A referee photo: a great way to capture the emotion of the match. Sam Christopher shares lots of refereeing photo’s on his Facebook and Instagram. “My imagery can play a big role for referees”, he says to Dutch Referee Blog. “By shedding light to a range of behaviour that could have potentially gone unnoticed.”
Picking up the camera instead of the whistle
What is your role in refereeing?
I became involved with the referee community when I was 14 as I wanted to earn a little bit of extra pocket money. Since then I have been officiating for around seven years now. During this time I have officiated as both a referee and an assistant, managing some state tournaments. I started to notice that the abuse and poor spectator behaviour was becoming increasingly prominent within our community. So I decided to take a step back from picking up the flag or whistle to shed light on the experiences of our local, state and national referees.
Capture the emotion
What makes it so interesting to take these pictures?
Peronsally, the interest and enjoyment of taking these images comes from the ability to capture the emotion of the match. Whether it be a reaction to a decision made by the referee, or the concentration on an officials face during an intense 90 minutes. All these aspects help me to spread awareness to a wide audience of football fans, illustrating exactly what a referee goes through on a match day whether it be good or bad.
Referee photo analyses behaviour
Another enjoyable and interesting part is being able to hold all parties accountable to there behaviour on the day. Many players and coaches will see images of themselves online. I hope that it then allows them to take a step back, and really analyse how they are behaving on match day and the impact it may have.
What do you want to show people with these referee pics?
As a referee it can be near impossible to deal with all facets of player and spectator behaviour. This is especially evident with all the things officials already have on there plate. This is where I believe my imagery can play the biggest role, shedding light to a range of behaviour that could have potentially gone unnoticed.
Show what it’s like to be a referee
By taking these images and sharing them through my social media platforms, I have already started to show a broader community what really occurs on the field. This includes illustrating to many people in positions of power exactly what it’s like to be a referee. Changes are now starting to be implemented throughout our local leagues. The “enough is enough” campaign has begun to stamp down on players, coaches and spectator behaviour bringing in harsher penalties for repeat offenders.
It is my hope that as referees, we can work together to shed light on what we experience on and off the field. Not only the good, but the bad as well as the sacrifices and enjoyment that makes this game so great.