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I'm going to become a Referee in the following year I will likely ref around 12 year olds. Any tips/suggestions on how to go about reffing a game? How to keep a good tempo to the game, etc.
 

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it's easy to become a ref in my area too. this was my first year, i reffed u8, u12, u14 and lined u16.

first things first try to be calm and don't lose it. i know its really hard being a first year ref cuz everyone yells at you. you'll hear this plenty of times but u dont' learn the lesson until u see it in ur face, mostly a parent in your face. try to do your best and and the end of the day just forget about it, espeically if u had a bad game.

for u12and u14s, what i find is that they are usually highly charged affairs. the boys are just going into puberty etc etc and are mouthy and just plain jackasses. set the tone early and tell em you won't take shit from them via small chats or yellow if need be. you gotta show em who's boss. easier said than done let me tell you. what i tried doing is watching the UEFA refs do their thing, mostly Collina, he's the best there is. see how he deals with things and how he intreprets fouls. thats all i can think of at the moment, as for tempo, if the guy's falling over and playing you on tell em to get up son.

expierence is the only way to get better, i mean i took a shit load of flak this year, because of inexperience. when you watch the game it is hard because you are also a player, you have to get rid of the mentality because you are the one with the ref, no one else is going to blow the whistle. keep the rules in your head, dont' be like a player and let the fouls go. you gotta have guts to call a penalty and stand by it too. first year reffing is very stressful and usually isn't worth the pay. at our club we have a high turnover rate cuz the first years get their heads ripped off by the said age group.
 

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Don't referee the game as if it's a professional game until it's about u-16.

When I lined a u-11 game, the centre made the mistake of booking a player for a rugby style tackle. The player promptly started crying and ran off the pitch. At that age they're still clumsy and emotionally fragile. Be kind, don't make football an over-serious enounter for them. If they do something stupid, then tell them to please not do it again and don't be quick to reach for the yellow card. You look like a dick if you give it to a 10 year old anyways.

Try to not affect the game as much as possible. Let them learn to play without having to worry about overactive officials.

When you get to u-13 and u-14, you can typically see who the clumsy/mean spirited players are within the first few minutes, because they're the one who will just knock over the first player to skin them. Give them a talking to, a ticking off, and see if they change their ways. If not, sometimes you have to book them to take control of the game and keep these young kids from being hurt by the older ones (typically uncontrolled hormones coming out like Mike said.)

Don't think about mistakes, just focus on the game. IF you lose your head and keep thinking about a bad decision you made, then you'll make a string and have a bad game.

Don't talk to players. As a player, it's THE most aggravating thing that a referee can do. (bar getting in the way of a pass) Saying things like "Well played" or "Good pass" gets really annoying. Only talk to them to warn them or book them.

And a very important thing Mike said was about penalties. Too many officials are too afraid to call them. If it's in the box and you think it would be a foul anywhere else on the park, then it's a penalty. Something I've noticed is after a pass fouls in the box almost always go uncalled. It's a foul and a yellow in the middle of the park, so it's a foul there, right? Gotta teach 'em right!

And above all, enjoy it and the money you'll make.
 

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Yeah to complement what Gio said (good points btw), at our club we don't do yellow cards until u12 boys. i haven't had to give one out yet. most refs dont' have to dish too many if they can talk to the players and get their points across. Reds are really serious and at the u12 level should not be dished unless it was a punch or etc. make sure u know your club rules well because it varies from club to club. most clubs don't have the full set of rules enforced until 14 or u16.

never talk to the players other than to give a chat or otherwise, if it seems you are fraternizing with either side it looks unprofessional.

here is a side of reffing that is often overlooked, match preparation.
usually here is my routine, i look out the window and see what the weather is like, if it is cold or raining i wear what is appropriate, undershirt, under my uni. make sure your badge is stuck on right. i've seen far too many refs with their badges sideways.. it's really irks me. lay your jersey out and place your badge on properly. Ontario has a circular one that is why they put it on sideways sometimes. tuck your shirt into your shorts (key, dont' look like a slob). socks pulled up, three stripes showing. laces tied, shoes clean. match booklet with a simple chart for yellows, reds, goals, scorers and who starts with the ball etc. yellow card, red card, a coin, backup coin. whistle and backup whistle that sounds different. get to the game early, like 20-30 mins, if it is u12 or u14. well gauge yourself, the people in my area seem to take it really recreationally so i can show up 5 mins beforehand, but it is not professional and hopefully your superiors dont' monitor too much. Try to go early if possible.

on the field: when you get there, get your game sheet out, give it to the home team coach to fill out and tell him to give it to the other coach when he's done. firm handshake, introduce yourself professionally, let them know of any rulings that may be new to them. do the same for the other guy. walk the field along the lines (you can change your routine, this is mine) the whole field, then run down the center. look for hazards like sticks, poop, garbage, glass, divots, needles, etc. a player injured by poor field conditions can ultimately be blamed on you since you authorized the game to be played. chek the posts, check the net, see to it that there are no holes and they are firmly tied on, tell the coaches if the goal area is flooded or muddy, just a friendly gesture. try to get the game off on time, a lot of coaches and players i find delay a lot. remember it is your time, you are paid to do 90 mins work, or 50 depending agegroup. you don't want to go home late so make sure you make them know that you won't wait til forever for them to get ready. my club has a 15 min wait policy, if not enough people show in 15 mins we can walk and get paid. this is ugly for u8s but you got to show em you mean it. here's a dirty tip, when we start late, we count how much time we are late from the kickoff time, we divde that by 2 and take off that time from the halves equally. so if they are late 10 mins, 5 mins off each half. don't let the coaches know. the coaches will time you so make sure you start your watch when youre waiting for the game to start so it works out and you can show them your watch.

thats all i got so far... nothing to do tonight so i got lots to say.. hope this helps.
 

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Watch Reggina - Juventus and you'll know how not to become a referee.

Okay, that was bitter and unnecessary... but I'm still very much pissed off... so shoot me
 

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Top avatar btw sbaresic, McBain's the greatest :D
 

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You wont have to worry about having good vision though, as most refs can't see what is going on anyway.

I agree with what Gio said all but for one part. If you are officiating a younger age game and someone was to make a horrendus foul then you would have to book them or in a worst case, send them off. Just always remain in control of the game and be FAIR. To many times officals are biased for one reason or another, stay neutral. Don't let the players say things to change your mind. If they say it is a foul and you didn't see it then don't call it. Call only what you see! I agree with what was said about penalties though, if they happen, then call them. Don't dwell too much on your past decisions, whether they were good or not, that will throw you off. Use your linesmen as referances when you need to.

Hope that is of some help to you!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
premleague1438 said:
You wont have to worry about having good vision though, as most refs can't see what is going on anyway.

I agree with what Gio said all but for one part. If you are officiating a younger age game and someone was to make a horrendus foul then you would have to book them or in a worst case, send them off. Just always remain in control of the game and be FAIR. To many times officals are biased for one reason or another, stay neutral. Don't let the players say things to change your mind. If they say it is a foul and you didn't see it then don't call it. Call only what you see! I agree with what was said about penalties though, if they happen, then call them. Don't dwell too much on your past decisions, whether they were good or not, that will throw you off. Use your linesmen as referances when you need to.

Hope that is of some help to you!
Very helpful, thankyou.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I'm going to referee my first game on Tuesday, I'm reffing U9's I will be reffing U9's everyweek at the same park, other games rather being center or as an assistant will be sheduled days before games, so I'm only guaranteed one game a match. I had to take a 12 hour course to get certified. 9 year olds shouldn't give me too many problems, perhaps the parents will but I'm ready to deal with that. BTW NRG do you know where I can get a uniform? The club-head official told me to go to Metrosport in Scarborough but that's far from my place do you know anywhere else that sells the black uniform?
 
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