Referees Development Group - 4

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The Nottinghamshire FA Referees Development Group gathered at Toothill School in Bingham for their fourth meeting of the 2013/14 season.

Joined by guest of honour, Karoly Torok, an assessor for UEFA, covering assessments throughout Europe, the session focused on pre-match preparation, as well as a variety of situations in different match day scenarios.

Starting outdoors with a physical session led by Stuart Richardson, the Nottinghamshire FA fitness coordinator and Conference Premier Assistant Referee. Stuart informed the group of the aim of the session; endurance! As officials it is vital to have a good level of endurance and fitness and to use it to keep the heart rates up during a game. 

Stuart placed cones on opposite ends of the Astro Turf, informing the group that they had to sprint around these cones at an 80% pace. Officials will aim to move constantly around the pitch; the use of short, sharp bursts of sprinting can be the difference between getting a key match decision correct, or giving the wrong call.

Not only this, but by practicing these exercises, officials can push themselves further and use their fitness levels to progress into higher levels of the game.

The second part of the evening was a presentation by Dave Plowright (Head Coach) focusing on how officials can manage the game more efficiently and use high quality teamwork in order to help achieve match control.

Referees have to be able to use all of their skills to control players on the field of play. They must appear friendly and calm, but still remain control.

When asked the question of where it is that this teamwork and control stems from, the general consensus was that the week before the game, good communication between officials and both participating clubs will already give the official a good footing, demonstrating effective, informative and clear communication before the fixture has even kicked-off.

This discussion followed into how officials can successfully speak to and utilise the captains of both teams; ideally, officials should speak inform the captains that as referees, they are there to help the game run smoothly and safely. 

Not only this, but officials can also use the stepped approach with both captains. Explained, this is where officials can ask captains to speak to one of the teams players in order to calm them down and retain focus  on the game, working as a support mechanism.

Members of the group found that another key point was making your refereeing active instead of reactive.

When you referee a game, you need to be aware of everything that is going on whilst on the field of play. You need to anticipate play and where you need to be when making a key match decision. Whether this means that you keep a trailing eye or use an extra sprint, this will show that your concentration is fully on the game and that you will deal with all incidents appropriately.

As the session drew to a close, members of the group were left with a lasting through; not only do you have to consider whether or not the decision you're making is the right call, you also must remember that your decision can have a direct impact  on your match control. Referees should always ask themselves whether or not the decision will aid overall control of the game!

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Report provided by Tom Toland (Level 6 Referee)

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