The importance of a referee community

The importance of a referee community should not be underestimated. Carol Anne Chenard stresses the importance of a good referee community. Having fellow refs around you gives you great opportunities to develop. In this article she talks about their benefits and how it will motivate and challenge you as a referee. “It will make you a better referee.”

You can also read the big interview with Carol Anne Chenard about her recovery and competititve attitude on my blog.

Some great advantages of a community

  • Go out with them for a training session
  • Call them when you had a difficult game
  • Discuss match situations with your peers
  • Celebrate new appointments or promotions 

Helping your fellow referees

Referees look up to professional referees and love their webinars or meetings. But Chenard says it’s also crucial for them to help each other. “I think that’s the most important part.” While studying in Quebec, Chenard noticed there was a very strong referee community there. They met through refereeing, but were also studying together, going on vacation together. “They were friends.” This created a great atmosphere: people at the same level to which they could openly talk and share their experiences and their mistakes. “That’s not what they do when talking to a professional referee.”

Carol Anne Chenard has that experience too. When you go to tournaments together, you keep following each other, you become a team. “Bibiana (Steinhaus; Jan) and I did our first tournament together in 2007 and if something goes wrong, I reach out to her. And I talk to her when I’m struggling. That’s what you need to create: these groups of referees that support each other and see each other developing together.”

Find people who challenge and motivate you

The Canadian referee was always eager to look for opportunities. She moved to Ottawa and joined a track club and maintains her fitness levels, doing YoYo Test training, and working on her strength. There were also a couple of young referees and she asked them to come out to train with her on Saturdays as well. They could tell their preferred time, Carol Anne would be there. On time, of course. 

Some referees go out for a run or just run the fitness tests, but there’s plenty of other fitness aspects you need to work on. “I introduced them to new types of training”. Win-win for both.
Because you want to keep up with younger referees, it motivates you as well. And even when you can’t do everything these days due to covid, a friend can challenge you to do exercises at home as well. Michelle Pye just texted her about an online programme that was really good. “You just need somebody to motivate you sometimes, because it gets tough. And having a referee community with people from your own level creates the right atmosphere to discuss things.”

Your referee community

I’d love to hear who is part of a referee community and what you organise together. Please comment below or on my social channel.

Tips from Carol Anne Chenard

Check out the big interview with Carol Anne Chenard on my blog. Or check her video tip below.

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