My Youth Soccer Guide

Essentials for Good Officiating

by Alan
(Leeds, England)

Instead of bad officiating stories (I have quiet few of them) I'd like to point out some essentials for good officiating, especially for those with desire to become a decent, good referees:

  • Stay in shape
  • Know the rules
  • Know the game
  • Know your style
  • Be a good communicator
  • Work in synch with fellow officials

    Stay in shape
    I's important to have an alert, healthy, sound mind, and it's equally important to keep your body agile and strong. Part of your job is to keep pace with the players. Frequently, you'll need to move quickly to get into the best position to cover a play.

    Know the rules
    This is, of course, very obvious. But that's also the reason why many aspiring referees overlook the importance of it. You have to know the rules perfectly, from a to z and backwards. You need to constantly improve your knowledge and know how to apply the rules and interpretate them during the game.

    Know the game
    Knowing the rules doesn't necessarily mean you know the game. When you understand defensive and offensive strategies, you'll be able to anticipate plays better, cover the field better and be in better position to make calls. Know the game from player's perspective.

    Know your style
    Every referee has his own style. Some go strictly by the book, but others allow for some gray areas in making calls. Some are serious disciplinarians, explaining no calls; others will take time to explain calls while maintaining authority. An important aspect of being a good referee is keeping consistency in your style and your calls.

    Be a good communicator
    Good communication is vital to good refereeing that includes making verbal calls and making clear, correct signals that give the proper emphasis to your calls.

    Work in synch with fellow officials
    You need to also work in synch with your assistants by using good communication system (body language, eye contact).

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