Commentary

You've become a good ref when ...

By Randy Vogt

You will know that you have become a good referee when:

• After the game, players and coaches go out of their way to say “Good job,” “Great job!” or “You were the best ref we’ve had all season!”

• People say to you, “Could you officiate all our games?”

• Your phone and e-mail account become hot with more and more assignments.

• You are assigned top games.

• You are asked to officiate tournaments out-of-state and maybe even abroad.

• You receive officiating awards from leagues and referee associations.

This means you have succeeded. Congratulations!

Now you come to an important fork in the road. Or as Yogi Berra has said, “When you come to the fork in the road, take it!”

Some successful referees take the correct road. They know that they have succeeded because of their knowledge of the Laws of the Game and their application, their hustle, their positive attitude, their fairness and firmness plus their approachability. And they continue doing all these great things.

Other successful refs take the wrong road. Their success goes to their head and they somehow think the game is now about them.

I have heard these comments about refs:

• “He used to be really good and now all he wants to do is argue with the coaches.”

• “He was one of our top referees but he no longer runs and gives decisions that seem solely to create attention for himself.”

• “He’s a good ref. The problem is, he thinks that he is a great ref and lets everyone know it.”

• “She was a very good referee. Now people don’t take her seriously as her body has become as big as a house.”

• “He was one of our best referees. Now he hardly moves out of the kickoff circle.”

Which road are you going to take?

(Randy Vogt has officiated over 8,000 games during the past three decades, from professional matches in front of thousands to 6-year-olds being cheered on by very enthusiastic parents. In his book “Preventive Officiating” he shares his wisdom gleaned from thousands of games and hundreds of clinics to help referees not only survive but thrive on the soccer field. You can visit the book’s website at http://www.preventiveofficiating.com/)

5 comments about "You've become a good ref when ... ".
  1. Delete My Account, May 25, 2011 at 3:31 p.m.

    You know you're a good ref when...

    You become the referee you always wanted as a player.

  2. Emeka Terry, May 25, 2011 at 3:55 p.m.

    how about this one:
    You've become a good ref when you laugh at some of the rediculous comments by the parents on your calls instead of throwing them out.

  3. Cathy Saleh, May 25, 2011 at 10:03 p.m.

    The only comment using "she" as an example is a referee gaining a lot of weight. That's unfortunate. Also, someone's weight doesn't directly correspond to their performance as a referee.

  4. Randy Vogt, May 26, 2011 at 8:29 a.m.

    This is Randy Vogt, the author of Preventive Officiating. I would like to thank Soccer America for running these brief excerpts from the book for the past year. I started officiating when I was a teenager back in the 1970s and the book Fair or Foul? greatly helped me. The authors have long since retired and I wanted to help referees just as Fair or Foul? greatly helped me. I started writing Preventive Officiating in 2006 and it was published last year. What I have found in the past year is that players, coaches and fans are also using the book to learn how the Laws of the Game should be interpreted at different levels of play. Randy

  5. rasta thirty, May 31, 2011 at 9:46 p.m.

    I started reffing this year, I wanted to add a new dimension to a game I love. Be a positive in a sea of negative, and then I quickly realised that the most pompous, borish, political idiots out there are the ref's. I'm hanging up my myriad of striped shirts & enjoying the game from the touch line, resting comfortably knowing that the only people who matter on the pitch are those ref's!!!!

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