Pre-season fitness tips for referees

Some pre-season fitness tips for referees to get back into officiating. When the professional season starts many amateur referees will officiate friendlies and get ready for their season too. But some of you might have just come back from your holidays or are still relaxing on a sunny beach. This story has a few great pre-season fitness tips to get you back on track, so you will be ready for the season.

Personally, my season starts at the end of August. My fitness test is mid-September. That’s why KNVB’s professional referee fitness instructor Hilco de Boer send out some pre-season fitness tips. These tips might be useful for you too, that’s why I share them on my website as well.

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Webinar on 2021-2022 Laws of the Game changes

Webinar on 2021-2022 Laws of the Game changes. Jan from Dutch Referee guides you through an IFAB presentation on the new laws. Some clips are blocked by YouTube, but most of the presentation is available.

There are lots of handball situations in there, so it’s very useful for you then.

You can also view the full presention by IFAB on their website. If any errors in the explanation in the video below, that’s my bad. I hope this video is useful in preparation for the upcoming season. Enjoy and feel free to share it with your refereeing friends.

Björn Kuipers retires as referee

Björn Kuipers retires as referee. That is what KNVB has confirmed. He’ll finish his career with officiating the Johan Cruijff Schaal, the Dutch Super Cup game between Ajax and PSV.

After landing on Amsterdam airport after Euro 2020 Björn Kuipers still had doubts about continuing, but during his holidays he made the decision. “After the Euro final I got a lot of positive reactions and appreciation from all over the world”, he says to KNVB, the Dutch FA. It made him doubt. “Moreover, I am still fit and have a lot of fun.” But on vacation he made the decision. “I realised I’ve been everywhere and experienced everything. I will not get more beautiful. There’s no better moment to stop”

This means Björn Kuipers retires in the Amsterdam Arena and officiates his last game on the 7th of August.

Want to know how Björn Kuipers reached the top? Read my profile “From whining player to top class referee”.

Share your thoughts retirement of Björn Kuipers

Please share your thoughts on the retirement of Björn Kuipers via comments below or on Instagram.

Kuipers’ Classroom

I’ve also made lots of stories with tips from Björn Kuipers over the years. check them out below.

2018 Europa League final referee Björn Kuipers
2018 Europa League final referee Björn Kuipers. Photo by KNVB Media.

Refereeing Assistance Programme

Uefa launches a Refereeing Assistance Programme twice a year. It contains clips of recent match situations. You can install this on your pc or mac and train your refereeing knowledge. In case you missed it, it’s quite interesting material to develop yourself.

Refereeing Assistance Programme 2021:1

There has been a new Refereeing Assistance Programme published in the summer of 2021. It’s again packed with lots of interesting match situations. Download your copy of the 2021:1 version.

Note: since 2020 versions you need the Mulppy App (pay for download). It depends on your own laptop quality and restrictions, so download and pay at own risk.

Refereeing Assistance Programme 2021:1

Refereeing Assistance Programme 2020:2

The RAP is shared by Uefa again and the link circulates online. Download your copy of the 2020:2 version.

Refereeing Assistance Programme 2020:1

The Uefa has released the Refereeing Assistance Programmes 2020:1. And now it’s been shared at summer courses, whether online or at FA headquarters, I share a link I’ve seen online too. Download the 2020:1 version (for both Mac and pc).

Refereeing Assistance Programme 2019:2

You’ll find earlier versions below the image.

And to help Mac users

Some referees experience problems with installing MAC versions.

Refereeing Assistance Programme 2019:2

Refereeing Assistance Programme 2019:1

Refereeing Assistance Programme 2018:2

Thanks to my readers I got the 2018:2 Refereeing Assistance Programme 2018:2

Refereeing Assistance Programme 2018-1

2018:1 version

Thanks to readers of my blog I can present you RAP 2018-1. Please be aware the files are huge (10GB), so download via wifi.

Refereeing Assistance Programme 2017-2

Thanks to readers of my blog I can present you RAP 2017-2.

New situations from the last six months. Quite interesting for us all. Download the files and practice at home.

Some experience problems with installing MAC versions. This document might help you.

Refereeing Assistance Programme 2017-2

RAP Women’s Euro 2017

A great download with match situations from the Women’s Euro in 2017.

Refereeing Assistance Programme Women's Euro

Referee Assistance Programme 2017-1

I am trying to get the 2017-2 version for you, but can already share the first edition of 2017 with you. In a few days I hopefully also have the Women’s Euro version.

Download 2017-1 version.

(below you’ll also find older versions)

Refereeing Programme Euro 2016 in France

Refereeing Assistance Programme Uefa

Download the RAP files

Please note the files are links to WeTransfer files. Because the size is about 5 GB, make sure you have your wifi on. I personally have not tested the MAC-link, because I have a PC.

RAP Euro 2016 for PC

RAP 2016 (edition 2)

Download for PC
Download for MAC

I got these links via Arbiter Café on Twitter. Much appreciated!

How the RAP works

You can watch video’s in different categories, but will not see the correct call immediately. Make sure you think for yourself what decision you will make. Then you can click at the right bottom text, which gives you an explanation.

Good luck and enjoy!

Explanation RAP2016

Björn Kuipers: from whining player to top class referee

Björn Kuipers was a football player every referee would hate. The 16-year-old captain of his team couldn’t stop whining at the man in black about wrong decisions. Not once, but e-ve-ry match. As a player he was the complete opposite of the referee who got appointed for the 2014 Champions League final due to his cool and calm style of refereeing. After Leo Horn (1957 and 1962), Charles Corver (1978) and Dick Jol (2001) the 41-year-old Kuipers is only the fourth Dutch referee who’ll referee the final of the biggest club competition in Europe. In 2021 he reached his pinnacle, as first ever Dutch referee in a final of a European Championship.

“I was very emotional when I heard that I’d been given this final,” he told UEFA.com. “I hoped to get the chance to referee a EURO final, and I’ve worked hard with my team to achieve this. It’s really a milestone, a dream, an unbelievable moment and a big honour.”

2nd Europa League final and more highlights

After officiating the UCL final, Björn Kuipers officiates at the 2016 Euro’s (read how he prepares for a big tournament with his Team Kuipers), his second Europa League final and the 2018 World Cup. In the latter he’s a fourth official in the final. The Dutch referee has one big goal which is refereeing a final at a European or World Cup. He will make history on July 11th 2021, because then he whistles for the start of the Euro 2020 final between Italy and England.

But how did hye become a referee? More on that below the image.

Substitution that changed his career

At a certain moment during that short football career he got, to his surprise, substituted, he once told newspaper de Volkskrant. His dad Jan Kuipers, a referee and supermarket owner as well, who rarely watched his son’s matches, summoned the coach to get his son on the pitch. His behaviour on the pitch was no longer tolerated by his dad and he told him to face the difficulties of being a referee. That was the start of a so far very succesfull refereeing career.

In January 2014 Björn Kuipers from Dutch town Oldenzaal was told he would be one of the referees at the World Cup in Brazil and on the 7th of May he got a message from Uefa referee boss Pierluigi Collina that he’ll be the referee of the 2014 Champions League final between Atletico and Real Madrid on the 24th of May in Estádio da Luz in Lisbon. “Being on the pitch during the Champions League final is the highest achievement in football for players and also for referees”, he told after the appointment. Kuipers will be assisted by Sander van Roekel, Erwin Zeinstra, Pol van Boekel and Richard Liesveld.

Björn Kuipers and his team.
Björn Kuipers and his team.

Improvement as a referee

After his father’s advice to try refereeing Björn became an amateur referee for theDutch football association KNVB in 1990. It wasn not always a pleasant journey towards professional football. Moments of dry heaving. Matches with 14 cards. Disrespect. It took him eleven years – with a one year break because he went abroad for his master degree in Business Administation – to reach the professional football level. His first professional match was Telstar versus Eindhoven in the Jupiler League, Dutch second level. He made his debut in the Eredivisie at the age of 32. A group of young referees entered the A-list and Kuipers as one of those talents. “Referees that are good, can move up quickly”, he told NRC after his fourth match on the highest Dutch level. “I know almost all the players, but they also know me apparently. They even called my by my first name, that actually surprised me.”
That was just nine years ago. Now Björn Kuipers is the talk of the town in The Netherlands. He even give a press conference before he moves to Brazil for the World Cup, because “otherwise he wouldn’t be able to respond to all interview requests he got”.

Success factors

But wat are the success factors of Kuipers career? As manager of three supermarkets with about 260 employees and owner of a barber shop he has got the leadership skills a referee needs. “But I’ll never be bossy”, Kuipers says. His work and refereeing motto is to let people do what they are good at. Kuipers gives his assistant referees Sander van Roekel and Erwin Zeinstra much freedom on the pitch to call for fouls and he supports their decisions. It is no coincidence that the KNVB announced that “team Kuipers” will go to Brazil and “team Kuipers” will referee the Champions League final.

The career of Björn Kuipers

Bjorn Kuipers is very popular. The day he heared about his appointment for the World Cup he was in Dutch most popular tv show DWDD.
Bjorn Kuipers is very popular. The day he heared about his appointment for the World Cup he was in Dutch most popular tv show DWDD.

Björn Kuipers officiated five years on the highest national level before he became a international referee in 2006. Only three years later he became an Uefa Elite Referee. 2013 was a great year for him with the Europa League final between Chelsea FC and Benfica in the Amsterdam Arena. Later that year he officiated the Confederations Cup final between Brazil and Spain.

All these referee successes were not possible without the support of his wife, whom he married eleven years ago, and his two children. “I’m away from home a lot”, he told Helden Magazine. Kuipers even missed 6 of his daughter’s 8 birthdays because he was away from home for a football match. “But it never causes friction. I don’t know what should do without my wife.” Kuipers’ wife follows each and every match, but normally doesn’t go to the stadium. She went to the Super Cup in Monaco and the Europa League final in Amsterdam. “She and my coach Jaap Uilenberg are the first people I call after a match.”

Kuipers’ two children, his 8-year-old daughter and a 4-year-old son, are not old enough yet to be like their dad on the football pitch, constantly whinging at the referee. “My daughter doesn’t even care about football so much”, Kuipers once said. “But I think, although they do not show it publicly to others, that my children are very proud of their dad.”

Will he quit after Euro 2020?

“Let me think about that after the EURO,” he says to Uefa a few days before the Euro 2020 final. “We’ve seen it all – we’ve travelled across Europe and around the world, we’ve refereed great matches with great players and great coaches. It’s a dream to be a referee – it’s a dream to be refereeing a EURO final. I’ll look after the EURO about what comes next as far as refereeing is concerned.”

Björn Kuipers’ 9 finals

Source: KNVB.

YearTournamentFinal
2006EC u17Czech Republic – Russia
2009EC u21Germany – England
2011UEFA Super CupBarcelona – FC Porto
2013Confederations CupBrazil – Spain
2013Europa LeagueChelsea FC – Benfica
2014Champions LeagueAtletico Madrid – Real Madrid
2017WV u20 Venezuela – England
2018Europa LeagueOlympique Marseille – Atletico Madrid
2021UEFA EURO 2020Italy – England

Source: KNVB.

Ball touches match official and goes out of play

A ball touches match official and goes out of play. A referee in Mexican football accidentally blocks a goal-bound shot and then it crosses the goal line, but not between the goalposts. In this case study you’ll get the solution according to the Laws of the Game. Plus there’s an update with a Copa America 2021 situation where a goal is scored shortly after a touch by the referee.

Ball touches match official
Still from the Guardian video, that is embedded below.
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