Tag Archives: mistakes

The Renegade Ref says Flexibility is the Key but being inflexible is sometimes a great trait!

Sometimes I have to see and listen, then I have to allow the seeing and listening to percolate in my grey matter (brain) and then I have clear picture of what I want to say.

Now this is okay if you have time to see, listen and think – you do not have that time when you’re refereeing on a Saturday afternoon, so you have got to remember what worked last time and employ it next time the same situation occurs.

If another situation occurs you have to rely on the training you’ve been given, sometimes this training is given out of the refereeing arena.

Take the Muamba incident at Tottenham’s ground versus Bolton (his club).  He was fortunate that he had his heart challenge surrounded by a massive group of medics (who had training on how to deal with a heart problem) and also the two referees were Chris Foy and Howard Webb (both police officers who knew how to keep their cool under intense pressure!)

As an aside the player was lucky that an eminent consultant cardiologist was in the ground watching the game and the steward allowed him on the field!

Why do I wander off to the realms of a player who had a heart challenge on a premiership field?


At A&H we believe in challenging your beliefs about refereeing so you have to think about different aspects of the game and by thinking about those aspects you’ll have introduced to your grey matter different things that will stand you in good stead when you don your kit and whistle and referee a football match.

In other words we aim to give you some training that could help your refereeing.

Now if you think you know how to referee and close your mind to other ways to think then you are consigning yourself to stay refereeing at the level you’re currently at – of course if you’re FIFA then that’s okay, except that they hold excellent training sessions with all their referees regularly!

So when we at A&H ask you to jump in a “correct” or “expected” box please shout at us “No I’m flexible”.  Because getting into either box means you could miss out on some of the joys of refereeing.

Please when you see the training we put on don’t think that Jeff or Jamaal or Jordan is in the camp we are representing; in fact, all three of us are flexible officials who know that to be successful sometimes you have to be inflexible and other times you have to be so flexible that you can touch your toes backwards.

So as we create training – including webinars – please make time to watch and listen to make sure that you have tools to become a better referee (and sometimes that is because you take what we say with a large pinch of salt!)

It’s simple but no one ever said it would be easy!

Growing my first ever (and last ever) moustache has been like growing a refereeing career, except this time I’m doing it for someone else (I hope!)

Help me find answers to men’s health problems

I’ve decided that now is the time to attempt the things I’ve never done – such as making pastry, growing a moustache, riding a motorcycle, doing unassisted chins at the gym and singing at a karaoke.

If your goal is to get promoted at the end of the season you have to recognise that any goal will mean that you have to grow and do things you’ve never done.

Of course, growing and doing things you’ve never done is scary; it leads to “what if” questions.

What if I get promoted and I cannot handle the games that are thrown at me? This is probably the scariest question you can have.

Equally what if I put myself up for promotion and get told I’m not good enough?

For question number 1 you have to trust that the powers that promote you have confidence in your ability.  For question 2 you have to search inside you for the truth of how to get better.

Now if you’ve missed promotion please don’t tell me it was someone else who did it to you.


Because if it was someone else then they hold sway over you.

Take responsibility for your life.

Make the decision if you didn’t get promoted it was your fault and you’ll learn the lessons and get it next time.

In my County Office no one who has got promoted has ever phoned in to say we made a mistake!

The only people who complain are those who didn’t get promoted!

Help me find answers to men’s health problems

If you want to get promoted you have stay the course even though there are many things that can blow you off course such as players, managers, assessors, weather and of course the leagues you officiate on.

Like my growth you simply have to say “come what may – I will last the course!”

Take my moustache (and I wish you would!)  I’ve never grown one so the first thing I had to do was make the decision that come what may I was staying the course.

That course was November – or as it’s called Movember!  I decided that from November 1st to 30th November the facial hair above my mouth but below my nose would not be removed.

The next thing you need to have to ensure success is awareness that when bad times come along they will pass; they have not come to stay!

So when you get a bad assessment ask yourself what is it teaching you?  Learn the lesson and make the changes in you.  See yourself with the promotion you desire.

Remember it is a sign of insanity to keep doing the same things and expect different results!

Me when I’ve been tempted to lick it, pick it and pluck it I’ve been visualising next Monday morning shaving this thing off and also I’ve been visualising telling all who will listen in the future that I did Movember in 2014.

You should visualise refereeing better football and telling whoever will listen you’re now a Level xx referee.

So there you have it – I’ve told you how to get promoted in exchange I’d like you to click here  and donate a couple of pounds to look after men’s health.


Keep smiling.

The Renegade Ref talks about the bane of our refereeing lives.

On Thursday evening I made the long trip down to Cheltenham RA to get them talking about their refereeing.  Last Monday we hosted a similar session at London FA’s “Mastermind Group”.

It was brought about because one of our new referees – she’s been officiating for about a year – wanted to only do lines as she didn’t want to make mistakes.


In her daytime job mistakes could literally have deadly consequences.  Whilst none of us want to make mistakes in our refereeing, when we do we generally have our biggest learning curves.  Of course, that presumes that you don’t go into “denial” and blame everyone else for the error.

Based on the two evenings our mistakes are compounded because although we know we’ve made a mistake we – for some reason – try to “bash it through”!

I’m talking about officials who have given penalties when they knew the player was outside the box (in the arc); they have given penalties when the attacker handled the ball; they have had IDFKs retaken even though they’ve seen the goalkeeper touch the ball into the net – two errors there then.  Allowing a free kick to be taken quickly even though we’ve pulled a defender out of position to rollick him.

What do we do as officials when we’ve made an error?

I think the first thing we do is: know that the players will be on our case for errors regardless, so it’s better to get the right decision.

Second thing is: when you know you’ve done “an oops” take a deep breath and stop the game and play the game at your pace.

Third thing is: act boldly!  Most of the players want the correct decision and they wouldn’t swap places with you so be brave and get it right.

But regardless of this – simply know that you’re human and you will make mistakes! Do what we did on Monday and Thursday evenings – have a right royal laugh about it when you’re safe in the company of other officials.