COACHES & REFEREES: HOW CAN WE WORK TOGETHER BEST?
- To increase the level of understanding and cooperation between referees and coaches.
- To let coaches know what is expected of them during the match, from WSSL referees.
- To get feedback from coaches as to how we coaches and referees can better work together to improve the players' soccer experience.
We Are All On The Same Team:
Coaches and referees all want the same thing- a fair, safe and fun game for the kids. So:
- Always keep in mind that audible/visible criticism of referees by coaches or parents will work to undermine the referee's authority. Such criticism often leads to a poorly controlled match that is less safe, less fair and less fun for the players.
- Always keep in mind that the referees are not your adversaries. They are volunteers, the same as you, and they must be treated respectfully.
- Talk to the referees before the match. Arrive early. Be approachable and friendly. Make sure you introduce yourself.
- Talk again after the game. Make sure you thank the referee team for their efforts. Please do this even if you think the referee had a bad game or made some bad calls. (We'll discuss how to handle that a little later.)
Reminder about AYSO and Safe Haven Philosophies:
- Two in Particular- Positive Coaching and Good Sportsmanship.
- Yelling at or being disrespectful to referees is not consistent with these two stated philosophies.
- Volunteers (coaches and referees) are role models. The coach sets the tone for the team. Both players and parents will follow your lead, so please make it a positive one.
Discussions About Calls or "No-Calls":
- Discussions should never be public.
- As a general rule, they should never be during the game; wait until half time or after the match is over.
- The discussions should always be in a proper, respectful tone. Have a conversation, not an argument.
- Consult our Laws of the Game page and the FIFA Law Book, if necessary.
- Remember that people see things from different angles and in different ways. Be open to the other point of view.
- If you feel there is a real problem with the referee (obvious bias, total lack of understanding of the rules, inappropriate attitude), please bring this to the attention of your division head and chief referee.
- Players' equipment: please do not ask the referees to ignore the rules, i.e. - our no jewelry policy. Important safety issues cannot be overlooked.
- Unbalanced teams - if you are supposed to be playing 6 v 6, and your team shows up with 7, and the other team shows up with 5, use the "Everyone Plays" and "Balanced Teams" philosophy to find a way to play 6 v 6 that is simple and fair. Your players will do whatever you ask/tell them to do.
During the game:
- No subbing on the fly!
- Don't interfere with re-starts by micromanaging. You cannot diagram a play every time there is a throw-in.
Feedback: What Do Coaches Want/Expect From Referees?
If you have any thoughts on this, please email someone on the referee leadership team:
- Richard Safran- Regional Referee Administrator: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Sara Fischer- Regional Director of Referee Instruction: email@example.com
- Michael Titowsky- Referee Instructor: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks to Michael Titowsky for putting these guidelines on "paper"!