Katy Nesbitt top assistant referee from the US

Katy Nesbitt is the 2020 MLS AR of the year. In this blog she tells her story, shares how covid influenced her refereeing and gives advice on how you can improve as a referee. Nesbitt got into refereeing as a kid to make money, but has developed into a FIFA assistant referee and officated in the MLS Cup final in 2020. Have a great read, in this story packed full of tips and advice. 

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How to deal with a long period without games to officiate?

How to deal with a long period without games to officiate? You are now out of necessity in a period without matches. Mentally this can be quite a challenge, but what is the best way to deal with it? 

This is a question that was posed in the KNVB newsletter for referees. And I am very happy that the author, KNVB referee physical trainer Wieke Hoogzaad, allows me to share her tips on this topic with the readers of my blog. I bet this story offers you tools to deal with this difficult situation during the corona crisis or when you’re injured for a longer period of time.

Wieke Hoogzaad: physical trainer for Dutch pro refs
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Sian Massey-Ellis: 10 years as assistant referee in the Premier League

Sian Massey-Ellis celebrates here 10th anniversary in the Premier League as assistant referee. Her first game was in 2010 when Sunderland played against Blackpool. In the past 10 years she has shown solid performances and in 2020 she also got appointed for the Uefa Youth League final. In this blog post she shares some great advice for you to move through the ranks and become a better referee. 

Tips by Sian Massey-Ellis are from the Outside the box podcast. Listen to episode.
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Whistle of hope

A whistle of hope – guest blog by Sebastian Vu from Switzerland.

In any soccer match with a referee, we hear the whistle many times: when the game starts, when there are substitutions, when the game ends and many times, when there is a foul.

For me, most whistles mean fouls and when I hear them, I have a negative impression.

But this year, I have learned another meaning of the whistle.

When the first lockdown in Switzerland ended at the end of June and soccer matches were allowed to take place, I went to the stadiums as often as I could – on average 4 times a week. It did not matter if the match was men or women, professional or amateur, Super League or Challenge League or Promotional League, I went and I was very happy.

But in a few instances, I was a couple of hours from entering the stadium only to find out the match was postponed.

Sebastian Vu watching football through the closed gates

The first time was in Wil. FC Wil vs Grasshoppers Club Zurich. I arrived at the stadium and saw the arrivals of the referee team and the van carrying the equipment of the visiting team. I was waiting for the bus of the players from Zurich when suddenly I saw the referees went back in their car and drove away.

I quickly checked the website of the Swiss Football League and found out that some players from Zurich team were tested positive for the virus and the game had to be postponed.

From that day on, I never took for grant that a scheduled match will take place. If I have a ticket for the game, I check the internet every day for one week before the game for news.

Even when I already entered the stadium, I knew anything could happen and only when the referee blew the whistle to start the match that I knew the game will happen.

When Switzerland went back to a second but soft lockdown in late October, the professional clubs continued to play but with either no fans or only 50 fans, I could not go to as many matches as before. But I still went to the stadiums and stood outside.

I stood there and waited for the whistle from the referee to start the game.

The whistle no longer has a negative impression for me.

I feel very hopeful when I hear that whistle.

For me, the whistle becomes a symbol of hope.

Hope that soon all the football matches can be played no matter the level.

Hope for the fans to be back in the stadium.

Hope for a better time.