Can you make a joke as referee?

Can you make a you as referee? Photo of Serdar Gözübüyük.

Serdar Gözübüyük.

Can you make a joke as referee? This post talks player management and communication with football players.

Check out the video I made about the subject about a situation with Serdar Gözübüyük who asks player Bart Vriends what the capital city of San Marino is. The referee has seen a video of Vriends naming all the capital cities of foreign countries and thought it would be a good idea to bring up a question for the player during the game.

The video:

I’m working on a series of video’s and try to find a good way to make them better / more interesting. Please share your comments – especcially the negative ones – and let me create better video’s.

So, can you make a joke as referee? The answer is “yes” in my opinion. The advantages of making a joke as referee:

  • Makes the players feel at ease
  • And that helps with better player/game management
  • Shows you enjoy the game
  • If you make jokes like this, it shows you prepared pretty well for the game

Smiling as a referee, that was one of the three things to learn from Dutch King Willem-Alexander in a previous story on my blog.

12 players sent off in Argentinian 3rd league match

Another headline that triggered me in a negative way: 12 players sent off in Argentinian 3rd league match. That’s not how football should be.

Deportivo Roca’s played Cipolletti and a player was fouled. The referee gave a yellow card for the offence, but the ‘victim’ got mad and got sent off. The offender kept protesting and receives his second yellow. Okay, two reds let’s continue now, you might think. Then problems started when the one red-carded player tries to chase the other before he went to the dressing room. A big brawl involving players, substitutes and riot police started. According to Argentine media, referee Facundo Espinosa told them that he had sent off 10 further players in the chaos and they would be named in his official report.

Personal experience

12 players sent off 12 players sent off, that would be a negative record for me. Players luckily never got that mad when I was refereeing. The maximum number of cards for me in one match is now 2 straight reds and 1 red after two yellow cards. What is your highest number of cards?

Serbia – Albania match abandoned due to drone

Football match abandoned due to drone.

Football match abandoned due to drone.

Referee Martin Atkinson abandoned the match Serbia – Albania due to a drone that flew over the pitch with an Albanian flag. That caused a massive brawl on the pitch after which Martin Atkinson ended the game.

A reporter from The Guardian described the situation like this: “In the 40th minute, the English referee Martin Atkinson halted play – for a second time – after flares had been thrown from the crowd in the direction of Albanian players. At the same time, a drone –seemingly remote-controlled – was seen hovering above the pitch, parallel to the top of the stand, before falling towards the pitch 15 yards into the Serbian half. The ‘Greater Albania’ insignia referred to the notion of an extended area in which all ethnic Albanians reside – one that would include Kosovo.”

And this is what happened after the drone has landed. Total chaos and fans on the pitch. Luckily nobody who attacked the referee. Martin Atkinson walked safely in the the tunnel to the dressing rooms in video below at 2m45sec.

Match abandoned due to drone

Serbian player Ivanovic said after the match: “We wanted to continue the match, but Albanian players said they were not psychologically ready.”

What would you do when a whole teams says they are not psychologically ready to play? That could also be after one of their teammates broke a leg or has gone off with a headache in an ambulance – things more likely to happen at your matches.

#ScheidsBedankt: taking a selfie with the referee

In The Netherlands the Week of the Referee has just started and many people paid attention to it on Twitter with the hashtag #ScheidsBedankt – meaning Ref, thanks. A website called De Aanvoerders asked players to take a selfie with the referee. The results are shown below.

De Aanvoerders (The Captains) is an initiative by both professional and amateur football players. Their golden rules:

  • Give the opponent a handshake before and after the match
  • Make agreements in your team about sportivity and respect
  • Talk with your parents how they cheer for your team
  • Whistle every season a few matches at your club

The latter one is important In Dutch amateur football many matches are officials who are a member of the home team. It is a good way for (young) players to get the idea of what referees have to face during a match. It is also a good way to get more young referees, because some actually like being a referee.

Club v.v. Dongen gave the referee some flowers to say thanks for officiating.

Many professional referees went to matches of amateur colleagues to coach them and watch their matches.

Player on photo with the referee.

A whole team who took a picture with the referee: #ScheidsBedankt

Two captains and the referee

Whole refereeing team getting flowers

Joshua Jacob Bodek (15): Polish referee with ambition

Joshua Jacob Bodek is a young Polish referee with great ambitions for his career, although he only may become a referee in his country at the age of 16. An interview with Dutch Referee Blog: “My name is Joshua Jacob Bodek, I’m 15 years old, I was born in Warsaw where I live and referee. I’m interested in refereeing since 2009.”

Joshua Jacob Bodek during the Iber Cup tournament.

Joshua Jacob Bodek during the Iber Cup tournament.

You did the referee course in 2012. Why can’t you be an official referee?
“It’s all about rules that we still got in Poland. Right now you have to be minimum 16 to be an official referee here, but fortunately Polish Football Association decided to eliminate this limit. The bad thing for me is that it’s too late for me to benefit from this decision, because the earliest possible time for this change is a beginning of 2015. I officially start then anyway. However I’m really happy that other people who would like to become referees in young age will be able to do it, also because of my acitivity.”

Did you manage to get some matches though?
“Yes of course. My Local Referee Association (”Wydział Sędziowski Warszawa”) is very helpful and I’m really impressed of our cooperation. Thanks to their help I referee as an assistant at games where ARs are needed, but they are not official(they are usually fans, substitutes, coaches etc).”

“My last season was very nice. I think, every game I took part, was well handled by me. Last season, I took part of adults game for the first time – it even happend twice. Both times I heard very good opinions about my job from observers. Obviously the best experience were my two first international tournaments: Ibercup Costa del Sol and Ibercup Estoril. The level of football was really fantastic and I met so many fantastic people during this two weeks. I’m sure you will be able to see me there next year.”

Joshua Jacob Bodek next right to Bobby Madley and three other young referees during the Iber Cup.

Joshua Jacob Bodek next right to Bobby Madley and three other young referees during the Iber Cup.

How does your referee association help you?
“I cannot overrate the help from my RA. As I wrote earlier, they enable me to referee as many matches as possible. They also let me to participate in every training session, referees meeting etc. At every step of my referee activity I can count on their help. The help from Rafał Rostkowski was the main point of the changes that will happen soon. He was showing the problem and the solution for years and now he can celebrate the results!”

What are your goals in refereeing?
“For sure my goal is to referee World Cup Final in he future. This is the goal that everyone who wants to achieve success in refereeing must have. Obviously I also hope to meet great people, referee fantastic games, visit fantastic places and get so many fantastic experiences during my career. ”

“In my opinion the way of reaching this goals is very similar for every referee. It’s all about work: physical preparaton, mental preparation and learning from our and others mistakes and experiences. That’s it.”

Champions League referees get black short back

Champions League referees will with pale grey short.

Champions League referees will with pale grey short.

Champions League referees are no longer allowed to wear the pale grey shorts. Uefa has decided to switch back to the old black trousers. Only on matchday 2 next week there’s an exception. From group match 3 all referees must wear the black short.

The 3rd Team has released a statement from Uefa on their website which confirms this. “In a communiqué issued by UEFA’s Refereeing Department sent to all national associations, the referees were asked to wear the old black trousers and stockings deployed in UEFA Champions League 2013/14 season from now on until the end of this campaign”, is what the website says.

In my opinion it is a good call , because the pale grey shorts were ugly. And I think most of you agree on that. These were your tweets about the grey shorts:

Assistant referee decisions in the penalty area

In the recent Europa League round there was a situation which every referee could learn from. How do you deal with assistant referee decisions in the penalty area?

Check the following situation in the match between Borussia Mönchengladbach (Germany) and Villarreal (Spain) at the end of the video. The video quality is not good, but you’ll get a better idea of the situation. A striker tries to reach a teammate in front of the goal, but the ball got blocked by a defender. The ball goes in the air and a defender in his own penalty area tries to control the ball with his foot. He misses the ball and the ball bounces via the ground on his hand. The assistant referee raises his flag, but the referee disagrees with him and let play go on.

The Laws of the Game say: “Two assistant referees may be appointed whose duties, subject to the decision
of the referee, are to indicate: (…) when offences have been committed whenever the assistant referees
have a better view than the referee (this includes, in certain circumstances, offences committed in the penalty area).”

But is it smart to raise a flag for a penalty call? KNVB, the Dutch football organisation, had given a technical guideline for assistant referee decisions in the penalty area. Some tips for AR’s are:

  • intervention by the assistant referee should only happen under special circumstances and if the referee stands at a great distance, in the wrong position or asks explicitly the advice of the assistant referee
  • if the offence is inside the penalty area, proceed to the corner flag, simultaneously beeping and communicate with headset. DO NOT USE THE FLAG. Give the advice “penalty” via the headset and repeat as needed.

In amateur football football you don’t have a headset probably, but you can make good arrangements with your assistant referee. If he follows the guidelines and proceeds to the backline although the ball or players are not, you should notice he’s giving a signal to you. Try to get eye contact with your assistant and then make your decision.

The referee's view of the "handball" situation.In this situation, the assistant referee can see the hand of the defender who might have touched the ball with the hand. The referee can not see that clear, but he has a good view of the situation and can see that the player tries to control the ball with his foot first and that it bounces on the player’s arm then.

I hope you learned somethingon the assistant referee decisions in the penalty area.

The last question for you is: what would you decide on the “handball situation”? Penalty kick or go on?