RefSix

Commentating on the game

msportstars

New Member
Hi everyone, some advice required really. After today's assessment, I was told I need to be more vocal on the pitch and commentate, by either telling players that was a good tackle or hands down generally more comments like this. Is this something that is required by the game? Is this something that all referees do? The thinking behind it was that it lets players know what is good or bad in your eyes or lets them see your level and helps with dissent on the pitch, I can see from that way yes it could help but something I am not used to?! Thoughts would be good?
 

RobOda

RefChat Addict
Level 3 Referee
Practice.

I've been told directly that a failure to use your voice is likely to lead to a career that will stop at grassroots level.

For practising purposes, just wait for a very obvious throw in decision and then shout 'red ball' or whatever when you give it. That gives the players an opportunity to get used to your voice, which is handy when shouting advantage in the future. But chatting to players is also of benefit, warning them that you can see minor or trivial infringements and that they need to cut it out is seen as proactive refereeing.

Try it out, you'll probably feel silly the first time you do it, but it really is a confidence boost as you go along.
 

Ciley Myrus

RefChat Addict
Balancing act, nobody wants a total running commentary but totally its encouraged to be proactive,
good tackle, is kinda summed up already by you not awarding the foul
whereas, hand down, is proactive, its trying to prevent a foul, and communicating to the players that you are watching, and even how close you are.
certainly as above, good practise with red ball, goal kick, corner kick and so on, yes I know we don't need to whistle but think of your voice here as the replacement for the whistle. Instead of, BLAST, and arm signal to right, when ball is out, simply say "red ball" and signal, if that's your thing
Advantage, is a crucial shout, it lets folk know you have seen the foul but the team are better off playing on, and the person who probably appreciates this most, is the fouled player, face down in the dirt, who at this point cannot see

depends on confidence too, I have no problem saying to the guy who took the shot "oh nice try" along with "good save goalie" where I think its suitable. Clearly not every time he saves the ball, but, am also part of the game. Same as you will get a player saying "well spotted ref"

communication is key.
 
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santa sangria

RefChat Addict
Hi everyone, some advice required really. After today's assessment, I was told I need to be more vocal on the pitch and commentate, by either telling players that was a good tackle or hands down generally more comments like this. Is this something that is required by the game? Is this something that all referees do? The thinking behind it was that it lets players know what is good or bad in your eyes or lets them see your level and helps with dissent on the pitch, I can see from that way yes it could help but something I am not used to?! Thoughts would be good?
A little comment can really help with difficult decisions. Super basic examples:

good tackle
good save
...these help you sell a decision, when others might not have seen a tackle or a save

good shot
...helps show a problem player you are human

good stuff guys
... after a really hard 50/50 or a mental passage of play tells players you are still there, normal service resumed

blue ball
.. when red is about to pick up the ball at a thrown in

But everything in moderation... use sparingly.

hands down
no pushing
...these should be used with care. More than once and it already might seem to some players you are not punishing the offence... even if you are being proactive and the ball is not play... timing is everything... works best when you anticipate the offence in open play and it's just before you blow;)
 

GraemeS

RefChat Addict
Level 5 Referee
I'm all in favour of trying things like this as you move up the levels, seeing if it works for you. I'm absolutely not in favour of any suggestion that this kind of thing is mandatory. I've tried it, I didn't feel comfortable doing it, so generally I'll stay out of the way until I need to make a decision.

If I make a no foul decision and feel it might be contentious, I might follow up the standard "No!" with "clean tackle" or "nothing wrong there!". But I'm not a chatty person in real life and I only distracted myself trying to think of things to say in standard play.

We're told to be economical with the whistle, and I don't see why the same logic shouldn't apply with our voices too. If I need to speak to explain or sell a decision, I will - if I don't need to, the last thing I want to do is turn my voice into a background drone that the players just habitually ignore.
 

one

RefChat Addict
Level 7 Referee
I don't like a referee who commentate on the game. I like a referee who communicates with players. There is a big difference between the two.

Calling out blue ball or red ball for every throw in, even obvious ones is commentary, a signal is sufficient. Calling the same when it's a close call and both players are going for the ball is communicating.

There has to be purpose/benefit behind everything you say. Talking just for the sake of it becomes annoying to players.

Just like your whistle, use your voice effectively as a control tool but if used too often and when unnecessary, it losses effectiveness when needed.
 
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CapnBloodbeard

RefChat Addict
Hi everyone, some advice required really. After today's assessment, I was told I need to be more vocal on the pitch and commentate, by either telling players that was a good tackle or hands down generally more comments like this. Is this something that is required by the game? Is this something that all referees do? The thinking behind it was that it lets players know what is good or bad in your eyes or lets them see your level and helps with dissent on the pitch, I can see from that way yes it could help but something I am not used to?! Thoughts would be good?
Yet another assessor who is completely overstepping the mark!

Good tackle? I've never said that in my life. That's definitely not the referee's job - and I reckon you'll just be annoying the players a lot of the time. Positive commentary might be of some benefit in some instances. Can be rapport building, especially if it's a quiet one as a player is running past you. It could potentially look like favouritism too.

Talking to them about NOT fouling 'hands out of the tackle!' 'nothing there, keep playing', etc etc.....that's a different kettle of fish.

But I also think that largely comes down to personality and personal styles. Some talk more than others. I think there are certainly a few cases where it's required, but while some referees find a lot of talking is a help, others find it a hindrance (some argue that at times, silence is better than 'no foul!'...but that's a whole other debate).

Unless there's instances where not communicating appears to call problems, I'd say increasing communication should be offered as a 'consider this' not 'you need to do this'.

But encouraging players? Absolutely not. If a ref wants to do that and it works for them, fine. Assessor shouldn't be telling you to do it though.
 

Big Cat

RefChat Addict
Level 6 Referee
Like any good orator, knowing what to say and when to say it, is not really something that can be taught. It helps to know the language of football, which is why i think some folk (young people or older refs motivated by money for example) struggle
 

lincs22

Supply League Observer
Staff member
Observer/Tutor
There's a time and place for everything. The most common time I will use "good tackle" is when two players have gone in hard but fair and just got on with the game without either appealing for a free kick.
Referees tend to be positively decline penalties (voice or the " cutting the grass" signal) but less on the rest of the FOP. A call of good tackle / fair tackle on a 50/50 does aid your match control.

The big No for me is calling "No foul" - is that a decision or an instruction?
 

one

RefChat Addict
Level 7 Referee
Referees tend to be positively decline penalties (voice or the " cutting the grass" signal) but less on the rest of the FOP. A call of good tackle / fair tackle on a 50/50 does aid your match control.

The big No for me is calling "No foul" - is that a decision or an instruction?
It's funny every assessor has a couple of big No's which other assessors don't mind. No foul is fine by me if used correctly. Players know well what it means as they use it often too. Sometimes I hear players (team mates) and the ref using it at the same time.

I had an assessor who didn't like "easy" because players are entitled to go hard as long as they don't foul.

My big not is when the ref says "he got the ball" or points to it to dismiss an appeal.
 

QuaverRef

I used to be indecisive but now i'm not so sure
Level 5 Referee
I normally ‘commentate’ when it’s something which could be contentious. Maybe a tackle which some people believe could be a foul by just saying ‘great tackle’, and ‘good battling in there you two’ if it’s two players tussling in midfield for example. I’m not one for shouting out for throw in colours when it’s obvious though. Your voice is less effective if they have to hear it for no reason.
 

Ben448844

RefChat Addict
Level 6 Referee
I try and bring this back to when I played. When a ref said "keep it fair" or "steady" etc that was fine. Some refs commentated throughout and it comes across as very weird. Just plain odd. Nobody wants a running commentary from the refs and all it does is gets the players to give you a running commentary on your game. Pick your moments to talk, don't commentated throughout imo
 

RefIADad

Active Member
Level 7 Referee
I don't like a referee who commentate on the game. I like a referee who communicates with players. There is a big difference between the two.

Calling out blue ball or red ball for every throw in, even obvious ones is commentary, a signal is sufficient. Calling the same when it's a close call and both players are going for the ball is communicating.

There has to be purpose/benefit behind everything you say. Talking just for the sake of it becomes annoying to players.

Just like your whistle, use your voice effectively as a control tool but if used too often and when unnecessary, it losses effectiveness when needed.
The only time where I will "commentate" on obvious throw-ins is at the start of the second half. I have a bad tendency to point the wrong way/forget the teams have switched sides. I will say the color on the first 2-3 throw-ins so I train myself to point the right way. :)
 

one

RefChat Addict
Level 7 Referee
The only time where I will "commentate" on obvious throw-ins is at the start of the second half. I have a bad tendency to point the wrong way/forget the teams have switched sides. I will say the color on the first 2-3 throw-ins so I train myself to point the right way. :)
That satisfies my purpose and benefit criteria :)
 

IslandReferee

Active Member
I use my voice when needed and straight to the point. The players I referee know how I referee and those that do not hear it from me in my pregame speech. Mostly youth stuff here with some occasional men's league but I let them know what I do not like and what I tolerate. I mostly say things like, watch your hands, careful there, mind your pushing. I like to keep the game flow going but also when it is needed and it is not that often I let them know vocally that they need to be careful. It really helps and is a part of being a referee and when I am training new youth referees I let them know this. The whistle is our most important tool in my mind but second and close behind is our voice. When I see the teams starting to grab and or push to the point where there will be fouls called, I say hands.. or watch your pushing. This a great tool and it most always curbs it and stops it. If a player is getting a bit more out of hand I will call out their number, this lets them know that I am watching and I call them out directly. Other than that, I am a big fan of play on, keep it safe and fair. My number one stressing point in my pregame speech. Safe and fair. If they choose to not play like this then we will need to use our voice. A referee that does not use their voice during a match will never get the respect nor the game control that is needed in competitive soccer. In my mind. Great topic and a great question.
 
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