3 Roger Federer characteristics referees should have too

Roger Federer will try to win the Davis Cup in tennis this weekend. He’s a great player from Switzerland who has performed on top level for a very long time. How does he keep that good? And what characteristics of him would be useful for referees too? I’ve pointed out 3 Roger Federer characteristics referees should have too.

Roger Federer characteristics.1. Working extremly hard
Federer is training hours. Long days on the tennis court. It requires great effort to do what he does during practice. That’s what referees should demand from themselves. Go to your RA’s training sessions. Rainy day? Go! Long day at work? Go! That hard work will pay out in the end and you’ll be topfit during your matches in the weekend.

2. Being consistent
Watching the Swiss tennis player it looks he doesn’t get tired while his opponents are visibly suffering from all the running and smashing. Federer’s play doesn’t (often) have a relapse. As a referee you don’t have an opponent, but you definitely can show you are the one who gets better. While players get tired, defending gets sloppy, you can show you’re physical ability is still awesome. You can show you are still able to do a 60 metres sprint in the 90th minute and make that important call: penalty or a dive? If you’re still on the middle line you do something wrong. Don’t spend all your energy in the first half, save something for the seond half and be able to make those match deciding decisions from a good position.

3. Having mental strength
Roger Federer is not a tennis player who uses brutal force: hard smashes or services. He reads the game and plays with intelligence on the court. He gives that lob nobody expected – especially not his opponent. He knows what to do in difficult situations and acts upon that.

That mental strength is a quality every referee needs. It’s not just running hard and being close to a situation. Yes, that helps you sell a decision better, but that’s not all you need. If the game gets tougher you should be able to read the game, make the right call and keep calm.

But how do you create mental toughness? More on that in next week’s blog post.

“Football video referee next season in Dutch Eredivisie”

KNVB President Michael van Praag expects that the video referee will be introduced in football in The Netherlands next season. That’s what the chairman of the Dutch Football Organisation said when he gave a speech at the referee association in Groningen.

Michael van Praag (photo) wants a video referee.The Dutch FA has used the video referee already as a test. “The video referee was somewhere in a van with a few good screens just outside stadium. He has a headset and has, like the assistant referees, a direct connection with the referees”, Van Praag explains how the system works in newspaper Dagblad van het Noorden. That means the video referee can check the video footage and tell the referee if it is a yellow or red card. “And for example if it’s a penalty kick. The referee can base his decision on the video referee’s advice.”

Good idea or not?

Hakan Anaz about his “truly unforgettable” 2014

Hakan Anaz, the Australian assistant referee during the World Cup, talks about a great moment in his career during this Question & Answer with Dutch Referee Blog.

First the most important thing of this year: You were an assistant referee during the World Cup in Brazil. How did you experience it?
Hakan Anaz: “The experience this summer in Brazil was truly special. FIFA told us that not many referees get to go to a World Cup. A World Cup in the atmosphere in Brazil is a once in a lifetime experience, truly unforgettable experience. All the referees knew how special is would be. Having said that, all the referees were there to referee games and all the referees just wanted to get out onto the park. We trained 36 out of the 39 days we were there, so we had excellent preparation during the tournament.”

“Team Australia (with Ben Williams and Matthew Cream)were fortunate to have 3 games during the tournament. After appointments were announced by FIFA, all the referees congratulated the respective referees. It was a very good atmosphere. All the referees got along very well. For me walking out before every game was special. I’ve worked 20 years for this moment and arriving on the biggest sports tournament in the world was worth all the blood , sweat and tears. It was very fulfilling. Having said that, the round of 16 game Costa Rica Vs Greece was a very pleasing experience for Team Australia because it was the first time a match trio from Australia has refereed a game in the knock-out stages.”

Referee Hakan Anaz in dressing room

It was your first one WC – and probably your last one because you are 44 now. What are your goals now in refereeing? Will you stay AR on national level or do you have other ambitions?
Hakan Anaz: “I have now retired from active refereeing. My goal has always been to get to the World Cup. I achieved that. I always have been humble during my referee career and feel that going on more than you need to would be selfish, and my character is never like that. I want the next generation to have a chance at achieving what I have achieved, and I exit the stage at the highest level possible. Not many can say that. I knew the time was right to leave so I declined the contract offer by Football Federation Australia to referee further in the national league.”

“Having said that, going to the World Cup and Olympics comes with a certain responsibility and that is to pass on your experience and knowledge to the next generation. This is for others to decide. But I have always been ready to help and assist where I can.”

How do you improve yourself as referee?
Hakan Anaz: “I am my worst critic. I watch my games, even when I know the game went well, and critically analyse my decisions, positioning and performance. I have an ethos and that is “you never stop learning”. You always analyse your game and you always try to achieve a higher and higher level. I do a lot of visualisation and technical drills at training so that I am as prepared as much as I can. There is a saying “fail to prepare … prepare to fail”, My preparation – both physical and technical – was at a very high standard prior to the tournament and I’m sure our Round of 16 appointment we got our reward for all 3 of us.”

What else brought 2014 for you as referee?
Hakan Anaz: “One of the most important for me was not only the memories, but also the lasting friendships. This is also important because there will always come a time when referees will no longer officiate. What is always long lasting is your friendships you make along the way. I have made some great friends who I always stay in contact with which is something that means a lot to me. Your fellow Dutch referee, Bjorn Kuipers, his assistants Sander and Erwin, was some good friendships I made in the 2 years on the candidates program.”

“2014 also bought to me retirement from refereeing but also now a new phase in my life. I now have more time with my family which I want to devote more time to. I have a young daughter who is very happy now to have her dad spend more time at home. I enjoy family time.”

Hakan Anaz and world cup team.

Hakan Anaz (left), referee Ben Williams (center) and Matthew Cream. Photo provided by referee.

What does your daily routine look like?
“I still have my full time job as an accountant. I work from 7 till 5 then go training 2-3 days a week. Even though I have retired, I still want to remain physically active. I have always had a very good level of fitness and I still do the FIFA fitness test every so often. When I am not training, I get home early and spend some time with the family or do some maintenance around the house. If I can watch some local A-League games I like to and if I can pass on some coaching points to referees/assistants then I am only too willing to.”

Back to your roots. How did you become a referee?

“I have played football since I was 7. I love football. I played until I was 23 at which time I knew I could not make the highest level of football in Australia. So I wanted to remain active in football. A friend of mine was a referee so I decided to give it a go. After about 6 months, I enjoyed it so much, I decided to devote more of my time and energy towards refereeing. As I moved higher up the ranks, my goals changed and I set myself higher and higher goals. When we were put on the candidates program back in 2012, we knew that it would be a very intense program as FIFA wanted only the best referees and assistants at the Brazil World Cup. We kept working harder and harder, always knowing that there was never any guarantee of being selected to go to Brazil. We were always well grounded and knew we had to keep working hard.”

I’ve seen many referees with Turkish roots climbing the refereeing ranks in other countries. Aytekin in Germany, Gozubuyuk in The Netherlands and of course you in Australia. What is the reason by their and your success?

Hakan Anaz: “I think ones personality is very important here. It does not matter if you are from such and such a country, the reason for anyone’s success is hard work, and being humble. Of course it is rather special when you have lived your life in one country and you are appreciated in the country of your parents birth. But there is no substitute for hard work. I would like to believe that we were chosen because all the instructions and directives that FIFA wanted of us, we fulfilled and then some.”

“The planning that the 3 of us went through for the 2 and a half year on the program was so meticulous I think in the end paid off with our selection. And of course, there is the performances on the field. Being honest and humble is very important. But also applying the laws of the game, and never compromising on your morals is also very important. Respect for yourself and fair play.”

What advice would you give to (young) referees?
Hakan Anaz: “If you want to achieve the highest in whatever you do, be it as a player, coach or referee, then be prepared to work hard. Planning is important. Always be humble. Always review your past matches and always learn from other referees. When I started refereeing, I had 2 “mentors” who I was always asking for advice, trying to understand what the art of refereeing is about. Learning from other referees is important, but also to take advice. If another more experienced referee gives you advice, be prepared to listen and appreciate what he/she is saying. Refereeing is not black and white, sometimes it is grey. It’s how a referee reacts to these grey areas is important. And always let your personality come through in your refereeing. And always be in position, this helps “sell” your decision. Whether as a referee or as an assistant, if you are in position then you can sell your decision. Finally, enjoy refereeing. If you don’t enjoy refereeing this will show in your performance.”

Read the interview with Ben Williams, Hakan Anaz’ refereeing partner during the World Cup, on my blog.

How to restart play after animal enters the pitch?

How to restart play after animal enters the pitch?

Good video example of the match Heracles versus PSV with referee Richard Liesveld. The answers follows after the marten left the pitch.

Click photo to watch, embedding is impossible.

Marten on the pitch.


The answer is: a drop-ball.

Joe Hart has LOTG on his side after stupid goal kick

Referee Mike Dean denied QPR a goal in the match against Manchester City. But was he right to do so? Below the video you’ll find the answer plus an explanation based on the Laws of the Game.

The situation: Joe Hart takes a free kick inside his own box. He unfortunately touched the ball with his left foot before kicking it away with his right one. The ball was shot right at Austin. The QPR player did not hesitate, shoots on goal and scores.

But the referee did make the right call. So why has the referee made the right decision? Here are the rules that explain it.

With a normal free kick “the kicker must not touch the ball again until it has touched another player”. But was the ball already in play when Hart touched the ball for the second time? The answer is NO. The Laws of the Game say that the ball is in play when it is kicked directly out of the penalty area – in this case the ball wasn’t. That’s not just for goal kicks, also for direct or indirect free kicks in the penalty area of the defending team. And if the ball is not kicked directly out of the penalty area, the kick must be retaken.

Philip Neville in Match of the Day. “That’s a brilliant decision”, he said, although he admitted he didn’t know that at the moment it happened. “I thought it was a free kick for QPR, but Mike Dean got is spot on. A great decision.

After the match Joe Hart explains ‘two kick’ rule to Charlie Austin on the pitch after QPR v Man City:

Stade de Suisse referee dressing room

Stade de Suisse referee dressing room panorama.
Check out the Stade de Suisse referee dressing room. The stadium is the home of BSC Young Boys and is built in 2005 on the legandary ground of the former “Wankdorf Stadions” in Bern. It is also built as the national stadium of Switzerland.

Here are the pics from the referee dressing room, which were sent to me by one of the press officers. Thanks a lot for that.

Changing area.
Stade de Suisse referee dressing room - changing area.

Toilets and showers.
Stade de Suisse referee dressing room showers..

Adddres: Papiermühlestrasse 71, 3000 Bern, Zwitserland
Capacity: 31.783
Opened: 30 juli 2005
Phone: +41 31 344 88 88

You can also check the whole stadium with a 360 stadium tour on their website.

Referee conference 10th of January in Dublin

The Referee Conference in Dublin is where you should be on the 10th of January 2015. You’ll learn from top class international football and rugby referees plus a psychologist who helped the Irish Olympic team. So, top class professionals who can help make you a better referee.

RefereeConference 2015 in Dublin

“The referees who come, will learn a lot of things that they can bring into their own game when they’re back home”, says Conor Fitzgerald, one of the organisers of the referee conference, to Dutch Referee Blog.

The event is a not for profit event. Money goes to speakers and to rent a venue. Buy an early bird ticket now for only 80 euro’s.

The three main sports of Ireland will be represented:

  • Football
  • Gaelic football
  • Rugby

Conor Fitzgerald.“We need to share experiences from sport to sport”, Fitzgerald says. “The idea is: why not have a conference just for referees and run by referees? There are already five confirmed speakers.”

  • Mark Halsey, former international and Premier League referee and he is from You-Are-The-Ref.com.
  • Gerry Duffy. “A motivational speaker, who ran 32 marathons in 32 days. He would be quite interesting to hear. He was very fat and now he’s very thin.He’ll talk about achieving goals in different circumstances. That’s also very important for referees.”
  • Aidan Moran, who is a professor of cognitive psychology UCD and former psychologist to the Irish Olympic team. “He’ll tell about the importance of concentration for a modern referee and will show some techniques about how to improve our concentration.”
  • David Coldrick will be talking about the highs and lows of being a top-class referee. He is a Gaelic football referee and has officiated big games like the All-Ireland final as well as many international games and other finals.
  • Alain Rolland is the fifth confirmed speaker. He is a well-experienced referee who whistled the 2007 Rugby World Cup final on is

During the conference there’s also time for referees to talk together in break-out sessions to discuss with each other. Topics are for example: How to referee an intense game? “We can share techniques from sport to sport”, says Fitzgerald. “There will also be time to talk about how referees make a tactical approach for a game.” The question is what to do for example when you have a relegation match or a local derby. “How do you decide to take strong control of the game or that you’ll see how it goes?” Good things to discuss as a referee – or at least to think about for yourself.

Fitzgerald and his co-organisers welcome you all-in Dublin for this referee conference. “It should be fun for referees and it’s a good way to develop themselves as a referee. “

Check the website of the conference and buy your ticket or follow the Referee Conference on social media.