get straight into the tunnel as soon as possible after full time in case anything happens, some referees don't like that and would rather they stay at the edge and met them as they go in (on the basis if you don't see it kicking off you don't have to deal with it). Not so relevant at the end of a cup game as you would hope everyone would stay out for presentations.

- If it will go to penalties after a draw task the 4th official with ensuring that the 11 that finish the game stay on the pitch and none of the subs go on. Even better get him to note the 22 numbers on just before the end of ET (or FT if no ET). This can be tricky, especially with rolling subs, plenty of cup games have had to be replayed due to players who weren't on at the end taking penalties. You really don't want this to happen to you in a cup final.

- probably most important, tell them not to defend the indefensible. Being 4th official can be a very lonely place, you can't run away like the referee and (sometimes) AR1 can, you are stuck there and if you try and defend every decision it can be a very painful 90 minutes. As long as it doesn't relate to a goal, penalty, attacking free kick, etc, it is fine to say something like "from here I can see what you are saying but the referee is looking at it from a different angle".

Above all, enjoy ...!
 

Justylove

RefChat Addict
Level 5 Referee
Typically with a 4th official he will record everything, but normally the senior AR will also record all cautions and misconduct, sometimes with junior AR recording goals.

These things probably need covering, over and above what you'd do for a team of 3 briefing.

- roles and responsibilities if one official goes down. Usually if the referee is injured the 4th official takes over, but sometimes one of the ARs will be senior to the 4th official so he would take over instead.

- what you want the 4th official to record. I would get him to record absolutely everything, including a stoppages log. Every time there is a stoppage, injuries, subs, lost ball, generally anything 30 seconds or more, get him to note it down (time taken and reason), that way if there are complaints about how much or little added time you play you have evidence to throw back at them.

- who does what at substitutions. Should AR1 always come and help out or should that only be if there or 2 or more changes. If AR1 is helping who does the kit check. Assuming you don't have comms, who gets the signal to you for a sub, typically AR1 would get told and then buzz the referee. If you don't have buzzers 4th man would tell AR1 to raise flag, but realistically you'd both be shouting "ref, sub".

- how do you want the benches managed. Should he keep warning about too many standing, or just do it a few times and then give up and report them after the game. What do you want around managing behaviour, will you come over for a chat or if you are coming over does that mean a card is coming out. Remember the clubs probably won't be used to technical areas, let alone a 4th official, and it isn't uncommon for them to look like bus shelters. Regardless of standing numbers, make sure only those named are in there, and make sure no one under 16 is in there. If you have team sheets and then take action against someone in the TA who shouldn't be there it will not look good if it goes to a hearing. If the team sheet doesn't have a section for TA members get them to write the names on the back.

- what happens at half time and full time. I would ask my 4th official to get straight into the tunnel as soon as possible after full time in case anything happens, some referees don't like that and would rather they stay at the edge and met them as they go in (on the basis if you don't see it kicking off you don't have to deal with it). Not so relevant at the end of a cup game as you would hope everyone would stay out for presentations.

- If it will go to penalties after a draw task the 4th official with ensuring that the 11 that finish the game stay on the pitch and none of the subs go on. Even better get him to note the 22 numbers on just before the end of ET (or FT if no ET). This can be tricky, especially with rolling subs, plenty of cup games have had to be replayed due to players who weren't on at the end taking penalties. You really don't want this to happen to you in a cup final.

- probably most important, tell them not to defend the indefensible. Being 4th official can be a very lonely place, you can't run away like the referee and (sometimes) AR1 can, you are stuck there and if you try and defend every decision it can be a very painful 90 minutes. As long as it doesn't relate to a goal, penalty, attacking free kick, etc, it is fine to say something like "from here I can see what you are saying but the referee is looking at it from a different angle".

Above all, enjoy ...!

Exactly what I was looking for thanks @RustyRef. Now any chance you can close the thread before VAR gets mentioned? 😉
 

Jtpetherick1

Member
Level 4 Referee
Agree with everything mentioned. To the best of my knowledge, there are no LOTG regarding who should record what so its entirely up to you. A 4th official is another ASSISTANT referee so ask for any and everything you can think of that will help you. If them doing cartwheels on the touchline is going to help you (it won't, by the way!) then ask for it!
Also, I don't know what level you're refereeing at but if you have the magic spray, I always ask my 4th to have a can on them too. And obviously want them kitted up as though they were refereeing - whistle/pens/however many cards, etc.
 

PinnerPaul

RefChat Addict
Level 7 Referee
Typically with a 4th official he will record everything, but normally the senior AR will also record all cautions and misconduct, sometimes with junior AR recording goals.

These things probably need covering, over and above what you'd do for a team of 3 briefing.

- roles and responsibilities if one official goes down. Usually if the referee is injured the 4th official takes over, but sometimes one of the ARs will be senior to the 4th official so he would take over instead.

- what you want the 4th official to record. I would get him to record absolutely everything, including a stoppages log. Every time there is a stoppage, injuries, subs, lost ball, generally anything 30 seconds or more, get him to note it down (time taken and reason), that way if there are complaints about how much or little added time you play you have evidence to throw back at them.

- who does what at substitutions. Should AR1 always come and help out or should that only be if there or 2 or more changes. If AR1 is helping who does the kit check. Assuming you don't have comms, who gets the signal to you for a sub, typically AR1 would get told and then buzz the referee. If you don't have buzzers 4th man would tell AR1 to raise flag, but realistically you'd both be shouting "ref, sub".

- how do you want the benches managed. Should he keep warning about too many standing, or just do it a few times and then give up and report them after the game. What do you want around managing behaviour, will you come over for a chat or if you are coming over does that mean a card is coming out. Remember the clubs probably won't be used to technical areas, let alone a 4th official, and it isn't uncommon for them to look like bus shelters. Regardless of standing numbers, make sure only those named are in there, and make sure no one under 16 is in there. If you have team sheets and then take action against someone in the TA who shouldn't be there it will not look good if it goes to a hearing. If the team sheet doesn't have a section for TA members get them to write the names on the back.

- what happens at half time and full time. I would ask my 4th official to get straight into the tunnel as soon as possible after full time in case anything happens, some referees don't like that and would rather they stay at the edge and met them as they go in (on the basis if you don't see it kicking off you don't have to deal with it). Not so relevant at the end of a cup game as you would hope everyone would stay out for presentations.

- If it will go to penalties after a draw task the 4th official with ensuring that the 11 that finish the game stay on the pitch and none of the subs go on. Even better get him to note the 22 numbers on just before the end of ET (or FT if no ET). This can be tricky, especially with rolling subs, plenty of cup games have had to be replayed due to players who weren't on at the end taking penalties. You really don't want this to happen to you in a cup final.

- probably most important, tell them not to defend the indefensible. Being 4th official can be a very lonely place, you can't run away like the referee and (sometimes) AR1 can, you are stuck there and if you try and defend every decision it can be a very painful 90 minutes. As long as it doesn't relate to a goal, penalty, attacking free kick, etc, it is fine to say something like "from here I can see what you are saying but the referee is looking at it from a different angle".

Above all, enjoy ...!
Thanks Rusty I am 4th Official soon, so will make sure ref covers all those topics in his pre match!

One area you don't mention - sin bins? Would you expect a 4th to get involved with managing that at all?

Thanks
 

RustyRef

Administrator
Staff member
Thanks Rusty I am 4th Official soon, so will make sure ref covers all those topics in his pre match!

One area you don't mention - sin bins? Would you expect a 4th to get involved with managing that at all?

Thanks
Yes, absolutely. I'd be expecting the 4th official to manage any sin bins completely. Didn't mention it as not something I have experience of in games when I have had / been 4th official but obviously relevant now.
 

jofusref

RefChat Addict
good advice, just remember you dont want all 4 officials doing paper work at the same time you need someone watching the pitch, let us know how it goes
 

one

RefChat Addict
Level 7 Referee
@jofusref you must be pretty special getting more than one 4O at a time. I have only ever had one at a time :D

My contribution, 4O or not, make sure your instructions are practical. As soon as you give impractical instructions, you are setting everyone up to fail. I was AR in a game with 4O, recording instruction from ref was, everyone records everything but only one person records at a time in this order, CR, near AR, far AR then 4O. Needless to say it did not happen that way in any of the recording incidents. To be fair, the CR was not used to refereeing with ARs, let alone a 4O.
 

PinnerPaul

RefChat Addict
Level 7 Referee
Another point to make.

Having a quick count up - this will be my 6th 4th official role in 18 years and over 550 games. Expect most referees outside the top will have similar experience. So do make sure you and the 4th know exactly what you want them to do - they won't know anymore than you do!
 

Grayson

RefChat Addict
Don't forget to fake an injury and give the 4th the last five minutes or so if the game's already won.

Only if they brought wine gums for half-time though.

SEE YOU THERE, CHEERIO! :D
 

jofusref

RefChat Addict
@jofusref you must be pretty special getting more than one 4O at a time. I have only ever had one at a time :D
pardon

My contribution, 4O or not, make sure your instructions are practical. As soon as you give impractical instructions, you are setting everyone up to fail. I was AR in a game with 4O, recording instruction from ref was, everyone records everything but only one person records at a time in this order, CR, near AR, far AR then 4O. Needless to say it did not happen that way in any of the recording incidents. To be fair, the CR was not used to refereeing with ARs, let alone a 4O.
 

RefIADad

Member
Level 7 Referee
I usually do 2-3 games with a 4O per year - generally state club and high school tournament events. Here are the key issues (besides being the voodoo doll for the coaches :) ) that I like 4Os to help me with during a match.
  • Keep track of stoppage time. If my stoppage time is very different than yours, then I'll either go with yours (since you aren't running on the field, you probably remembered to start/stop your watch when I didn't) or at least chat to make sure we get it right.
  • When the ball goes out near you, give me a soft signal for input on direction. You are a referee as well.
  • Same thing with fouls/misconduct. If we aren't using comms, give me a soft signal for direction. If it's misconduct, give me the standard input signals for misconduct (hand over your badge for a caution, hand on back pocket for a send-off).
  • If there is a mass confrontation in my quadrant on the bench side, if the benches are OK come down the sideline to help me box the play in and begin to take numbers. AR 1 will then manage the benches.
  • EDIT - As the fourth official, I also want you watching the quadrant of the field that would normally be unviewed with three officials. If the ball is near the bench-side touchline and you know AR1 is following the ball on the line, keep an eye on the quadrant behind our backs. If the ball is in the far quadrant where R and AR2 are boxing play in, watch the near-side attacking quadrant behind R's back (AR1 will watch the defending half of the field in front of AR1). Basically, during a game with a fourth official, we should be able to watch all four quadrants of the field in a normal game situation. (Side note - this also can go a long way to stopping any of the coach's "Did you see that??" cries. When I was a 4O in a high school state tournament game last year, I was honest and told the coach that I was not watching the ball that often during active play and was watching other areas of the field to identify possible misconduct off the ball. He actually thought a moment, recognized that I was right, and said "I understand, but I still think the center missed it." My response was, "I can understand your point of view from the angle you had, but that wasn't the center's opinion." :)
  • EDIT - When play is close to the benches, be ready to quickly squash any dissent or potential confrontations. Be ready to help me with advice on who in the technical areas should be cautioned on a contentious issue. If there is a foul in front of you that is misconduct, don't be afraid to be more demonstrative when helping me with cards. I want the benches to know that both of us are dealing with issues (along with AR1 if he/she is close to the action). Plays in front of the benches have the potential to be explosive - we need to be on top of those quickly.
 
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