Ref Watch: Work well with assignors. Plus: New rulebook is ready

For youth soccer referees looking to advance, their relationships with the State Referee Administrator (SRA) and State Youth Referee Administrator (SYRA) are crucial. For the rest of us refs, arguably our most important relationship is with assignors, the people who give us our games.

When it comes to scheduling, assignors value referees’ reliability more than their ability. Assignors are busy people. After they assign a match, they do not want to receive a turnback — for example, a call from the coach 10 minutes before kickoff asking for a ref.

To limit cancellations, it’s vital for refs to go into their assigning web sites weeks ahead of the assignments and block out days and times when they have other commitments. If refs have more than one assignor, they should also make sure to block availability to prevent given over-lapping assignments.

The more available that refs make themselves on the assigning websites, the more they are likely to receive lots of games. Refs can also relay to the assignors if they prefer to limit travel distances to games.

If referees are unhappy with their assignments, they should not discuss with their colleagues but go directly to the assignor. Refs who step up at the last minute to fill in for another refs’ cancellation are appreciated by assignors, who may reward them with with games on slow weekends.

I encourage assignors to find out what is important to each individual ref. Some refs want many games, others just want a few. Some want to be challenged in just about every match, others want what is perceived as the easier assignments.

Given the importance of assignors to referees, I would also like to encourage referee associations to make sure that assignors have active speaking roles during their referee meetings. 

(Randy Vogt has officiated over 11,000 games in six different decades.)

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The 2022-23 FIFA rulebook

The are various ways to access free digital versions of the 2022-23 FIFA Laws of the Game.

U.S. Soccer: 2022-23 rulebook (available in English, Spanish, German and French) in PDF form HERE. U.S. Soccer's Pocket Guide HERE.

IFAB: 2022-23 rulebook (available in English and various languages) HERE. IFBA changes to 2022-23 Laws of the Game HEREIFAB app.

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Refereeing in Soccer America

Among our recent ref, rules and officiating coverage and commentary:

1. Two Americans headed to 2022 U-20 Women's World Cup By Mike Woitalla

2. MLS goes wildly off the rails for 90 disgraceful seconds By Paul Gardner

3. Kick-ins, 30-minute halves and dribbling from free kicks. Why not? By Ian Plenderleith 

4. More subs means better soccer? Don't bet on it. By Paul Gardner

Ref Coverage around the Web

• List of appointed FIFA game officials 2022 U-20 Women's World Cup (Aug. 10-28)

1. Permanent use of five substitutes approved, door opened for 26-player rosters By Agence France-Presse

2. ‘Epic proportions’: Utah High School Activities Association puts high school boys soccer on 3-year probation due to rising ejections By Patrick Carr (Standard Examiner)

3. How VAR has changed the Premier League, from penalties to offside and handball By Dale Johnson (ESPNFC)

PRO Inside Video Review with Greg Barkey

4 comments about "Ref Watch: Work well with assignors. Plus: New rulebook is ready".
  1. R2 Dad, June 24, 2022 at 2:41 p.m.

    Thanks for this. Question: How are assignors paid? There seems to be some unspoken mumbo-jumbo. Assignors want to keep this hush-hush, which tells me it's squishy. What is supposed to be happening, vs what is actually happening? No assignor seems to want to discuss the details. Anyone? 

  2. Randy Vogt replied, June 24, 2022 at 4:47 p.m.

    Some assignors are paid by the assignment, others are paid by the season or year. Some assignors are part-time and others are full-time. I would think that it would be very challenging to be a full-time assignor as there is not a steady workflow as some weeks he/she is going crazy and other weeks have very little for an assignor to do.

  3. Ben Myers, June 26, 2022 at 12:45 a.m.

    What I have seen is that assignors won't back their referees in dealing with poor working condtions, being told to arrive early at a venue "just in case" there is a no-show, lack of field marshalls to back the referees and to deal with unruly fans, extra-long period time between matches (i.e. more than one match in the interval between assignments. That's what I hear talking to referees in my state. And, yes, the pay for assignors is generally opaque.

  4. Santiago 1314, June 30, 2022 at 7:01 p.m.

    I keep saying: IT's FOOTBALL... Not Handball...
    Whistle ALL "Handling" below the Armpit, and OUTSIDE the Body Frame.
    Then Just Decide if it is:
    UnINTENTIONAL = InDirect Kick
    Makes it Easy on Spectators, Players and Refs.

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