How to start from scratch with beachsoccer refereeing in Tanzania

I talked with George Postma, a Fifa instructor, about a course he gave about Beachsoccer refereeing in Tanzania. He went there in 2013, but story is still interesting to give an insight in what referees can do to develop refereeing skills in other countries.

Beachsoccer refereeing in Tanzania with course from George Postma.

“As Fifa Referee Instructor I was sent to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania to give a course there. After my career as Fifa Beachsoccer Referee until 2011 I became an instructor at Fifa.”
“The goal is to promote beachsoccer worldwide by educating and guiding national and international referees. For the development of the sport it is important to give courses to future beach referees in countries where the sport is not played yet.”

“You cant compare the level of refereeing between the two countries. The Netherlands had an advantage of 10 years. Tanzania just started and there are Dutch Fifa Beach referees since 2007.”

Possibilities for beachsoccer refereeing in Tanzania

“Tanzania has plenty of opportunities. There are beautiful beaches where beachsoccer can be played whole year long. That means that if the national football association supports i tand invests in the sport, it can go fast. Maybe I’ll go back to see the developement. First priority is getting a national team and creating a Beachsoccer League.

How Young Referee Development Programme makes Thomas a better referee

Young match officials can become better by going to the Young Referee Development Programme. Thomas Whay was one of the guys who could go there and learn from it.

Daniel Meeson, The FA’s National Referee Development Manager responsible for Volunteers, about the goals of such a day: “The aim of the Young Referee Development Programme is to ensure all referees are supported, retained and nurtured as they begin and then continue their career journeys”, he says. “The weekend saw us delivering a captivating, inspirational and rewarding weekend for all.”

And how did the referees experience it? An interview with Thomas Whay from Essex by Dutch Referee Blog.

Young Referee Development Programme participant: Thomas Whay

Young Referee Development Programme participant: Thomas Whay

Thomas, could you please introduce yourself?
I am 20 years old, currently with Essex FA. I have been a referee now for 6 years after playing youth football for around 8 years. My youth team folded and I was desperate to carry on within football as I love the game. I decided to take up refereeing and I haven’t looked back since. I love getting up and going out to games, refereeing and watching fellow referees and being involved in a game that is loved all around the world. I am currently a level 5 referee and I am going for my level 4 this season.

You went to the Young Referee Development Programme conference this summer. How was that for you?
Fantastic! I was lucky enough to be in the Essex FA Referee’s academy. With great help from my Referee’s Development Officer I was then offered the chance to get on the Young Referee’s Development Programme. I grabbed the opportunity with both hands. The FA are really investing and looking to the young referee’s for the future and this was a fantastic weekend. Everything was well run, everyone from the FA were great and I learnt loads to help me progress as a referee and assistant referee.

What does it mean to you that top officials like Sian Massey, Stuart Burt, Steve Martin and Bobby Madley have all come through the programme?

It’s excellent to think that these people came through the same programme that I am currently on. It inspires me to be where they are and they have proved that it is possible with hard work and dedication. As mentioned above, the FA are really trying to help the young referee’s progress and these top officials are perfect examples that it is paying off.

What are the most important things you learned at the conference? (so others could learn from it at well)
We had 8 practical sessions throughout the weekend and I learnt loads from these. The main thing is to go out there and enjoy yourself. This is how I find I perform to my best. There is also 1 quote which sticks in my mind and this was used a bit over the weekend: “Ordinary people can achieve extraordinary things”. It takes a lot of hard work and dedication to get to the top of the game but if you put in the effort & listen to coaches/tutors and fellow referees then it will pay off in the long run.

Watch a video impression of a Young Referee Development Programme:

Referee Ice Bucket Challenge

Kuipers, Zeinstra, van Roekel and Referee Ice Bucket Challenge.

Kuipers, Zeinstra, van Roekel and Referee Ice Bucket Challenge.

Referees are humans too right? They also take part in the social hype: check out video’s of the Referee Ice Bucket Challenge.

For who doesn’t know what this challenge is, Wikpedia helps out: It is an “activity involving dumping a bucket of ice water on one’s head to promote awareness of the disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and encourage donations to research.” Go to donation form.

The first video comes from Björn Kuipers. He was nominated by the players of Ajax, the team that nominated both the opponent PSV and the referee of this weekend’s clash between the Dutch top teams. In the video Kuipers wonders (in Dutch) if it was smart to nominate the referee of your next match, but he definately accepts it.

In the video you will see Björn Kuipers and his assistants Erwin Zeinstra en Sander van Roekel who took part in the challenge. They nominated two actor and fellow Dutch Referee Bas Nijhuis.


Also Andre Marriner, Premier League referee, accepted the referee ice bucket challenge. He nominated Howard Webb, the new PGMOL technical director.

Also Premiership referee Anthony Taylor accepted the challenge:

Darren Cann’s World Cup lessons

It’s a special year for Darren Cann. First of all the big news of his long-term partner Howard Webb who announced his retirement this summer. Secondly, Darren Cann officiated his last international tournament during the World Cup in Brazil, because he has reached the age limit of 45. But Cann does not quit himself. On Monday 18th of August he got his first official match of the season with a whole new refereeing team. He is assistant of Michael Oliver and with fellow AR Stuart Burt – also not his usual partner Mike Mullarkey. A whole new experience for Darren Cann.

Now the Norfolk referee is back from the World Cup started the new season, he is also ready for some reflection on his experiences of this year. Here are 3 lessons Darren Cann learned from refereeing the World Cup in Brazil which will make you a better referee too. These lessons are based on an interview with the Norfolk FA, which also gave me permission to use the picture with this article (thanks!).

Darren Cann’s advice for referees

1. Don’t get frustrated

Darren Cann Photo Norfolk FA.“Like any refereeing trio we hoped to be used early in the competition, but it wasn’t to be. Whilst it was a little bit frustrating, we are professional so we trained really hard every day, applying ourselves day in, day out, so that we were ready when needed.”

That could also happen to you. The first appointments of the season are out and your matches seem boring at first glance. You might want matches on a higher level or between two better teams. Don’t get frustrated about it. Your nice appointments will come. Keep training hard, so you are definitely ready once you got that exciting cup tie or top of the league clash.

2. Make unpopular decisions if necessary

Darren Cann talks about the handball Howard Webb has to call against Hulk, a player of the host nation. “Of course, it’s going to be an unpopular decision against the host nation, but a referee’s job is to be fair and impartial at all times and we always are.”

You might go to a match where one of the teams can win the championship, but one of their players denies an obvious goal-scoring opportunity. You should send him off although that might reduce their chances of winning the game. That is the rule and you should apply it. Cann: “It’s important to make the right call and Howard certainly did that using all his skill and experience. It was a really pressurised situation.”

3. Share your experiences

Are you member of a referee organization? Do you go training there? Do it! No matter what level you are, you can always learn from your refereeing colleagues. That helps on the lowest amateur level and even right before the World Cup final. ” As it turned out, by staying until the end of the tournament we were also able to have dinner with the Italian trio after their appointment to the Final just 48 hours before kick-off”, Darren Cann says. “That was a really special and unique moment – the first time ever that a World Cup trio had been present to be able to pass on all of their experiences of what it’s actually like to walk out and officiate The World Cup Final…”

I hope you can use these lessons from Darren Cann in your personal refereeing career. What’s the best lesson you learned so far when talking to your fellow referees?

Read the full interview with Darren Cann.

FIFA sued over World Cup refereeing

Colombian fans who are not happy with world Cup refereeing

A Colombian lawyer sued Fifa over World Cup refereeing decisions in the quarter final match between his national team and Brazil. According to BBC he wants the world football governing body to pay him 1bn euros because of “moral damages”.

Colombian lawyer Aurelio Jiminez was quoted by the BBC about his case: “I felt very bad, I was heartbroken, my cardiac rhythm was altered and my relatives took me to the emergency room at the hospital. I was surrounded by my grandchildren who were crying a lot.”

The Guardian tried to speak to referee of that match Carlos Velasco Carballo. He refused. His only comment: “Unfortunately I cannot talk about it. I would like to but the rules do not allow it. We did a Fifa open day for the referees at the start of the tournament and we were all very open that day. I can talk to you about Manchester United or Chelsea or José Mourinho or anything else, but not this, thank you.”

Photo Creative Commons Montaplex.

Case study: spiderman mask to celebrate a goal

Aubameyang: Spiderman mask to celebrate a goal.

Aubameyang: Spiderman mask goal celebration.

A new case study from the German Super Cup between Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich. After Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored the 2-0 for Dortmund he reaches behind is sock to get a Spiderman mask. He was not cautioned by referee Peter Gagelman for this unique way to celebrate a goal. But was the referee correct? A case study.

Check out the video first: (and let me know if YouTube deleted it please)

The Laws of the Game are clear on this. “While it is permissible for a player to demonstrate his joy when a goal has been scored, the celebration must not be excessive. (…) A player must be cautioned if: he covers his head or face with a mask or other similar item.”

So you should book a player who puts on a Spiderman mask to celebrate a goal.

Did this happen before? Yes, Neymar got his second yellow card for celebrating his goal with a mask on his head. The referee of the Santos match against Colo Colo was right.

Samuel Ranz: the refereeing mathematician

Samuel Ranz is a young 22 year-old referee from Spain. “I don’t account on being a professional ref, that only happens to a very few of us”, he says. But he always wants to set a good performance on the field en see what he can reach with refereeing. “The most important match for me is the next one, always, and try to do my best.”

An interview from Dutch Referee Blog with Samual Ranz.

Please introduce yourself.
Samual Ranz: profile picture.“My name is Samuel Ranz and I’m 22. I live in Alcalá de Henares (near Madrid), the city that hosts my local referee association. As of today, I am a Level 6 referee (minding Level 1 as the top category), so my performances as a ref are in Level 6, known here as “Primera categoría regional”, the lowest category in which we act using assistant referees. I am also appointed as assistant for Level 4 and Level 5 matches when no Level 6 matches are available for me.”

“Talking about my personal life, I love other sports, like tennis or running. I hace just become a Graduate in Mathematics, my other passion, and will continue my studies as mathematician with a Master Degree next course. My Master’s thesis will be about Geometry.”

When and why did you become a referee?
“It’s a good question… When I was a child I played football in local football academies. So, four years ago I was thinking of playing again but a friend (yeah, he is a ref) told me to try as a referee. At first I denied, I thought he was crazy, but I decided to give refereeing a chance and leaving it when I wanted. I took a course and well, I have just completed my fourth season.”

How was your season?
“I think it has been a good one. I have just been promoted to Level 6 and I have enjoyed so much this category. It’s much better than Level 7, as you are assisted in these matches, which makes refereeing much easier than doing it alone (in Level 7 and below there are no “club assistants” and the Associations doesn’t appoint any assistants).”

Samual Ranz: line-up with teams before the match.

Samual Ranz: line-up with teams before the match.

How will you prepare for next season?
“This preparation has two parts: fitness and laws. For the fitness part, I will do the same as the other seasons: contact my fitness coach and do what he thinks is better for me. We have fitness test in August and in February/March season after season, so a good plan might start very softly on July the 1st and increase intensity until next season ends.”

“For the laws of the game, we have two written exams the same day our fitness test takes place. I will give a couple of readings to the “blue book” when FIFA sends me the new one and do tests and tests. After that, our RA will give us a lecture on the changes and its enforcement.”

How does your RA help you getting better?
“They provide us what I call a “passive help”. On one hand, there are three training sessions per week at a single venue intended for all the referees of Madrid (we are more than one thousand), so only a few attend these sessions. But Alcalá’s referees are very lucky as we have a fitness coach at our availability. He makes us personalized weekly and monthly plans attending to our needings and to our amount of matches and feelings. He has made a great job with us… I will be very brief: those who follow his training plans have never failed at fitness tests unless having an injury.

“For the fitness part, we are very lucky to have this kind of help, but attending to laws and mentoring, there is less help. Let me explain: there is a “laws office”, in which a Level 3 referee answers our questions about laws. In addition, this referee has opened a blog recently in which he talks sometimes about difficult match situations in recent matches and uploads FIFA videos, so they’re available for us all. I call this “passive help” as we have no sheduled formation since we become referees, and we have no mentors until we reach Level 4 (mind we have 9 levels for referees). There isn’t a person following our first year at refereeing or something similar. We have a more “free” system in which a former referee evaluates our performances in a fixed amount of matches and sends a report. This evaluations determine our qualifying and the top refs in a level are promoted and the bottom are relegated for the next season.

Samuel Ranz gives a yellow card.

Samuel Ranz gives a yellow card.

“Despite this lack of mentoring by our association, I have to say a very good thing about my partners: we ourselves talk sometimes about the laws and match situations. Me, for example, try to see as much games as I can. When it’s possible, I see a friend’s match with other friends, and after the match we tell him what we liked and disliked. This makes us learn ones from another’s performances. We also share specific information about teams, what gives us a key advantage in refereeing. But, remember, nothing of this is an official thing, this is done between friends.”

What are your goals in refereeing?
“To be honest, I have no specific goals. The most important match for me is the next one, always, and try to do my best. Being even more honest, I have to admit that Level 5 is better than Level 6, and so on, but the most important thing in my live is Mathematics, and I focus on it: I don’t account on being a professional ref, that only happens to a very few of us.”