View Full Version : Refereeing styles

Simon Griffiths
23-10-04, 21:10
We know that there are many different types of refereeing styles. I just wondered what yours was, what you'd like it to be and which you think is best. Also, if you (inevitably) change it for different games.
For you assessors/advisors (OB et al), what would you like a referee to be (other than good!)

The way I see it there are really three kinds of refereeing styles, they are:
1. Officious (some may say whistle happy) and ready to send someone to the bin for even thinking about straying off-side.
2. Middle of the road (e.g. Chris White, Paddy O'Brian etc.), willing to tighten up if needs be but prefers to be assertive (not imposing).
3. Happy-go-lucky types (no names T. Sp...) who try to be too friendly with the players (if the players start to get away from them these become 'Type 1' referees).

From the few society referees I have seen (in different counties), I have concluded that local referees tend to be either Type 1 or Type 3. I feel that the more experienced/better/respected you become the more Type 2 you become (hence almost all of the best referees in the world [not country] are Type 2, Tony Spreadbury perhaps the exception [being Type 3]).

Interested to know your thoughts - add types if you wish or choose your own examples.

Simon Griffiths
23-10-04, 21:10
OK then, to get the ball rolling:

I would like to think I was a Type 2 referee (and every now and then - usually when I have a very good game - I would like to think I am).
However, I really can't make up my mind what I actually am 90% of the time. I would probably be Type 1 and 3 - sometimes in the same game! This occassionally confuses the more simple players and can become counter-productive. At least if you're only one Type in one game everyone knows where they stand.
On the subject of changing styles for different matches, yes I certainly do! If I'm doing a physical and heated local derby I'll become very 'whistle-happy' in order to prevent it getting out of hand, and in particular, flash-points. If on the other hand I'm refereeing 7s when everyone (usually) is out there for fun I turn into the fun character I can be - which I think is appreciated on such occassions.

Robert Burns
23-10-04, 23:10
i'd like to think i was generally type 2, I very much like to let a game flow, but I am sure there are games, and times within a game, where I will probably be all three types, and probably some more that have not been named.

But thats just me.

Account Deleted
24-10-04, 17:10
Intersting so far we all think Type 2! I wonder what players think of us?

25-10-04, 13:10
In between 2 and 3.

My problem is that I wok in Human Resources, so we have all this education on personality types and relations with them.

I think that a good referee is a chameleon and can adapt to what's in front of him. Example - I start relaxed, and call Captains - only Captains - by their first names. That way if it's friendly advice ("Keep your guys behind the back foot, tehy're starting to creep up") it will be read aprropriately. The minute I call him "Blue Captain" he will know that the brown stuff is about to hit the fan and will hopefully react in an appropriate manner.

I think starting as a 1 loses people's respect. They are mostly adults, and are used to being treated as adults. I have a bee in my bonnet about referees that set themselves up on pedestals and relate badly to the players.

25-10-04, 17:10
I don't think you can really say which pigeon hole style you fit into; I seem to flit between several and might define about 5 or 6 different styles. At the moment the styles above are characterised in primary colours, mine blend into various shades in between, akin to a B & Q Dulux display. My style is adaptive, it has to be; I attempt to create the best environment I can within which the players can enjoy the game but considering the abilities and characteristics of the players. If I am trying to extract some semblance of the game out of two sides that are struggling with the law I have to adjust my style according to the perceived level of apparent ignorance. Are the players genuinely ignorant of some aspects of the law as the result of poor coaching or are they just ignorant and bent on causing trouble if I don't allow them their normal Saturday afternoon tricks?

There was a world of difference between the Level 9 Senior Merit Table game I had on Saturday and the County U16 representative game on Sunday. Both were sharp, skilled and thoroughly enjoyable but the former needed wily understanding and management of well concealed professional fouling while the latter a more empathetic approach to players needs while explaining more thoroughly that U12 bad habits (quick tap off the thigh etc) was no longer acceptable.

I am certainly not pedantic, nor do I whistle people off the park but I am getting a little fed up with the way that preventative refereeing is taking over more of a coaching role in the absence of that from supposed coaches.
How many times do you hear the cry 'Let him get up' when a player goes to ground with the ball and then the game stops while the miscreant lurches to his feet? Do you perpetuate that myth by saying nothing or do you take 30 seconds to explain Law 14. Before the game, try asking a No 10 to tell you when a line out is over, no one has got it right yet this season? How many of us make other player decisions by telling them when they are 10 metres back at a kick?

25-10-04, 18:10
Excellent, Deeps. I wish I had said that.

"You will, Oscar, you will." (Whistler)