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