So pre-game instructions in Futsal between referees are a little different to football.
Here are some of the items I have learnt to discuss with my Futsal co-referees.
- Timing of Documentation
When both referees are noting items, it’s important to co-ordinate writing. This is because if both referees have their head down noting something down, field coverage is killed and players will notice that they can commit an offence without it being witnessed by the referee crew. As a result, it should become a regular mechanic to check whether your co-referee is writing so that someone is always watching play. If he is, wait!
- Eye Contact
Something that may be more of the case with younger/newer officials are that eye contact is crucial in Futsal to succeed in maintaining the optimum viewing position. You usually need to flick your eyes up at least once every 7 seconds so that you are aware where your partner is and so that you are on the same page. Even if play is moving very quickly and it’s impossible to get into the right position, it’s important to balance positioning so that a diagonal is maintained and both referees are never directly across from each other.
Another particular instance requiring eye contact is when the whistle is going to be blown for a restart. The referee going to blow the whistle should make eye contact quickly with his partner to ensure that no messages need to be communicated e.g. five accumulated fouls or some form of foreseen misconduct.
- Responsibility of noting Fouls, Score & Cards
This definitely depends on the referee crew working the game, the size of the crew as well as the level of competition and players’ age. In most of the games I have worked, Referee 1 usually marks down the score (goal scorers) and cards (discipline) while Referee 2 marks accumulated fouls. This allows one referee to always pay attention to allow a quick restart.
Depending on the game, I sometimes note both so that we never make mistakes with any details. You may want to take a look at my match card that I designed for quick use.
- Goal Mechanic
Following a goal, the referee closest to the goal would signal by pointing to centre by extending the non-goal-side hand and pointing towards the centre circle with the palm facing down. The hand should be held at shoulder height. If the ball went in and out quickly and there was any possible confusion, the referee should blow the whistle and give the appropriate signal. The other referee should give no signal. Once the goal has been signalled, the referee who has the best view of the back of the goal scorer’s shirt signals the jersey number using Futsal’s numbering system outlined in the Futsal Laws of the Game.
- Responsibility of Signalling
This is a fairly simple one to cover with new referees. Only one referee ever needs to be giving a signal and only one referee ever needs to be counting with their hand up. The exception for two referees signalling is for an indirect free kick.
- Out-of-bounds over Goal-line or Touchline
The scenario that arises here is fairly advanced, in the sense that it requires experience in games to understand its importance. When the ball is kicked towards a corner on your touchline and is kicked high in the air, it can be quite difficult to pin-point whether it went out over the goal-line or the touchline. Lo and behold, the reason for the entire diagonal system which places your partner referee in prime position to make the judgement. As a result he knows the next signal but it’s not his responsibility to signal! Part of my team mechanic is for them to help me find out which line it went over by simply pointing at the line or motioning the direction of the line. I can then make the right call and signal effortlessly. No muss no fuss.
More will be added to this page if I think of anything. Feel free to comment if you have something to add!