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What makes a "good referee"?


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Just a bit of an extension from the "skeletal tracking" thread.

What makes a referee a "good referee"? What criteria does it involve? Of that criteria, what is most important?

I think without knowing this, it's hard to know where to go with improving officiating and the product.

Some examples of criteria I'd suggest - understanding of the laws, consistent application of the laws, management of the players, allowing the game to flow, number of errors, confidence in own decisions.

Be interesting to know people's thoughts, criteria and position on this.

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7 minutes ago, Robin Evans said:

Communicate to players throughout the game.... ability to diffuse fights and threatening behaviour.  

Make clear decision making to the crowd.

I'd count those as "management of the players", but important to note criteria for the criteria! 😁

Crowd communication is an interesting one, and I wonder how important that is to people in relation to the other criteria.

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Simple, if your team wins he's a great ref, if they lose he's anything you want to call him and fair game for abuse.

Seriously, to me a good ref is one who is prepared to make his own decisions and back them even if it transpires he got it wrong. who explains his decisions to players/coaches etc.

But more importantly - anyone of them who choose to take the job knowing full well they will be abused for 80 minutes per game and 30 weeks a year, without fail and still turn up every week !!

Edited by daz39
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In general I think a good referee is one who is rigorous but not over-zealous.

With Super League & NRL, I find I can get annoyed when clear tries are constantly being checked by the VR, so I tend to favour refs more willing/able to trust their own eyes & other officials.

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One who uses the video ref to check doubtful groundings.

One who doesn't want to be the star and has the humility to check. 

I know it is an over reaction, but I thought the referee was appalling in the Leeds game. At the end I had no trust in him to make the right call whatsoever. 

 

 

Edited by Niels
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4 minutes ago, Niels said:

One who uses the video ref to check doubtful groundings.

One who doesn't want to be the star and has the humility to check. 

I know it is an over reaction, but I thought the referee was appalling in the Leeds game. At the end I had no trust in him to make the right call whatsoever. 

 

 

But the players seemed to. Isn't that more important?

 

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Letting the game flow. Origin games seem to be reffed perfectly which is weird as they could surely ref every game the same.

refs are too fast to give pens. Penalties are game changers and frustrating for fans. I’m hoping the 6 again rule will minimize bs penalties and let games flow a bit more.

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9 hours ago, Wellsy4HullFC said:

I'd count those as "management of the players", but important to note criteria for the criteria! 😁

Crowd communication is an interesting one, and I wonder how important that is to people in relation to the other criteria.

I don't personally know any RL refs but I know a couple who've done time in the bandit country of non league and Sunday league football. Good refs basically (in their opinion) are clear and direct with players, consistent in how they interpret what they see, aware that they won't see everything but don't try and fill in the gaps, have the thickest skins possible, aim to get 90-95% decisions right and usually surpass that, regardless of what blowhards like me watching from the side think.

Rugby league is ridiculously fast for one man to ref and even the wrong decisions (subjective), you can normally see *why* they've been given. Despite being really annoyed at the sequence of decisions that seemed to turn the game in Leeds' favour last night, ultimately it was Huddersfield who missed the tackles at the right time and then failed to land a drop goal.

Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life. (Terry Pratchett)

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A good referee is one that is in the middle preparation with fitness and has the ability to call out players when they get it wrong and forward pass etc. Everyone can "know the rules" no problem. Some can "know the rules" without passing a test just by going to games each week. You can do a free test online of the rugby league rules and see how well you do, however during a game you can't get subbed off for 10 mins, there is alot of running required. Players make mistakes all the time they may get an ironic cheer from the opposition fans if they do but they don't get harrassed.

When you learn to take off your rose tinted glasses you find that referees arent biased, they make very few "mistakes" a viewing position of bang in front doesn't always help when looking at offside, forward pass, interference and grounding all things to look at door a try, without the help of a video referee. To sum up have a go and see yourself what makes a good referee, personally I think it's communication. From local to international but would love to see some fans pick up the whistle and be thrown in, a sort of if you think you can do better off you go then. 

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I like Matt Cecchin . He has good communications with the players and just gives the impression of control and calmness . His bosses seemingly haven’t always had the same regard for him 

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I was only considering this very question on the weekend.

The best referees have the foresight to read the play. Game management starts with being able to empathise with the players, both in offence and defence and communicate with them in order to ensure players are not left wondering what the consequences of their actions will be. 

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50 minutes ago, Wellsy4HullFC said:

How important is getting a high percentage of decisions correct?

Very, and thankfully referee's do already get a high percentage of decisions correct, we have to allow a small percentage for human error too though.

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58 minutes ago, DEANO said:

In one word. Consistency 

Playing in my younger days, many of the officials would visit both changing rooms prior to the game and lay down the law, ie: what he was prepared to accept and what he would punish. At least we knew what to expect and what would be tolerated. Most of them had spent time on the field and knew all the tricks of the trade. Fighting was allowed, at least for the first few punches, then they would jump in and calm things down. Most importantly they were CONSISTANT with their decisions, even if questionable at times.

Edited by saddleworth
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If you think the refs have it hard in the UK try being a ref in NZ when your a Pom.

Iv'e had all sorts of abuse hurled at me but I just smiled and carried on.

Letting the game flow is the most important part of reffing.Don't be too quick on blowing up minor infringements.Be  constant in your rulings.

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Agree with those who say that a good ref is someone who wishes to be the least important person on the pitch.

We could facilitate such an individual desire if we asked what constitutes good refereeing, and whether our rulebook, more specifically the guidelines on how the rules should be applied, are sufficiently sophisticated. Rather than see greater use of technology I would prefer a clearer, wider prospectus on where the benefit of the doubt should go. When to the attacking team, when to the defending team. In addition, a "No call" option.

A good example is when a ball-carrier goes into contact and the ball comes loose in the direction of his own goal-line. The ball has either been lost into the defender, or the defender has dislodged it. Often neither the ref nor Touch Judges have any idea which, since it involves detecting a tiny separation, or not, between ball-carrier and ball.

In the above case, if the ref calls knock-on against one team, he transfers possession. If he calls knock-on against the other team, he restarts the tackle count, awarding extra possession. Either way the call has a significant impact. Why not "No call"? The ref in effect says "I don`t know what happened, I therefore can`t call anything with certainty, I don`t want to control possession on mere guesswork, so play on, continue the tackle count".

In RL, calls which determine possession are of greater consequence probably than any other Football code. When a ref makes such a call and a team score on their eighth, ninth, tenth consecutive tackle, even though the scoring team have to execute the play, everyone knows why they had so much possession. We should not force refs to make such calls, where it can be avoided.

Something from the recent past is illustrative. For a long time when a ball-carrier passed after a call of "Held", the ref was forced to penalise. Then we belatedly decided this wasn`t necessary. The player could simply come back to the mark and play the ball. No harm done. The ref might have prematurely called the tackle complete, but no reason for him to compound that by penalising and transferring possession.

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