--- Chris Mohr <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Thanks to all for your constructively helpful responses. The experienced
> advice and discussions on this socref-listserv over time have proved
> immeasurably valuable in preparing me to be adequately ready to step up a
> quantum notch in challenge and difficulty when called upon to do so. In
> particular, it's good to be in a position coming away from such a
> challenging game asking about recognized problem issues I encountered and
> managed to muddle through, but the handling of which could definitely stand
> improvement, rather than needing any postmortem disaster analysis of one of
> those games-from-hell.
> While I've had plenty of games where some players were probing, studying,
> and frequently trying to lobby the ref, this game presented it on a whole
> new level of it - all 22 players on the field kept everything that happened
> under constant, savvy study, including me, the way predatory animals study
> and stalk and testingly probe things. BTW, these guys were expert in the
> art of trying to verbally influence a referee without crossing that line of
> insolence, disrespect, or persistence that truly must be handled by a card
> for dissent. Some of these guys are going to make great lawyers - they
> remembered everything I either had or hadn't done ten or twenty minutes ago,
> and cleverly cited it as precedent in trying to lobby me (or whine) about
> something in the present, which made sorting out constructively useful
> feedback I ought to be paying attention to versus the junk and gamesmanship
> very challenging at times. Fortunately, I was able to always maintain
> sufficient confidence, composure, and decisive demeanor that the chaff
> mostly blew harmlessly off my back.
> This raises a general conundrum about cards for dissent - my general theory
> is that unless a player comment crosses the line from gamesmanship to
> disruptiveness or intolerable disrespect (the kind that threatens to
> undermine game management if you don't react to) - the better approach is
> for the referee to resolutely maintain and project confidence and
> decisiveness, and let the small stuff wash harmlessly off his/her back, and
> wait for the the right and clearly proper opportunity if ever needed, to
> show a dissent card. I don't think you can earn respect you haven't already
> earned, at least in substantial part, by showing a card - I've seen other
> referees struggle unsuccessfully to get a game back under control with cards
> where IMHO the horse already left the barn for other reasons. But at each
> new level, there's a learning experience in being able to accurately sense
> when the proper moment has arrived, and I'll just have to work through it
> with experience. BTW, while I'm not at all to give cards (I carry two YCs
> and RCs at games, one set in the appropriate pants pockets, and one set in
> my game record sleeve in my shirt pocket), my general approach is to try to
> manage games with my personality rather than cards to the extent possible.
> Is this wise?
Handling dissent is one of the many keys towards the advancement of a referee.
You cannot allow the players to "dissent" your calls. What do I mean by the
word "dissent?" There are two kinds of "dissent": a) emotional and b) planned.
Emotional dissent can take on the form of a player frustrated after missing a
shot, and thinking he was fouled, yells out in frustration, "Hey ref, didn't
you see what he just did to me?" Emotional dissent, like all kinds, needs to
be dealt with. What do I mean by dealt with? I mean that something merely
needs to be done about it, in order to prevent future outbreaks from happening
in the future. There are many ways you can deal with this type of dissent.
The main idea is you need to use your personality. DO NOT give a card for
emotional dissent, unless it crosses the line of OIAL. If it does, deal with
that appropriately according to the laws/rules you are doing-- NCAA requires a
send off for this. In FIFA or NFHS, a caution for unsporting behavior will
suffice; or if you considered it OIAL directed at someone, send them off.
Barring this situation, you have many tools at your disposal for dealing with
emotional dissent. Your personality is the main tool at your disposal. Have a
chat with the player, and if you can find a way to humorously redirect the
attention of the player to something other than the game at that time, do it.
I've been known to resort to asking an out-of-town team (if it's a tournament)
if they've found any good restaurants in the area, or where there's a good
place to meet chicks. One time a player gave me crap for the situation I
described above, so I joked with him, "As soon as you start hitting all your
shots on goal instead of over the crossbar, I'll start getting all the calls
correct." Another catch-phrase I've used, when a player likes to tell me from
far away what happened is, "You saw that was a foul from there! Wow! You must
be a referee with eyesight like that." There are many others that you can use,
depending on your personality, to get the players' minds off of the game. When
that happens, the dissent lessens.
The second kind of dissent I've labeled as "planned." Planned or premeditated
dissent is when the player has had the time to gather his thoughts and feelings
after a frustrating missed shot on goal, or whatever, and still continues to
badger you about a call you missed minutes ago. This kind of dissent must be
dealt with immediately because it is a cancer to the spirit of the game. If
you allow this type of dissent to go undealt with, it will only continue. And
from there the match will go downhill in a heartbeat. Do not allow the match
to get to this point. If the players aren't heeding to your warnings or
whatever you're trying at this point to get it under control, you have no
choice but to resort to the yellow. Do it immediately, or you will make the
rest of the game miserable for yourself and others. The only thing that can
come from this is further dissent and attempted manipulations from other
players. They will do it because they see that they can get away with it,
because you are not punishing the other players that do it. You don't need
this kind of aggravation during the game. You have enough to deal with in
every other facet of the match. If you find that you have to issue a second
caution to a player for this, you still need to do it. If you don't do it,
then every player with a caution will soon realize that you are weak and won't
punish guilty parties who have already received a caution because of that fact.
They will think you don't have the guts to send someone off. Once you do
though, I guarantee that you won't have any other such problems throughout the
rest of the match, provided you are performing to their expectations, which you
shouldn't have a problem with, being that you accepted that assignment. Be a
Nike ref; just do it.
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