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So why do we?

During the World Cup I have been an England supporter (but I have been watching the referees as I am one of us!)

This morning I was interested to find that the Columbians were less than impressed with the referee for the match!

They (the Columbians) thought that the referee – being American – was biased against them.  It is funny that the English pundits thought he was biased against England!

So I am left with the questions: who would be a referee and why?

I thought the referee was weak (but I’ve never refereed a World Cup match) perhaps he was doing as he’d been told – either explicitly or not – and not sending anyone off.  Perhaps he felt that none of the incidents represented a red card offence.  Perhaps I’m being a biased Englishman thinking that the Columbian deserved a red card!

However, it does leave me with the questions: who would be a referee and why?

What can we learn, as we get ready for the new season?

I think the first thing is when a team wins you are the best referee in the world (and the converse is true: when they lose you are the worst!)

The second thing we can learn is: give what YOU see and don’t listen to supposed experts (like me).  Sometimes it’ll be correct and other times it’ll be wrong!

The third thing to learn concerns what you should read and not read.

Do NOT read any reports of the match! I know this from bitter experience.

The teams are not interested in you! They are only interested in winning (and so they should be) and we are only interested in ensuring that fair play rules.

But I’m still asking the questions “who’d be a referee and why?”

Why do I ask those questions? If we know why we referee, we should be a better referee.

And also we have to ask these questions with all of our decisions: do I want to win this battle? Will this battle win me the war? If the answer to both is “yes”, then stand your ground and ensure fair play wins the day; if the answer to the first question is “yes” but it will create a war is that something you want?

Of course, the second answer could be “no it doesn’t win me the war but it puts me on the way to winning it.”  Then you have to do your job.

And I have to tell you that you will have games where the answers are sometimes different! What I mean by that is: on Saturday the answer is YES, on Sunday the answer will be NO.

That’s called experience!

I’m still asking the question “who’d be a referee and why?”

And the answer is I DON’T KNOW!

Category: Blog, The Renegade

The Renegade Ref thinks they are all seriously injured

Today I got a call from a guy called Gavin, I will not give you is surname.  He is a medical man who attends our injured players when they need attention – so I would call him the “Bucket Man” but today they are so much more.

On the phone he spoke about referees who caution a player for a challenge and then see if the injured player is ok!

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE think all injuries are life threatening and deal with them first!

If the player is “having you on” that’s okay because the other side of it is you going home and thinking “if only I’d have called Gavin on sooner…”

Below is a blog on how match officials and medical staff, particular the physio, could work more efficiently together.



I refer to recent comments regarding referees and agree overall they do an excellent job. However they leave us physio’s frustrated by their decisions.

I still experience the same issues that occurred when I first started in football mainly when a player is injured on the field of play. There is still a lack of protocol and procedure and this leaves me frustrated.

When a player requires treatment, usually following a foul, the referee will usually speak to the offending player and this can result in a caution or a sending off.

This usually happens before he assessed the injured player to see if he requires medical attention. Surely the referee can call us on and caution the player at the same time?

Whilst I am in position waiting to be called on to the field of play, usually standing on the touchline and in line with the injured player I have to wait for the referees signal to either run on or to be told the receiving player is ok. The referees usually don’t look to the touchline instead they look to the dug-out.

This results in confusion which could be avoided if a standardised protocol is followed with standardised signals used when being called on or told that the player is ok and I am not required.

As well as the physio being in the correct position (in line with the injured player) waiting for the standardised signal, I think the referee should worry about the welfare of the player first.

Category: The Renegade

The Renegade Ref says Hey Mr TV give us a chance please

Imagine on a Saturday morning this referee is watching the Winter Olympics – on second thoughts don’t! I am watching that epic battle called Sweden versus Japan Ladies Ice Hockey.  It is 2-1 to Sweden. Now what I know about ice hockey (ladies or mens) you could write on a postage stamp and still have room to write on it!

Are they called referees or umpires in that sport? That is how much I know!

Still Japan go on the attack and one commentator wants a free kick for obstruction – seems fair to me. The other commentator thinks the free kick (is that the correct terminology?) is for the other side!

Our referees (umpires) give nothing and life goes on.  It doesn’t surprise the referees give nothing because if TV cannot agree then who fouled who?

Category: The Renegade