Cause & Effect Chart
I’ve been employing a very strategic method of dealing with my areas for improvement in refereeing. Before the season started, I reviewed all of last year’s assessments and the collective feedback and constructed a two-column table. I noted the problems and removed potential duplicates that I had found a cause of potential issues in the game from my performance. I then classified it under the areas of the game it could affect in the seven areas below (could have multiple).
- Application of Law
- Positioning, Fitness & Work Rate
- Alertness & Awareness: Including Management of Stoppages
- Match Control
This was very useful because I am able to reflect and see a direct correlation on the effect on a game and helps me recognise it better in the future and adapt. The result was more useful than the process, of course.
It’s very useful to look at this before every game to choose three focal areas to work on. I do this for my role as a referee, assistant referee and in Futsal refereeing.
Here’s a very basic template.
I’m also a professional blogger now! I am guest blogging on Play The Advantage. Check out my posts there during the build-up to the World Cup and through the tournament.
Goal-Line Technology: http://playtheadvantage.com/2014/05/26/world-cup-2014-tech-goal-line-technology
Refsworld Card Skins
I played around a bit at home with the card skins and I absolutely love them. I’ve always been afraid of using permanent marker on the re-writable cards because I’m afraid they won’t come off easily since I don’t have alcohol wipes. I thought I’d give it a go. I tried it with pencil first and it worked fine but the writing wasn’t too great. It came off with an eraser/rubber even when drenched and didn’t smudge. The Sharpie came out.
I wrote number 5 sent off in the 26th minute and it was VERY clear considering it was a thick permanent marker. I thought to myself “Oh no”. Is it going to come off? I ran it under the water and tried smudging it. Nothing happened. That’s good. It holds up. Or is it? I pull out a can of deodorant and spray it on and almost instantly I see the writing smudge. I smiled! Another spray and wash and it was all gone. Looked brand new.
Here’s the product demonstration done by the makers!
Can get rid of all my other re-writable cards now. This one is just attached to my existing ones!
This spin-off to my refereeing career has been a lot of fun. It’s helped me develop my knowledge of the Laws of the Game in the topics I chose to instruct but I feel I have a lot more to gain out of it. A lot of knowledge that I try to provide practical advice to is even difficult for myself. In the first five minutes of the season (I’m talking about Mens games), a player beat a defender on the corner of the penalty area moving towards goal. The defender looked to stop him and made slight contact but the attacker almost flopped to the ground. I awarded nothing and in a passing word told the attacker he was lucky to get away with it because he could have been punished for simulation early on. He said “Come on ref” in a polite manner and I smiled back. It was a grim smile on the inside wondering why I hadn’t punished it.
I had instructed this topic twice during the Winter off-season in the last four months but I was not able to take action upon it instantly. I’m afraid of crossing the line of classifying a no-foul scenario (e.g. genuine fall) as simulation from then on.
“Remember. On the way to catching the bad guys, some good guys will be caught along the way. Don’t be afraid to punish simulation.”
Body language is another topic I have taught that I have felt more leverage in. Best of all in confrontational situations. Being an average height referee means more work is needed to referee a match than perhaps a taller counterpart so body language becomes key. A lot here can be learnt through the instruction material and best of all, through watching other referees and picking parts of their styles.
So from Week 21 Sunday, I learnt a great deal about studs up challenges considering I was in “one”. Not to take it to the extreme but I’ve developed a better understanding. The football I played in when I was “younger” was recreational. Anybody who committed cautionable offences was kicked out and shunned because everyone was there to play and not ruin the game let alone finding serious foul play or foul and abusive language on the field. The concept of this type of challenge was foreign to me on the football field as a player. It was a term I understood as a referee in what I saw and in appeals but never fully understood. After all, how can you if you’ve never felt it or know it’s true impact? Cause and effect define the severity of things. It’s something I will keep a keener and stricter eye for from now on.
Looking back at old blog posts from last year and earlier, I feel my refereeing has matured a bit and/or I’ve built some better confidence. The off-season training has no doubt helped in fitness. Regardless, there is a long way to go.
Rest of the Week
Games start again tomorrow and training is at a halt with the game schedule being so packed. Really the main exercise than being at work in front of the desk is walking home!
Part 2 of the week will be the games starting tomorrow running straight through to next week and there’s a new level of games to explore on Saturday!