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David Martin
09-11-16, 14:11
Hi guys,

Any tips to help me start a referee drive at my club, I'm going to target the u7-9 age groups as a trial and ideally want parents, not coaches to volunteer to become a referee.

I think the earlier I can get the age groups involved in having non coach based refs, the easier it will be as the parents wont be cemented to the touch line.

Any thoughts greatly appreciated.

crossref
09-11-16, 14:11
start with the coaches -- my experience of age group coaches is that the default position is that they like to be in complete control and it will rarely occur to them to relinquish the whistle - so they start at U7 and U8 reffing everything.

it's only a few years later they realise that they it would be really useful to have a parent who could ref, freeing them to coach.

So the coaches need to
a) encourage the parents to have a go -- in a training session first, not a match
b) NOT give the newbie parents grief as they learn, make mistakes, and (later) make decisions the coach doesn't agree with.

Finding a parent or two willing to have a go might not be that hard -- it's getting them to stick with it, and that's all about the attitude of your coaches, I reckon.

tim White
09-11-16, 16:11
Ask if any parents have actually played?

Nigib
09-11-16, 18:11
suggest a group of parents, along with the coaches, get trained together. No obligation on them all to referee, and it might encourage them (and the coaches) to stop complaining about decisions...

DocY
09-11-16, 18:11
How much of a rapport is there between the coach and any parents? If there is one, he could probably identify parents who'd be willing and approach them directly (possibly involving beer).

If you can get some to agree to the training I think you'll be well on your way. Suggest that there's no obligation, they might learn something and that it's a bit of a laugh. If you get half a dozen doing the training you'll hopefully get one or two keen to ref semi-regularly and you'll have a few others you can try to persuade to do the odd game (which they might actually enjoy).

Dickie E
09-11-16, 20:11
start them out as TJs. If they like officiating, then move them onto the main stage.

Dan_A
10-11-16, 08:11
I manage an u15 team and also coach/referee in my younger sons u12.

I'd suggest that you don't distinguish too much between a coach and a referee. Explain to your keenest coaches that doing the basic refereeing course makes you a better coach. Try to get 2 or 3 of them to do this together. As some of your coaches end up doing a bit more refereeing, this creates an opportunity to drag some parents off the side line to fill the gap.

Net result is a bigger pool of coaches, some of whom can referee.

crossref
10-11-16, 09:11
While I tend to think the opposite!
My observation from my time going through the age groups, and as club ref co - that by the time you get to U13 - U17 level, the happiest age groups were those who had found dedicated refs, separate and independent from the coaching team.

Doing the basic refs course with the primary motivation that it will make you a better coach may well make you a better coach - but it doesn't make you a good ref.

And teams that are reffed by their coach are vulnerable to surprises at games when other refs are in charge.

(I'm not saying it can't work of course it can, but it's not the model I'd aim for)

David Martin
11-11-16, 09:11
I'm looking at targeting the youngest tag age groups and getting the reffing away from the coaches.

Hopefully start small, I think there's a real advantage across the board if non-coaches ref, even in training as it gives coaches more chance to coach and evaluate the children, rather than coach, ref, baby sit etc.

The more people involved in the team, the better the team will be I reckon, instead of being the b@stard son of the head coach.

Dan_A
11-11-16, 11:11
That's also true, by the time you get to u13s having dedicated referees is very useful.

At u7s I'd probably say that having people who can coach and referee is useful given the small team sizes. U7s is now 4 a side. We had 50+ players when we were u7s, so if we'd have need 6 dedicated referees on top of coaches in order to finish training sessions with games! If your age group is smaller it's not such an issue.

But, ultimately, the most important thing is to drag as many people off the touchline and into refereeing / coaching /first aid or whatever as possible.

Wedgie
11-11-16, 11:11
I'd agree that starting 'em early is good ;-) I also think that a good attitude and empathy are at U7s/8s/9s....are waaaaaaayyyyyy more important than trivial things such as knowledge of the laws. Last thing you want is a whistle-happy, pedantic parent who stops the joy of little Johnny and Jenny running around on a Sunday morning.

crossref
11-11-16, 11:11
I also think that a good attitude and empathy are at U7s/8s/9s....are waaaaaaayyyyyy more important than trivial things such as knowledge of the laws. Last thing you want is a whistle-happy, pedantic parent who stops the joy of little Johnny and Jenny running around on a Sunday morning.

one might say much the same thing for big Jonny and Jenny running around on a Saturday afternoon....