January 6, 2009
Game Conduct for Coaches & Referee Abuse Part II by David Shaw
Referee abuse is becoming more and more common in today’s game. It is one of the main reasons that many qualified and competent referees are leaving the game. It is our responsibility as coaches to stop this trend and change the environment so that referees will want to stay in the game. We continute the list of some general points to help you as a coach in dealing with referees:
4. Sit back and relax. The best position in which to coach a soccer game is while being seated. The sitting position allows you to look relaxed which relaxes your players and we know that relaxed players play better. The sitting position is also conducive to creating a working environment which allows you to write legible notes on technical/tactical strengths and weaknesses observed. These notes will help in addressing half time adjustment and post-game summaries. The notes will also serve as a useful tool (reminder) for ‘themes’ to be improved at the next practice sessions.
5. Referee abuse often comes from parents. Soccer coaches are often asked by the local administration to add the responsibility of controlling their parents sideline behavior. Many parents are new to the game and do not understand the Laws of the Game. A wise coach schedules a meeting with the parents (before the session begins) to discuss the issue of referee abuse and also cover some of the basic rules.
6. Out of control games. If you feel that the game is getting-out-of-hand and that injuries may result. Then you have several options:
a. Ask the Assistant-referee if you can talk to the head referee regarding the dangerous play.
b. Communicate your concerns to the referee in a calm manner
c. If the game continues to be dangerous you can forfeit the game and pull your team off the field.
7. Treat others in the same manner that you would expect to be treated. How would you feel if every coaching decision you made was questioned by the referee. After a while you would probably get tired of the abuse. Imagine dealing with this type of situation at your work place. What if your co-workers and bosses spent all day screaming at you? How long would it take before you would start looking for another job?
8. As a coach you are a role model to your players. If you act in an aggressive manner toward the referee and are constantly questioning calls then be assured that your players will eventually follow your example.
9. Consequence of referee abuse:
The referee has the right to give you a red card and write up a report on your behavior.
The referee has the right to ask you to leave the grounds.
10. There are procedures established to handle referee complaints. Check with your local league referee coordinator who will have this information for you. A positive approach to the situation is always appreciated and it is wise to keep all criticisms constructive.
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