Thursday, August 27, 2015

What Soccer Referees Should Learn from #Deflategate - Part 4 of 5

In thinking about this post, I was recalling this scene from Red Planet, and how true it is.

In the particular scene, the Mars Explorer has crashed and they are an unknown distance from "Hab," their temporary habitat when on the surface of Mars. You have a small team of experts on the surface of Mars to solve this issue. There are others in orbit, and several back on Earth, but the team can't talk to them.

There is one obvious analog here with both #deflategate and our refereeing lives and it is a need to think laterally to solve a given problem and rely on your whole team to do so.

I commented yesterday that it was pretty clear to me the opposing sides on the #deflategate issue each has their own goal which do not overlap, with the exception "to win" for each individual. "Winning" however is in the eyes of the beholder.

As a referee you have to put faith in your team that they are doing their job and are there for the betterment of The Game, The Players, The Team, and themselves, in that order. I think both sides in #deflategate could have used changes to their roster as it also seems clear to me that not everyone is on the same page in what the best interests are and their relative priority. There are more than a couple of actors in that story that are all about "ME."

It can happen in refereeing too, and it is critical to keep a well honed team together for the duration of the match with a clear eye to what is critical ... The Game, The Players, The Team.

As a #protip a referee is empowered to dismiss a teammate under extreme circumstances. This is beyond the more regular practice of adjusting positions to avoid a possible conflict. A dismissal is a very difficult thing to do and requires courage and a clear set of reasoning why it must be done. I have had the unfortunate task of doing so only once in my career, and hope it never happens again. If you have to do this, make sure it is for all the right reasons, and be sure to make a report to the competition authority as to the why and the facts surrounding the dismissal. If at all possible though, work as a team to try to figure it out using every possible problem solving method and knowledge source you have.

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