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AYSO Region 106 Lakewood-Bellflower

Whistle Stop

Whistle Stop is a weekly e-mail issued by Thomas Bobadilla, AYSO National Referee. This digital circular offers tips for becoming a more effective referee, scenarios to help referees understand situations better (via the To Whistle or Not to Whistle section), and additional AYSO news. You may also have questions yourself, as a referee, so you can e-mail Thomas at [email protected]

On this page, we will highlight information which is valuable to our referees and our referee program, being drawn directly from the circular. Please reference this page as often as you'd like and share it with your fellow referees. We are here to make each other better, more experienced referees so that we can provide a quality match experience for our players.

Dissent from Coaches - October 26, 2017

How to Deal With Dissent From Coaches

Emotional outbursts from the coach can typically be vivid, brief, undirected, and, often, quickly regretted. The referee must understand the complex emotions coaches experience in relation to the match and appropriately discount language that does no lasting harm to those who might have heard or seen the outburst. Of course, the coach may be warned in various ways (a brief word, direct eye contact, etc.) regarding his or her behavior.

When the words or gestures directly challenge the authority of the referee or assistant referees, actively dispute an official's decision, or are likely to be taken up by a widening circle of players or spectators, the referee must determine if this dissent can be halted through the more formal action of verbally warning the coach. The objective of the warning is to protect the referee's ability to continue to manage the match. Below are 10 tips to help you manage coach dissent.

1) Arrive early at the field so the coach can see you; it generates respect.

2) Connect with coaches in a friendly manner to show them you're a peer AYSO volunteer.

3) Introduce yourself and your peers to coaches and their assistants.

4) Offer assistance, if needed, to help the coach prepare the teams for the game.

5) The first time a coach shows dissent, deal with it right away; it is easier.

6) It is important to acknowledge a coach's concern because sometimes he or she just want to be heard.

7) A quick look at the coach with a nod or a brief word, "I got it coach. Thank you," often makes the dissent diminish.

8) If needed, stop the game and talk to the coach. Remind him or her that your focus is on the "Safe, Fair and Fun" objectives for the game and you need his or her assistance with this concept.

9) When you talk to a coach, be sure to get his or her acknowledgment after you explain and/or make a specific request. "I understand your issue, but are you now ready to help me make the game fun for the kids?" Wait for his or her acknowledgment and thank him or her with a smile.

10) The coach is human and sometimes he or she may be having a bad day, which ends up projected as dissent that requires him or her to be away from the game. If needed, dismiss the coach and ask the assistant coach to take over.

And, as a bonus, learn the coaches' names and use their names to connect with them.

Dissent is not good for the game, and it can easily show up in all matches. It is important that we, referees, lead the effort and team up with coaches and parents to eliminate it.

Referee Traits - September 14, 2017

Referee Traits That Help Control Games

The main goal for the referee is to influence the players’ behavior so they conduct themselves in a safe and fair manner. When this happens, it makes soccer a fun experience for players and everyone else, including the referee. Below are 10 traits that are common in referees that control games in a positive manner.

1. Self-analysis: Check in (prepare mentally) to bring your best attitude to the game. This can be done by listening to music, doing breathing exercises, visualization, or any other exercise that will help you set positives objectives for your refereeing.

2. Enthusiasm: Promote AYSO's philosophies and values with passion.

3. Interest: Show interest in the game and players, and it will get you respect. Arrive early to the field of play.

4. Pleasant: Connect with everyone with a positive tone that is enjoyable to everyone.

5. Respectful: Always respect everyone and they will be expected to respect you.

6. Steadfast: Be firm in a respectful way when you have to. The referee is the guardian of the Laws of the Game and the Spirit of the Game.

7. Compassionate: Understand and support coaches, players, and others when they need it.

8. Informative: Be helpful in providing information and assistance when needed. It does not take away from your authority to help a team find a field in a complex with 28 fields.

9. Decisive: Do not hesitate. Once you make a decision, respectfully project it with self-confidence.

10. Emotionally calm: Address frustration and intervene early with a calming influence (using words, body language, gestures, etc.) before the behavior deteriorates into obvious dissent.

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