Week 39 Laws of the Game Quiz

The final quiz of the 2016-2017 season. Week 39 is the last quiz of this year. I hope you can score a 5 out of 5 score. And to make sure you won’t miss the start of the new quiz season, you can leave your e-mail address via the form below.

You’ll only receive 1 e-mail as soon as the first quiz has been published. No newsletter, no other mails. Just 1 e-mail in September as a kind reminder the quiz season has started.

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Laws of the Game Quiz 39

Send me an e-mail when the first quiz of the 2017-2018 season will be posted on DutchReferee.com

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Damir Skomina: 3 tips from the Europa League final referee

Damir Skomina will officiate the Europa League final 2017 between Ajax and Manchester United. A big game for the Slovenian referee and his team. Make sure you make the most out of this story, where I share 3 take-aways from him that will help you as a referee too.

Damir Skomina

Photo’s in this post by Aleksandr Osipov – Creative Commons

In the interview met Uefa.com Damir Skomina shares some insights that are useful for all of us referees.

Focus on the game

“When I’m refereeing a match and I’m standing in the line [with the teams],” he adds, “I don’t think of anything else – I’m focusing on the match to come.” That’s what referees need to do. Don’t worry about the fans, the outcome of the game, problems at home or what else.

Focus is what you need, but how do you manage that. Check out these 7 tips to stay focused for 90 minutes.

Prepare yourself decently

Damir Skomina makes player analysis before the game. He knows who is playing, how they play and what the team tactics are. “If you prepare well like this,” he stresses, “you give yourself a better chance of being successful.”

And who doesn’t want to be successful as referee? You won’t be able to do a match analysis of all players and get to know all team tactics. But be prepared with facts about (just to name a few):

  •  the importance of the game
  • a previous result
  • the league table

Act like a team – always!

The Europa League Final is a big game for Damir Skomina and his team. They want to perform at their best, as will Ajax and Manchester United. “We are a team along with the two teams playing,” he emphasises in the interview with Uefa. “We will be encouraging each other, and giving each other the feeling ‘I’m there for you’ – and we will be doing our very best to succeed as a team in this important match.”

Great point there. Be there for someone. Support them and show to the crowd you trust each other.

Want to get any further with this? Check out this advice from FIFA referee Bjorn Kuipers on building trust.

Wolfgang Stark’s final whistle

Wolfgang Stark quits refereeing because he has reached the age limit. The man who has officiated the most Bundesliga games ever, will officiate his last game on the highest German football level on May 20th 2017. He is appointed for the game between Borussia Mönchengladbach and SV Darmstadt 98. That’s the 344’t Bundesliga game of the German ref, who surpassed the old record from 338 by Markus Merk this season.

Stark has also officiated at the 2008 Olympics, the 2010 World Cup in South-Africa and the 2012 European Championship. The German ref also was appointed for the Europa League final in 2011-2012 between Atlético Madrid and Athletic Bilbao. He is interviewed in the recent issue of Schiedsrichter Zeitung, the DFB’s referee magazine. From that interview I distilled a few lessons that are useful for all of us referees. I hope you’ll learn something from them.

Wolfgang Stark’s final whistle. Image is screenshot from local tv documentary about Stark

Keep positive, don’t think in problems

“Alles kein Problem”, is what Wolfgang Stark answered when he was asked about his nervousness before the 2010 World Cup in South-Africa. There was no problem at all, nothing to be worried about.  Stark seems quite relaxed. Even the day before he flew to South-Africa he went to the bank he works at (and still does).

His Bundesliga debut was  on April 4th 1997 with the game between 1. FC Köln and MSV Duisburg (2:5).  He knew that even back then he had achieved more than many referees ever will do. “That’s what I always made myself aware off”. He tries to stay humble and tries to remind himself that what he has achieved is already awesome. So no worries about what will happen in the future, keep positive.

That worked out well. Only two years later he became a FIFA referee.

Stick to your own refereeing style

“Every referee has its own style, which should not changes in big games or final tournmanets”, says Stark. He knows that what brought you so far in your career shouldn’t change because it’s a big game. It’s something that suits you, something you feel comfortable with.

There’s no reason to change it.

Bibiana Steinhaus, who will start in the Bundesliga as one of the newcomers, agrees. She says there are no big differences between male and female referees. All use the same Laws of the Game, have the same prerequisites, but “every referee has a different style of managing a game“.

Steinhaus will use a lot of communication, Stark says his focus is on letting things go. Not much whistles, let players play their game. However, he says you have to remain in control. “As a referee, you always have to know when to intervene.”

You need criticism to grow

“Refereeing finals is the icing on the cake”, says Stark. “Those are the games you’ll always remember, especially if you perform well. So you, as referee, want to be the subject of people’s talks afterwards.”

Unfortunately, games always end that way. Not even for referees with World Cup experience.

There are not many big errors made by Stark, but he also has some negative experiences in the game. “Admitting your mistakes is also part of our job”, he says looking back now. He once showed Marcel Schmelzer a red card for a handball, but the ball has touched the knee. “Nobody is immune for making mistakes, so when you make them, make use of it for yourself.”

Immediately after the game between Borussia Dortmund and VfL Wolfsburg Stark talked to the media about his error to send Schmelzer off. He gained a lot of sympathy by his honesty. And the card also got rescinded.

Stark says that you need negative experiences, because you can learn a lot from them. “Probably these games are at least as important as games that have only positive aspects.”


Wolfgang Stark explains his mistake to German media

Wolfgang Stark explains his mistake to show Schmelzer a red card to German media

Pay attention to where you came from

The Stark family got some referee genes. Stark started when he was aged14 years with support from his dad, who was a Bundesliga assistant referee ini the team of Aron Schmidhuber. “I had the advantage that my father himself was a referee. Even if he sometimes criticized me, he was also the one who praised me for my performances.”

And that’s what every referee needs, says Stark.

He stresses that recognition is very import for every referee. As a Bundesliga he is probably praised more often than referees on grassroots level. That’s why Stark joined the a special campaign to say thanks to referees at lower levels in German football. He wanted to honour the referees who are now refereeing at the levels where he once started is career. He did not forget where he came from, and wants to pay these referees some attention.

Before the Bundesliga game between Hannover 96 and 1899 Hoffenheim he honoured 63 local referees. He even put all the names of these referees on the back of his shirt and put it on while officiating his Bundesliga game that weekend.

Tv screenshot from Bundesliga game with press photo released for the campain Danke, Schiri (thanks, referees)

Tv screenshot from Bundesliga game with press photo released for the campain Danke, Schiri (thanks, referees)

“Ever referee needs praise”, says Stark. “Referees should’t get just negative, but also positive reflection. The performances from referees at grassroots level needs are appreciated is very important. All Bundesliga referees started there and that’s what we should never forget. As referees, we all belong to one big family.”

Interview with a new Bundesliga ref

In the 2016-2017 season Bibiana Steinhaus will be one of the new Bundesliga referees. She, and three others, will replace Wolfgang Stark and his colleagues. That is big news, because she will be the first female center referee in the German Bundesliga (and other big European leagues). Want to get to know her? Read the interview with Bibiana Steinhaus.

Bibiana Steinhaus first female referee in Bundesliga

Big refereeing news: Bibiana Steinhaus is the first female referee in the Bundesliga. “It has always been my dream to be active in the Bundesliga”, she says to German media. “I am very pleased that this dream will come true”. She is the first center referee in one of the five biggest competitions in Europe.

Bibiana Steinhaus

Bibiana Steinhaus. Photo courtesy DFB.

The 38-year-old policewoman from Hannover is one of four newcomers on the DFB referee list for next season. Because she got great feedback and information from the referee department during the season, she wasn’t surprised referee boss Lutz Fröhlich called this week. “But when he informed me in our telephone call about the decision of the referee’s commission, I was left quite speechless”, she says in an interview on the DFB website.

And what then happened.

“Disbelief, joy, happiness, relief, curiosity, I do not know. It was simply a roller coaster ride of emotions.”

Great incentive to keep working hard

“It is on the one hand a confirmation for the hard work  on the way to this promotion”, she says. “And on the other hand it’s also a great incentive to continue my hard work.”

Steinhaus wants to thank the support she got from everyone. “The referee’s work is – unrestricted – teamwork. Both in the field and in the background we work closely together”, she says. As referee you need good decisions from your assistants, but also a good framework from your football association that helps you with all aspects of the job. Referees have a personal coach, a fitnness team that supports them. “Without this mostly invisible support refereeing at top level would not be possible!”

Bibiana Steinhaus

Female refs normal at highest level

The referee from Hannover is looking forward to the new season. “Certainly as femal referee I’ll be under special observation, especially from the media, at the beginning of the season. It is my goal that female referees in professional football become normal and that they simply will belong to the game.”

Intensive communication with players

Elite referee committe chairman, Lutz Fröhlich, says Steinhaus has a ‘special style of game management’. Steinhaus explains to DFB how she tries to manage a game: “My style is characterized by intensive communication. To exchange mutual expectations at an early stage gives all parties a good guideline. I try an empathic approach to my conversational partners and thus create an encounter on equal terms.

But she stresses that female referees do ‘hardly anything’ differently than male referees. She says that all referees need to judge match incidents based on the same Laws of the Game, with the same outcome as much as possible. And all refs have the same prerequisites. “But of course, every referee has a different style of managing a game.”

Dedication as ref pays off

Steinhaus hopes this will have a positive impact on new referees or girls who think about refereeing. She mentions some of her female colleagues who also are climbing up the ladder. Her colleague Reim Hussein is currently a 3rd Bundesliga referee and Katrin Rafalski is assistant referee in the 2nd Bundesliga. “Commitment and dedication will abosolutely pay off.”

There’s one think that is most important to Steinhaus. “Above all, I want to be judged based on my performances, not because I’m a woman. I wish all referees a successful season ,where referees are not often the center of attention.”


Week 38 Laws of the Game Quiz

Week 38. After this quiz only one more left before I’ll take a quiz summer break. I hope you’ve enjoyed the quizzes. Good luck with quiz 38!

Do you have any wishes or suggestions for the weekly quizzes? Contact me at jan@dutchreferee.com.

If you already want to make sure you don’t miss the start of the new quiz season, leave your e-mail address via the address below. You’ll get just 1 e-mail in September when the first quiz has been published.

Send me an e-mail when the first quiz of the 2017-2018 season will be posted on DutchReferee.com

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Send me an e-mail when the first quiz of the 2017-2018 season will be posted on DutchReferee.com

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Mahrez touching the ball twice at penalty kick

Mahrez touching the ball twice at penalty kick this weekend. Leicester City got a penalty kick against Manchester City and Mahrez is the taker. He kicks the ball, but slips. The goalie protests right away and referee Robert Madley makes a quick decision. He disallows the goal, because it’s not allowed to kick the ball again before a team-mate or opponent has touched the ball.

Below another example plus an further explanation based on the Laws of the Game.

Robert Madley

And have a look at the situation below.

 Bacca also touching the ball twice at penalty kick

There’s also a similar situation in the Serie A earlier this season. In the game between Sassuolo and AC Milan Bacca touches the ball twice, but I needed a few replays to see that. At first glance it’s difficult to see what exactly happens.

Bacca touching the ball twice at penalty kick

But for the players on the pitch it was very clear. They immediately asked the referee if he had seen what they saw. Bacca’s left food slipped, so he could not take a proper kick. He shoots with his right foot, but can’t prevent it from touching his left foot as well before anyone else touches it. That extra touch gives the ball an extra spin, which puts it over the goalie, who is not able to touch the ball.

Arbiter Café on Twitter got me a clip that I could embed on the blog. Much appreciated. Please have a look and see if you can spot Bacca touching the ball twice at penalty kick. Below the video you’ll find an explanation based on the Laws of the Game.

Difficult to spot, right? Only the replays will give you a clear view of what happened.

Explanation with Laws of the Game

The Laws of the Game (page 95 and 96) are clear: “The kicker must not play the ball again until it has touched another player. (…) If, after the penalty kick has been taken, the kicker touches the ball again before it has touched another player: an indirect free kick (or direct free kick for deliberate hand ball) is awarded.”


Referees have to focus on a lot of things during a penalty kick. They don’t want players or the goalie to move too quickly, but in the end not many referees whistle when it happens. Just wanted to know from you if referees should get more strict on encroachment. Vote in this Twitter poll.

Want to read more? Check all case studies on my blog.

Brych to referee CL final 2017; Skomina ref for Europa League final

Brych to refere CL final 2017 and Skomina ref for Europa League final. Steinhaus will officiate the Women’s CL final. Uefa has announced the referees of the major European competitions early this year.

Referee CL final 2017: Felix Brych

German Felix Brych, who has officiated at five UEFA Champions League fixtures this season, will referee next month’s final between Juventus and Real Madrid in Cardiff.  Brych was also the referee for the 2014 UEFA Europa League final between Sevilla and Benfica in Turin.

Referee CL final 2017 and his team

Referee: Felix Brych (GER)
Assistants: Mark Borsch, Stefan Lupp (both GER)
Fourth official: Milorad Mažić (SRB)
Additional assistants: Bastian Dankert, Marco Fritz (both GER)
Reserve assistant referee: Rafael Foltyn (GER)

Referee Europa League final 2017 and his team

Slovenian referee Damir Skomina, 40, will be the man in the middle for the 2017 UEFA Europa League final between Ajax and Manchester United in Stockholm.

2017 UEFA Europa League final refereeing team
Referee: Damir Skomina (SVN)
Assistants: Jure Praprotnik, Robert Vukan (both SVN)
Fourth official: Gianluca Rocchi (ITA)
Additional assistants: Matej Jug, Slavko Vinčić (both SVN)
Reserve assistant referee: Tomaž Klančnik (SVN)

Referee Women’s CL final 2017 and her team

Bibiana Steinhaus will referee the 2017 final between Lyon and Paris Saint-Germain in Cardiff on 1 June, having overseen the sides’ semi-final first-leg meeting last season.
 Referee: Bibiana Steinhaus (GER)
Assistants: Christina Biehl (GER), Katrin Rafalski (GER)
Fourth official: Riem Hussein (GER)
Reserve official: Ella De Vries (BEL)