RefSix

Making decisions as an AR

Kes

I'll Decide ...
Level 5 Referee
Can be a difficult situation for any referee.

For me, if I've ever got proper NARs, my advice is always to "look at and go with me" (when it comes to penalties) unless you feel I've missed something due to positioning or being blind-sided. In which case, I'd be hoping my lino would flag and then wait for me to go across and consult them.

In the scenarios given above, there's never anything to stop a referee blowing his whistle and then being seen to go over to their NAR and between them, come up with a decision - however unpopular. Key here is to ensure all the players are away and out of earshot whilst you confer and then either change your decision or overrule them. It might look a bit messy, but at least you've appeased both teams so-to-speak.

As a Level 5 on the line, I'm generally working for L4 and L3 referees and so unless I can see that he's soooo got it wrong, I'm doing as instructed and going with the man in the middle. If I ever did raise my flag, I'd still be open to the idea that the referee is going to jog over to me and tell me to put it down and that we're going with his/her decision. That's their prerogative. :)
 

markref

Well-Known Member
Level 5 Referee
I was okay with your first response :). I asked the question to provoke considerations on if you may want to do things differently and if in your view that would be an improvement.

As you quite rightly pointed out, one size does not fit all for all AR's. If you trust the foul recognition of the AR, him stepping in "when you don't need it" could mean promotion in a tight marking season.

Have you considered "If out of those who have seen the incident, I am the only one who thinks it's not a pen, and everyone else including you thinks its a definite pen then i want you to flag it. I can sell that very easily. Otherwise communicate through eye contact" This is more or less my instructions. It has a bit more details and varies a bit depending on the AR's experience. It has saved my a55 on a couple of occasions and no problems from it so far.
Agree with the second paragraph. When I was a class 3 (level 7) I was an AR on a match on our supply league. The left back tripped an attacker right in front of me and the Referee pointed straight to the spot. Everyone else, including the player who committed the foul thought it was inside, but I (and the assessor seated directly behind me) knew it was a foot outside. I put the flag up and held it straight up to tell the Referee I would like to talk with him. We discussed it and he asked me how sure I was, so I told him 100%. He went with me and switched to a free kick just outside. At the end the assessor said the decision was right and complimented the teamwork. At the end of the season the Referee did indeed get promoted, as did I. Not as a direct result of this incident, but it wouldn't have hurt either of us.

Conversely, in my first game on the league the ball went just out of play near me but no one noticed. I obviously put the flag up, but since he hadn't covered what to do I kept it up, even when it went right up the other end and out of play for a corner. He then noticed me and came running up to see what I'd seen to be told "it's a throw in!" We both lost credibility then, because he hadn't covered it so I didn't know about dropping the flag when the ball goes well away from the area and talking about it later.

If you see something and you're sure about it then there's not normally a problem in bringing it to the Referee's attention. You need to make sure that you're certain about it, and that if you do so it won't affect the referee's credibility. Then don't be upset if he says "Thanks, but I've made my decision" If the Referee is cutting the grass he won't want that flag. The saying goes "assist not insist" for a reason.
 
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one

RefChat Addict
Level 7 Referee
As a Level 5 on the line, I'm generally working for L4 and L3 referees and so unless I can see that he's soooo got it wrong, I'm doing as instructed and going with the man in the middle. If I ever did raise my flag, I'd still be open to the idea that the referee is going to jog over to me and tell me to put it down and that we're going with his/her decision. That's their prerogative. :)
Agree with most of your post (whole lot of deleted stuff here - see above post instead) First rule of being AR (ok maybe not the first rule), don't throw your R under the bus.
 

GraemeS

RefChat Addict
Level 5 Referee
Agree with most of your post (whole lot of deleted stuff here - see above post instead) First rule of being AR (ok maybe not the first rule), don't throw your R under the bus.
I don't think you're wrong to call that the first rule. Assist not Insist is the version I've been told - the whole reason you're there is to make the referee's life easier. All the rest of it is detail about how exactly that works.

To be honest, this is one of the main reasons I prefer being in the middle rather than on a line, but that's a side note.
 
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santa sangria

RefChat Addict
In the OP I am not flagging but I am having a constructive word with my ref at half time/full time to recommend they make a reaction at KMIs for the players, fans and ARs.

Any reaction will do: ”carry on”, ”no”, ”not for me”, cut the grass, whatever.

But if a ref with ARs does not react then there is a risk - whatever the pre-match, however many times we have worked before - there is a risk that the AR will think the ref has missed a big offence... and then the ref will either be undermined or have to break the team etc.

React!

(Big game last season, ex-top tier ref, first time with him, 4 mins, he’s behind play, No reaction, so I flag a blatant DOGSO-R trip, he says no, torturous 86 mins a I constantly relive being responsible for breaking the team the first time I work with a top flight ref!)
 

one

RefChat Addict
Level 7 Referee
Correction to my earlier post. Don throw the R under the bus, even if he deserves it.


Big game last season, ex-top tier ref, first time with him, 4 mins, he’s behind play, No reaction, so I flag a blatant DOGSO-R trip, he says no, torturous 86 mins a I constantly relive being responsible for breaking the team the first time I work with a top flight ref
What was the half time mood? Any words exchanged.
 

santa sangria

RefChat Addict
Correction to my earlier post. Don throw the R under the bus, even if he deserves it.



What was the half time mood? Any words exchanged.
Yes, of course we talked. And I did not hint that I thought he bottled the decision so early in the game. I really didn't. I just explained that I looked for his reaction, there was none, and I thought it was obvious, so I felt I had to flag... (it was the classic break away, the two players, GK and me were the only things in that half, they were in the dead centre of that half of the field in front of me.) Mood was OK, because I think we were both smart enough not to crash our game over one decision. No blame.
 

RefIADad

Well-Known Member
Level 7 Referee
As a referee, I give these instructions to my ARs.

1) Let me have the first look. If I'm in a good position and I don't give the penalty, the accountability lies with me. If I missed the call, I'll take the heat for it. The one exception is below.
2) If I'm not in a good position (example - I'm catching up on a counterattack) or I missed it and everyone else in the park knows I missed it, then flag it.

So I'm essentially telling my ARs that you can call penalties, but let it be a situation where either I'm out of position or I've committed a huge brain lock. My instructions worked on Monday night in a men's game I was officiating. White makes a very fast counterattack, and I can't outrun the ball. I'm about 35 yards from play after being in the other penalty area to defuse a potential keeper-attacker situation, and I look to my AR for some help. He shakes his head and keeps his flag down. We made it work.

As an AR, I follow my referee's instructions. More often than not, they follow what I do (I send out my typed pre-game to my assistants, and many of them have adopted my pre-game instructions as their own). If I have to call a penalty, I will. I had one last month where I was an AR and we had a very similar situation to my situation above. In this case, the defender clearly stepped on the heel of the attacker in the area. Even though it was halfway across the field, I knew I had a penalty. When the keeper collected the ball, I didn't raise my flag but gave my center one of those "you better come over here to talk with me" :) looks. He knew something was up as he was hustling to catch up. We work a lot together, so we have a good understanding. He came over, and I told him what I saw and that I was certain it was a penalty. He awarded the penalty. The only thing I missed was that it should have been a DOGSO caution, but I couldn't get the number from my angle as I was sprinting toward the goal line. It was a 5-1 game at 75 minutes when this happened (the attacking team was leading), so it wasn't the biggest deal that we didn't get the caution (but I wish I would have - that really would have been a gold star for me on the line that day!).
 

RustyRef

Administrator
Staff member
I was senior AR on a contrib game years ago where the referee was well known for not liking assistants to get involved. In the first half the other AR flagged a free kick right on the edge of the penalty area in the middle of the D, at which point the referee shouted "put that flag down now". He didn't and what can best be described as a heated exchange ensued, but suffice to say the restart wasn't a free kick.

The home manager, who I had always got on really well with, came up to me and asked if I wanted to go in their changing room at half time as he thought ours might be a bit heated. He wasn't wrong :)
 

Eddie

Well-Known Member
Level 7 Referee
I was senior AR on a contrib game years ago where the referee was well known for not liking assistants to get involved. In the first half the other AR flagged a free kick right on the edge of the penalty area in the middle of the D, at which point the referee shouted "put that flag down now". He didn't and what can best be described as a heated exchange ensued, but suffice to say the restart wasn't a free kick.

The home manager, who I had always got on really well with, came up to me and asked if I wanted to go in their changing room at half time as he thought ours might be a bit heated. He wasn't wrong :)

That’s absolutely ridiculous behaviour.
 

socal lurker

RefChat Addict
Self-confidence is an important trait for referees--we can't survive without it. But when we AR, we have to temper that self-confidence with an understanding of our role. Even when the R is wrong, we have to accept that we can only help as much as the R will let us.
 

Ben448844

RefChat Addict
Level 6 Referee
Id considered whats been said on this thread today when briefing my AR's. I went with something along the lines that if I've missed a clear penalty then get the flag up but take your time and look at me first. If I'm giving it the "cutting the grass" then keep it down.

Its only my 5th game with ARs and each time my instruction on this has changed slightly. I was originally in the "leave it to me" camp but that was purely because that's what refs had said to me. Its evolved from there
 

RefIADad

Well-Known Member
Level 7 Referee
Id considered whats been said on this thread today when briefing my AR's. I went with something along the lines that if I've missed a clear penalty then get the flag up but take your time and look at me first. If I'm giving it the "cutting the grass" then keep it down.

Its only my 5th game with ARs and each time my instruction on this has changed slightly. I was originally in the "leave it to me" camp but that was purely because that's what refs had said to me. Its evolved from there

Here's another example from my own experience for why I feel like it's important for ARs to help and "overrule" me when it's clear I made a mistake.

I was the center on a high school playoff game. We were playing on a field used for lacrosse, soccer, and football. There are white lines (American football), yellow lines (soccer), red lines (men's lacrosse), and blue lines (women's lacrosse) on the field, so it can get confusing. A foul happened near the penalty area boundary line, but outside of the area. I had a brain lock and thought the red line was the penalty area line, so I pointed to the spot. Immediately, my AR (another person I've worked with a lot over the years and someone I trust a great deal) raised his flag and motioned me to come talk to him.

I knew right away, and from the side of the penalty area spoke with him - "The foul is outside the area, right?
AR to me: "Yes, it is."
Me to AR: "Thank you - it's a direct free kick on my whistle."

No issues from either coach. We got the call right, and we would have had a ceremonial restart anyway because of how close the kick was to goal. Granted, it can take some time to gain that trust with your ARs to get to that point. I also have always told my ARs to make sure that we get the big calls right, even if it means I'm overruled. A penalty kick vs a free kick certainly qualifies for that. I didn't have any issue whatsoever in my AR proactively telling me I made a mistake. We were able to correct it with no adverse impact at all on the game.
 

one

RefChat Addict
Level 7 Referee
Id considered whats been said on this thread today when briefing my AR's. I went with something along the lines that if I've missed a clear penalty then get the flag up but take your time and look at me first. If I'm giving it the "cutting the grass" then keep it down.

Its only my 5th game with ARs and each time my instruction on this has changed slightly. I was originally in the "leave it to me" camp but that was purely because that's what refs had said to me. Its evolved from there
It's important that you don't have exact instructions for every game. This should change a little or a lot according to the game but more importantly according to you ARs. Know your ARs , their weaknesses and strengths . If you hadn't worked with an AR, you can usually guess how old they are (life experience), and the easiest questions to ask are how long have you been a referee, how often do you AR and what level of games.
 

one

RefChat Addict
Level 7 Referee
Self-confidence is an important trait for referees--we can't survive without it. But when we AR, we have to temper that self-confidence with an understanding of our role. Even when the R is wrong, we have to accept that we can only help as much as the R will let us.
Agreed but also same goes with an AR. Sometimes as a referee you have to accept the AR's decision on a free kick and sell it as if it was your own. It all depends on each case but "don't throw them under the bus" happens in a two way street. Its a team that is lead by the referee. The old cliche of there is no i in a team. Sometimes the best end outcome out of a bad situation is not you winning it.
 

Ben448844

RefChat Addict
Level 6 Referee
It's important that you don't have exact instructions for every game. This should change a little or a lot according to the game but more importantly according to you ARs. Know your ARs , their weaknesses and strengths . If you hadn't worked with an AR, you can usually guess how old they are (life experience), and the easiest questions to ask are how long have you been a referee, how often do you AR and what level of games.

Common sense. I knew one of them and the other was clearly competent. A good team
 

socal lurker

RefChat Addict
Agreed but also same goes with an AR. Sometimes as a referee you have to accept the AR's decision on a free kick and sell it as if it was your own. It all depends on each case but "don't throw them under the bus" happens in a two way street. Its a team that is lead by the referee. The old cliche of there is no i in a team. Sometimes the best end outcome out of a bad situation is not you winning it.

Depends on the play, I suppose. OnTI direction, or a foul in mid-field, I’m more likely to live with a bad call from an AR for appearances sake. But if an AR flags for a foul in the penalty arc that I have a good view on and it isn’t a foul, i’m not giving that FK just so he doesn’t look bad. That’s not me throwing him under the bus—he dove in front of it. (And when he refuses to put the flag down when told, he better have seen someone throw a punch that I missed.)

But I do agree that it is a team effort—I only do games with teams of three, and for me it is the pleasure of the teamwork that is a main contributor to why o keep doing this.
 

one

RefChat Addict
Level 7 Referee
Depends on the play, I suppose. OnTI direction, or a foul in mid-field, I’m more likely to live with a bad call from an AR for appearances sake. But if an AR flags for a foul in the penalty arc that I have a good view on and it isn’t a foul, i’m not giving that FK just so he doesn’t look bad. That’s not me throwing him under the bus—he dove in front of it. (And when he refuses to put the flag down when told, he better have seen someone throw a punch that I missed.)

But I do agree that it is a team effort—I only do games with teams of three, and for me it is the pleasure of the teamwork that is a main contributor to why o keep doing this.
I think we are on the same page. I did say 'sometimes'. Its a balance and a good referee knows when to get it right.

Same here. I have been lucky to have had NARs for every game for at least the last 5 years (sometimes +4O) and do as many games as AR.
 
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