Abuse towards referees – we need a cultural change

Abuse towards referees seems normal in football. The working environment of referees and the climate they operate in isn’t always looking bright. “And if people keep seeing abuse, nobody says: I want to referee”, says Dr Tom Webb, who started the Referee and Match Official Research Network in 2017 and has just published his book entitled ‘Elite Soccer Referees: Officiating in the Premier League, La Liga and Serie A’, which you can get at Routledge. “Unfortunately there’s a trend that it’s okay to be abusive towards referees. We need a cultural change, but that can take decades.”

Webb had played to a good standard, but has never been a referee. He got involved with referee-related research when he did his Master’s degree at the University of Gloucestershire. Back in 2003 there was a huge problem with recruiting and retaining referees in England. In 2017 he started the Referee and Match Official Research Network to “bring together academics and others interested in the development and associated research concerning the match official within a variety of sports.” He wants to develop a greater understanding around how referees operate, what their experiences are and what the differences are between officiating in different countries and sports.

Abuse towards referees needs to stop. Respect badge!

Back in history

To get an idea of where the abuse comes from, you have to go back in time. In 1863 the Football Association was founded and the game became predominantly working-class over time. The Rugby Football Union (RFU) was formed in 1871 by middle- to upper-class people, “Therefore respect was maintained”, says Webb. “Football professionalised much earlier than rugby union too, because more money was involved in the game. Rugby was a long way behind.”

Verbal abuse seems acceptable

Although rugby is perceived as a sport with more respect, abuse towards referees is a growing issue, says Webb. “In football, just under 20% of the referees say they have been physically abused. In rugby that percentage gets nowhere near that. It’s just 3%.” But there’s a similar level of verbal abuse, like swearing at the ref. “Football players are more used to do it, but it doesn’t mean it’s acceptable. Verbal abuse seems like something we accept. Although the Respect Programme by the FA had some success, we need a cultural change. And that takes a long time to take effect.”

Above: famous clip with rugby referee Nigel Owens where he explains a difference between rugby and soccer.

 

Volunteering as ref in pub leagues

Refereeing isn’t just about top level refereeing, don’t forget the pub leagues on Sunday. “That’s a whole different culture”, says Webb. “At a majority of the game referees get some expenses, but they’re basically volunteers. It’s very important to have a look at the working environment of referees there as well. It’s influenced by how we talk towards the referee. That’s actually one of the biggest issues there.”

Status quo in referee numbers

Webb says a similar number of referees that got recruited also quit. “They don’t want to be sworn at”. Earlier this year there was a huge strike amongst referees. “It’s sad it comes to that point. It’s a last resort. The refs don’t want to do that, they love refereeing.” A problem is, according to Webb, that referees feel disengaged in for example the Respect Programme or they don’t feel helped in the disciplinary process. It’s them versus players and lots of fans.

Difference between countries

Webb wants to know what’s the difference between refereeing is in different countries. For example, the way they officiate and prepare. If there’s a difference between games in their own country or in a Champions League game, do they get other directives or use different technology,  “There’s a lack of research on these topics, lots of subjects haven’t been covered yet.”

Arbitro Mateu Lahoz

Dealing with simulation is not the same in Europe

There’s a big difference in how players deal with players, says Webb. “Spanish and Italian referees often use more deterrents towards players. In England you’ll notice more talking.” Webb gives another example: simulation. “Players in southern-European countries are more likely to deceive the referee. In Spain or Italy players get applauded if they conned the referee. It’s the referee to blame that he didn’t spot it.

The working environment of refs

A few more differences that influence how referees (re)act and that create a positive or negative environment for match officials to act within. The role of the media is also not the same. “This can be shown with names like ‘the trial’ which focuses only on errors”, says Webb. “Some referees got the idea they can’t do anything right. They even prefer to referee in the Champions League and Europa League instead of in the domestic league.” And what about maintaining the quality of refs? “In England and Italy referees from all over the country meet every two weeks, but that’s less frequent in Spain. Does that influence the training quality?” That’s something Webb wants to compare and see what it means for refereeing.

Disrupting the flow of the game

And don’t forget the current ‘hot’ topic. How will technology influence the game? “Rugby is more stop-start, football is quicker”, says Webb.  Despite the cry for the use of technology getting louder, will the game benefit from the Video Assistant Referee? There’s much at stake in football. One goal can mean the difference between earning millions or nothing. “But using technology could also disrupt the flow of the game. That could be a problem.”

Refereeing in other sports

In recent research Webb didn’t only look at football, but also at four other sports:

  • Rugby
  • Cricket. “Historically that sport embraced technology the most. They have even chosen shorter formats due to technology for example.”
  • Squash. “Match officials are only involved if there’s a let situation, otherwise the players decide who wins the point”. That’s for example when a player thinks he is obstructed by his opponent so he wasn’t able to play a ball.
  • Ultimate Frisbee. “A sport officiated by the players”

“In the latter there’s a big problem while trying to professionalize the sport, especially in America”, says Webb. “It’s difficult to introduce referees on the pitch in a sport that’s normally officiated by the players.”

“And in all sports we see sportsmanship changes over time. Research shows refs notice less sportsmanship when a sport becomes more professionalized. Every path and game is important for players for their career. A bad decision can mean they become runners up or won’t earn a contract. That makes it inevitable that sportsmanship declines.”

Rugby referee

Sportsmanship is easier when winning

Going back to football. It’s very kind to kick the ball out when one of your opponents is down with an injury. “It actually happens more often than not”, says Webb. “But will they also do that 10 minutes before the end of the game? It all goes back to respect for the match official. The referees are there to uphold the Laws of the Game. But sportsmanship is easier when a team is winning or at the start of the game.”

The cultural change

The culture of a sport is difficult to change. “It takes effort and investment in time and money”, says Webb. “The Respect Program is not even 10 years old. It can take decades for the culture to change. I’d like to see respect woven into the fabric of the game.”

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.”

 

Andrew Christiansen: 2016-2017 season was milestone for referees from Faroe Islands

The 2016-2017 started with a bang for Andrew Christiansen. The assistant referee from Faroe Islands got appointed to a game in Andorra with Alex Troleis and Dan Hojgaard between FC Santa Coloma and FC Alaskhert from Armenia. “It was the first time ever that a refereeing team from the Faroe Islands got appointed for a Champions League qualifier”, says Christiansen. “Up to 2016 match officials from our country only officiated in Europa League games.”

Andrew Christiansen (left) with fellow FIFA referees from the Faroe Islands

Andrew Christiansen (left) with fellow FIFA referees from the Faroe Islands

That wasn’t the only big milestone. Only two months before that game Christiansen got appointed for a u17 Uefa tournament in Azerbaijan. “I was only on the Fifa list for four months at that moment in May. It took a guy from Switzerland eight years to get such an invitation”, says Christiansen in an interview with Dutch Referee Blog.

In 2013 there was a possibility for Christiansen to become a Fifa referee. “My country got one referee and three assistants at that moment”, he says. “But all small nations were cut then and I could not get the third spot.” But late November of 2015 he got some good news. Three new referees were announced on the Fifa list for the Faroe Islands. “We were surprised and extremely happy. We’ve been working long time for it and so it was a big relief.”

Back to the start of his career

Christiansen got his referee diploma in 1999. In the Faroe Islands referees represent a team and every club needs to arrange a certain number of referees for all football games. “There was no future for me as a player, so I became a referee”, he says.”after a few years I reached the second division.” The 38-year-old referee made it to the highest level in 2004 and has completed twelve seasons at the Effodeildin, the national Premier League.

His first international experience was the Aberdeen Youth Festival, but he learned the most when he got the chance to go to Uefa’s CORE program. “That was a real eye-opener for me”, says Christiansen. He was doing fine as assistant referee, but this course added a new dimension to it. “That discipline, the new methods of training, a new impression for me.” Most of all, he soaked up all the information he could get from mentors like David Elleray. “You can think you’ll be a rockstar when you come back or you can stay humble and apply everything you’ve learned.”

Andrew Christiansen (right) before the 2016 Faroe Islands Cup Final

Andrew Christiansen (right) before the 2016 Faroe Islands Cup Final

Doing self-assessments to improve

“You don’t have to depend on other people all the time, you can also assess your own performances and training sessions. First you need to find out what you’re good at and get to know the things you’re not so good at. You have to set goals for yourself to improve and take one goal each time. Work one thing each time and it makes it more attainable for yourself.”

The ideal week

The games on the Faroe Islands are usually on Sunday’s. This is what Christiansen’s ideal week looks like.

Sunday: matchday

Monday: jogging/swimming “to relax your muscles”

Tuesday: Weights

Wednesday: Relaxing

Friday: Weights

Saturday: High-Intensity Training and Sprints

As assistant referee you need more sprints and less long runs outside. The referees at the top level use polar watches to measure how fit they are. Measuring is important, says Christiansen. “You can’t cheat the system”. But it’s not always easy to combine a tight training schedule with a fulltime job. I work as a carpenter from 8am to 4 pm every day. But building houses helps me stay in shape as well. And I do the match preparation usually during the evenings. And because we live in a small country travelling to games doesn’t take much time. The longest distance is one hour and 45 minutes. That’s a clear advantage.”

Sports in a small country

The Faroe Islands has just under 50.000 inhabitants. Fifteen to twenty thousand people are involved in sports, but being a referee is still an “unpopular job”. There are around ten referees and 25 assistants in the top league, and about the same on the second level. “But it’s already difficult to get enough referees for the third and fourth division.”

“It was the goal of my federation to get a refferee to a final group stage of FIFA”, says Andrew Christiansen. “I made it last year in Azerbadjan at the u17 Uefa tournament.” Although their quick development at national level, it doesn’t mean they’ll climb fast on Uefa’s lists. “A referee pulls you up the ranks. If they do well, we do well as assistants, but it’s still difficult for smaller countries to become Elite.” That is no reason for Christiansen to stop hoping. “It makes it more challenging and also more interesting to reach your goals.”

What are your goals?

Have you written down your goals? Do you, as Andrew, believe there are lots of possibilities for you as referee? I’d love to know your goals. Share them below or via jan@dutchreferee.com.

And want to start with creating your future path as referee? Get some tips on effective goal-setting for referees.

William Labrit: 15 years old and already 4 years experience

William Labrit is only 15 years old and already has almost four years of experience as a referee. “I struggled at first with many things”, he admits in an interview with Dutch Referee Blog. “However, after working several lower level games and receiving lots of advice from superiors, I began to work with the older age groups and realized that I liked it a lot.” 

An interview with this young referee from Florida, United States. He has been refereeing since October of 2013. “I began with officiating toddlers and have since advanced to the premier youth level.” In this interivew he takes you on his journey as referee and shares some tips that will help you too. 

William Labrit as center referee

Start of a refereeing career

How did you get involved in refereeing? 

William Labrit: The reason I started at 11 is simply because while playing soccer as a kid, I was always interested in the referees and I wanted to be more involved in the game. When I was 11, I had a friend who was refereeing and told me about it. Since there was no age requirement and I found a class, I decided to give it a shot. I struggled at first with many things. However, after working several lower level games and receiving lots of advice from superiors, I began to work with the older age groups and realized that I liked it a lot. A particular assignor took me under his wing and worked with me just about every week and has developed me to be the referee I am today.

Please share a bit more about what a training week for you looks like.

William Labrit: I am a cross country runner so I train with my team during the season every day. When we are not training, I get a 5 mile (8km) run in at least twice during the week. In addition, when my schedule allows, I go to the track and run several 100m and 200m sprints.

William Labrit running the line

Refereeing weekend of William Labrit

Where do you officiate and what does your refereeing weekend usually look like?

William Labrit: I officiate at many places including my local club and surrounding clubs in the area during the normal season. I have participated in tournaments at IMG Academy and at Disney. My weekends vary greatly: sometimes I will have only one Academy game or I will work several premier level (below Academy) games. For tournaments, I usually have 3 games: 1 center and 2 ARs.

US refs usually do lots of games in the weekend. How do you make sure you’re fit during the last game as well?

In order to ensure prime fitness, I keep up with my training every week. Doing several repetitive sprints with little time in between prepares me for sprinting in games when necessary, even when I am tired. I also maintain a healthy diet and hydrate a lot.

Goals as referee

What are your refereeing goals for this year?

William Labrit: For this year, I wish to be selected for the State cup final 4 round. This has been one of my goals since I began refereeing. Something that I have been criticized for is my running technique not being efficient enough. I hope to improve my running in order to increase my efficiency on the field of play, something that is essential at the professional level. Ultimately, of course, my goal is to eventually get a FIFA badge.

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William Labrit giving a goal kick

My best effort

And how are you going to achieve them?

William Labrit: I will achieve my goal of State Cup final 4 by continuing to put forth my best effort. Additionally, I have participated in Regional tournaments and State cup tournaments. So I’ve worked with assessors to improve my mechanics and understanding of the Laws of the Game and interpretations. Of course, I have read the most recent IFAB Laws of the Game and their interpretations. And in addition to that I have utilized several different websites to supplement my knowledge. Think about using things such as practice tests. I have worked on my running technique by hiring a running coach and training with him weekly to improve my form.

Tips for other referees

What are the best 3 tips you ever got that made you a better referee  

William Labrit: I have received a lot of tips in my few years. The best 3 include:

  • A former FIFA AR once told me the whistle is like a whip- it gets the players in line while not really hurting them. The yellow card is like a knife- it hurts the player but does not kill them because they remain in the game. The red card is like a gun- it kills the player because they no longer can be in the game.
  • Communication with players is essential to game management. Use your whistle with a tone according to the offense that is committed. For example, if an unacceptable foul occurs, use a long sharp whistle. That’s how to express to players I will not allow certain things. The first whistle should always be long and hard as to set the tone for the match. A short quick whistle for a routine foul, and two tweets for administrative things. Additionally, use facial expressions, talk to players to make them aware of your presence- especially during stoppages, and use hand gestures.
  • Whenever you call a foul, make good eye contact with the player that committed the foul. This allows you to remember the player’s face for future infringements if the player becomes an issue.

Share your tips

Please share tips that are useful for others.

Refereeing in Ukraine: the story from Andrii Slipukha

How’s Refereeing in Ukraine? In this blog post you’ll read the interesting story of how Andrii Sliphuka (19) tries to improve as a referee and reach his goals.

But first, check out the video I found online that led to me asking Andrii some questions.

“I am Andrii and I am a referee from Kiev, Ukraine. First my game was in September 2012, so it’s fifth year for me as an official.”

How he got started? “It’s an interesting story. From 2003 till 2012 I played football in regional team. Every half of the year we had a football match between parents and their sons. And of course, we needed a referee. I officiated for the first time there and until now it is one of the most interesting things I do.”

Refereeing in Ukrain u17 championship

“I’m refereeing on a u17 championship in Ukraine. Every weekend my friends and family will know that, when they woke up, I’ll be giving a start signal on the field somewhere in the country. Refereeing means early wake-ups, about 250 now, because games are played all around my country. My career also consists of around 800 different trips, many many whistles and happiness when you know you’ve done a great job. That’s what my weekend looks like during the season.”

Andrii is refereeing in Ukraine

Academy for referees

Andrii wants to get some international experiences and help, for example via the Referee Academy by Tournaments Abroad. He is going to officiate in the Paris World Cup and get mentored there. “The academy will be very important for me, because it gives me new opportunities. It also means new places, languages and football cultures, which I want to discover. There I will hear a lot of interesting and useful information, which I prefer to use in my country and our observers will positively evaluate this.”

Gaining experience abroad

“The Paris World Cup will be my first abroad experience, but not the last this year. In 2017 I am going to visit Lisboa, Saint-Petersburg, Russia; Toronto and Montreal, Canada; Paris, France, Poland and hope that I will be choosen for elite-tournament in Prague, Czech Republic. If I do it at all, my referee and social level will grow-up and it helps me to open new opportunities around the world.

Andrii Slipukha from Kiev

Useful tips for referees

“Three the best tips, which I heard from my coach (he’s in elite group refs in my country) are:

  • each decision must be made only after really seeing it (so no guessing of what might have happened);
  • maximum use of communication skills to control the game. You will always have a time to show the card.
  • be near a moment at an optimal distance. Then the most controversial decision will be perceived more credibly.

Share your tips

Please share tips that are useful for others.