Tuesday, August 25, 2015

What Soccer Referees Should Learn from #Deflategate - Part 2 of 5

Yet another lessons that referees can take away from #deflategate is that consistency is king.

Recent headlines have come up regarding open admissions by Aaron Rodgers on how he prefers his footballs prepared, yet the league has choose to do nothing about it.

Take a look here, among other places for this information. In a nutshell the league is saying they are not going to investigate.

Well as you can imagine, Patriot and not Patriot fans alike reacted poorly to this as it was clear that, if the NFL thought the deflation of balls was akin to performance enhancing, then all instances of it should be investigated as it would seem serious.


Nope, per Troy Vincent.

Let me assure you folks, there is no faster way to kill a match than to be inconsistent about what you are going to decide. Now, does that mean you can't change your mind about what you are going to call given the emotions surrounding the game. No absolutely not and look below for a very practical use of that method.

What I am saying is that if a referee calls a foul a particular way (like a handling) outside the penalty area, you have to call it the same way inside the penalty area. I can assure you, the laws of physics do not change in that 7128 sqf area. There is no faster way to earn the ire of players than decide to change the course of a match by calling or not a foul in a way not consistent with another part of the field. A foul is a foul no matter where it happens.

Don't be fooled though, the temperature of a match can change, and usually does during a match and it is critical for a referee to take note and deal with it accordingly. Some referees call this "pacing" of a match where there are times more action is needed than not. A referee that is really in tune with a match will help manage the pace to allow players the ability to fully demonstrate their abilities and stop opportunities for the destruction of them. This concept is very advanced but the basics of knowing when a player, or team, or match, is reaching a fever pitch is critical to referee development.

Here is a #protip that I have used late in my refereeing career.
  • As a referee don't ever try to manufacture controversy by creating calls to get a higher score on an assessment or to make it competitive. (Yes folks, some referees have been known to do this.) Not only is it unethical to call fouls for a referees benefit, most assessors will catch on and come down on you for it. Heck, if it is an "easy" match ... just leave it that way!

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