The Renegade Ref says You Can Be Wrong But Still Right!

Coached two games this weekend.

Both refereed excellently but both referees could improve the selling of their decisions, and notice I have spoken about the officials selling their decisions!

Sometimes you can make the incorrect decision and because you’re there everyone accepts the decision as correct.

If you think about it every decision is either correct or incorrect!

However, you can make the incorrect decision and get it accepted whereas sometimes you make the correct decision and get grief for it because you’re not selling the decision well.

Generally, the selling or not selling of the decisions is down to positioning of the referee or it could be inconsistency in their eyes – last time that was not a foul and this time it was.

On Saturday our referee gave the home side a free kick just outside the opposition penalty area, near to the goal line, and the away side conceded the equalizing goal from there.

It doesn’t matter that the home team were allowed three shots at goal before they scored the referee was blamed for the original free kick!

The challenge with the free kick was a simple one and it probably was a free kick but the referee was not in a good position to give the free kick.  Let me stress – it probably was a free kick but it was not accepted by the away side because the referee was not in a good position to give it.

As I keep saying when I’m talking to my referees – a defensive free kick is very rarely remembered, if a team scores from an attacking free kick it will never go away, ever!

That doesn’t mean you don’t give attacking free kicks! It means when you give an attacking free kick it most definitely was a free kick and you can sell it.

Our guy Saturday needed to be more “side-on” to sell it.  Just to re-iterate he probably was right with his decision but the away team told me they didn’t think it was a foul and I couldn’t say: “look where the referee was, he was a lot closer than me or you, so it must have been.”

Bear in mind that the credibility of the decision is as equally important as its accuracy.

But here’s thing that does my little brain in – regardless of where the referee was the game would have expected the official to give the defence a free kick.

Let us leave Saturday and go to Sunday. – this is how it looked – when the referee was standing next to the incident he gave a foul if it was a foul, when he was not next to the foul he didn’t give a foul if he could not be sure. Now this was perceived as inconsistent because that’s how it looked!

He was most certainly correct in Law but incorrect in the eyes of the clubs.

How do you combat “inconsistency” in your own performance?  (Bear in mind, you cannot be consistent with the referee last week because that’s impossible.)

First rule of consistency is remembering what you did last time. If you gave a foul last time either give it again or play on so loud everyone knows you’ve made a decision.

If you do nothing then you look inconsistent, whereas if you either give the foul or play on you look consistent.  In my experience it doesn’t matter if you’re right or wrong!

Now both the incidents could have been read correctly by the official, the one close to him was indeed a foul and the one away from him was a fair challenge, but the unfortunate thing is that the clubs thought he was inconsistent because he didn’t do anything with the second foul!

You can say if the referee did both things well surely he should be rewarded for that – and you’d be correct but clubs do not think like that!

Finally let me leave you with a thought – why am I right when I am wrong and on the flipside wrong when I am right?  That is the conundrum that you have to work out the answer to if you want to move up the leagues.

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