Svein Oddvar Moen, a Norwegian referee, didn’t do a proper coin toss earlier this month. It was quite a funny moment. He flipped the coin in the air, but it didn’t land in his hand or on the ground. It landed on the head of one of captain Espen Bugge Petterson
Watch the clip from the toin coss in the game between Strømsgodset and Lillestrom.
Has this ever happened to you as a referee?
Procedure for proper coin toss
- Gather the captains in the middle circle before the kick-off for the coin toss.
- Introduce yourself and shake hands.
- It’s polite to ask the visitors to choose for heads or tails – although it’s not a written law.
- Flip the coin in the air. If you can catch it, do so. A tip I got from a referee mentor: If you let it fall on the ground, pick it up later when the captains are back to their teams. You shouldn’t bow down to “the captains”. The blog l’Arbitre shows a good example of that from Swedish match offical Jonas Eriksson.
- The captain that wins the coin toss decides which end his team will be defending in the first half. The winner always kicks off at the start of the scond half.
- Always write down who will kick off on your game card. I also write down the time the half starts in case my watch stops working. You can then always check with someone on the sideline how long you have to play based on the clock and don’t have to deal with timers coaches have set. Some other referees will use two watches, but that’s not what I prefer because wearing two doesn’t feel comfortable with me.
- Do another handshake. Wish the captains and then your teams a good game. Let your AR’s check the goal nets and count the players on both halfs. Then everything’s ready for a nice game of football.