RefSix

My first game

Jay99

New Member
Hi everyone, I'm about to do my first game on the 1st February. And I'm really nervous, I feel like I'm pretty lost with what I need to do. My first game is refereeing a U12's game and I have quite a lot of questions about it.

Obviously because I've never done a game before I'm not sure on the pre match routine. What do I say to people when I get there? Do I start my pitch inspection straight away? I'm not really sure how to conduct myself because I've only ever been told a few things when I initially did my referee course. But I have more questions regarding officiating kids. Do I still call the captains in before kick off? Or do I leave that because they're kids? Furthermore, am I more lenient with my yellow and red cards? For example if someone is through one on one and the defender fouls an attacker should I still send them off? Or leave it because they're kids and they're learning.

I have so many questions, like I said not too sure what I need to be doing. Any help and any advice would be very much appreciated.
 

socal lurker

RefChat Addict
A few thoughts that might help:
  • Look through the new ref forum, and you'll find strings about this that you can get lots of tips from
  • If you didn't bring in the captains, how would you do the coin flip? ;) (At young ages, many kids love the chance to be captain, but it won't mean much from a leadership perspective)
  • Don't worry too much about misconduct--it doesn't happen a lot at the younger ages, and you can usually manage without cards. I would still have a send off for denying an obvious goal scoring opportunity, but it's unlikely to happen, and keep in mind that what is an "obvious goal scoring opportunity" is different at young ages, with much lower skills.
  • Always, always, introduce yourself to the mangers/coaches--you want to be a person, not "that ref out there"--be polite and cordial with them
  • If you have a chance before your game, go watch the first half of a similar game. Get there early, introduce yourself to the ref, and watch how he does pregame and gets the game rolling. (Don't take everything he does as gospel, but see what works and what doesn't work to use yourself.)
  • Go out there and act confident (even when you aren't sure) and have fun on the pitch
 

Jay99

New Member
Thankyou for your advice! It helps so much. I'll have a look through the new ref forum and see if I can find anything else that helps. One more question though, with substitutions do I have to go over and check every player before they come on to make sure there equipment is correct? And do I also have to do this with every player before a game?
 

socal lurker

RefChat Addict
Thankyou for your advice! It helps so much. I'll have a look through the new ref forum and see if I can find anything else that helps. One more question though, with substitutions do I have to go over and check every player before they come on to make sure there equipment is correct? And do I also have to do this with every player before a game?
I'm in the US, where in youth games it it typical to check the entire team before the game starts rather than at subs. But I'm sure someone on here can tell you what is expected on your side of the pond.
 

Mintyref

RefChat Addict
Level 6 Referee
Thankyou for your advice! It helps so much. I'll have a look through the new ref forum and see if I can find anything else that helps. One more question though, with substitutions do I have to go over and check every player before they come on to make sure there equipment is correct? And do I also have to do this with every player before a game?
You are expected to do this in the UK if you go for promotion. Very difficult with rolling subs though.
 

LothianRef

Member
Level 7 Referee
One more question though, with substitutions do I have to go over and check every player before they come on to make sure there equipment is correct?
I don’t as it’d waste too much time with rolling subs anyway. Also, you can tell at a glance if a player’s missing something like shin pads.
And good luck - I’m sure you’ll be fine!
 

Sheffields Finest

Maybe I'm foolish, maybe I'm blind!
Level 7 Referee
Chin up, chest out, stand by your calls, don’t take any lip, warn and then act if required! Don’t be afraid to use cards regardless of age or standard! We were all Virgins once! ❤
 

afronaut81

Well-Known Member
Level 7 Referee
Everything social lurker said. Especially liked the bit about going to see a game in the league before your game.

Your a new ref so nerves are understandable. Whatever happens in the game treat it as a learning experience, it would be impossible to be perfect from day 1.

You may want to contact your League's referee appointments officer and your RDO as well.
 
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Gamespoiler

Active Member
Level 7 Referee
I would advise you to arrive 15 mins before KO for U12, no later than 10 mins. Any earlier you'll be standing around. Immediately seek out the coaches/managers, there's usually 2 per team. Shake hands introduce yourself with confidence. Ask them if you can talk to the team, they will get the players together for you. Then introduce yourself and set out your expectations for the game. For example, play to the whistle, especially for offsides, its only offside when you blow your whistle, not when the old people on the side-lines shout, throw-ins must be taken correctly, they're old enough now to do that, be respectful and do not swear. If you do it will be a red card. Any questions? (there won't be) Identify the captain, shake his hand wish him luck and ask him to lead by example. Then the same with the other team. That might sound excessive and some refs don't bother with team talks. But I've found that when I have done this with juniors, the players understand straight away who is in charge and more importantly, the team officials respect that you've taken the time to talk to the players and are less likely to question you or give you abuse. This makes is more enjoyable for you and the players. Prior to being a referee, I was a junior coach for 12 years and always found that the players responded more positively to the match official when he addressed to the team in this manner. I've copied from them and it's set me in good stead. Sincerely hope that it goes well and that you enjoy it.
 

zarathustra

RefChat Addict
Level 6 Referee
Team talks are down to personal preference I guess.

At open age the players aren't going to listen so your wasting your breath, this might be different in youth games.

The main problem is making a rod for your own back. If you say that you will do X if a player does Y then you need to make sure you stick to that from the first minute to the last, because the players (or coaches at this level) will be on you the minute you don't.
 

socal lurker

RefChat Addict
throw-ins must be taken correctly, they're old enough now to do that, be respectful and do not swear. If you do it will be a red card. Any questions? (there won't be) Identify the captain, shake his hand wish him luck and ask him to lead by example..

I would recommend not saying what you'll do this blatantly. It's often dangerous to say what you will do, as it takes away wiggle room and creates "but you said." IMO. Far better, if you are going to give instructions, just say what isn't accepted rather than saying what your'e going to do. (Are you really going to send off the kid who mis-kicks the ball and says, "aw sh!t"? And if you don't, you just failed to do what you said you would. If you care enough about language to raise in the pregame [I don't], simply remind them it isn't acceptable.) I also don't see any point in telling them to throw the ball in properly before the game--if it's a problem, call it. That said, I do agree it can be helpful to remind them to play the whistle.
 

Gamespoiler

Active Member
Level 7 Referee
I was taking into consideration that it’s u12 firstly. And I do think it’s important to talk about throw ins at that age because you do find a lot of foul throws. Talking about it pre match helps when you start blowing for foul throws, in my experience of this age. And u12 shouldn’t be swearing, a premature warning has always avoid it for me. Older age groups I accept it’s different but u12 I have a zero tolerance for it. Appreciate what you’re saying I do change it for older age groups, different referees use what works for them
 

zarathustra

RefChat Addict
Level 6 Referee
The problem isn't doing the pregame chat, it is as has already been said, the risk of backing yourself into a corner.

If you say you will caution any dissent then you remove the option of a final warning, the minute a player questions a decision the opposition will be expecting a caution, and if you don't give it your match control will suffer much more than if you hadn't done a pre match chat at all.

I appreciate at youth games expectations would be different.

But aside from a general chat while doing kit checks captains get a 30s chat at the coin toss.
 

jofusref

RefChat Addict
remember you are the referee, you make the decisions you will make mistakes dont dwell on them, you have a very live game to concentrate on,
remember to put ee-rything u will need in your pockets
remember to start both your watches

most newbies forget lol
most of all enjoy the game
 

Jay99

New Member
Thanks everyone for all your replies. I've read them all, and every single one are so helpful. Hopefully I can apply everything everyone's said and I'll have a successful day haha!
 

Darren83

New Member
Level 7 Referee
I referee grassroots football and I have my own check list

Turn up in good time ,
(and I no order)
Be fair
Be consistent
Make a decision
SMILE.

Some people think I'm a complete idiot , some people think I'm brilliant but you can't and won't please everyone so don't try.

Good luck and enjoy the game :)
 

Sheffields Finest

Maybe I'm foolish, maybe I'm blind!
Level 7 Referee
I referee grassroots football and I have my own check list

Turn up in good time ,
(and I no order)
Be fair
Be consistent
Make a decision
SMILE.

Some people think I'm a complete idiot , some people think I'm brilliant but you can't and won't please everyone so don't try.

Good luck and enjoy the game :)
Think you’re a complete idiot you say?? 😂
 

Grayson

RefChat Addict
SEND 'EM ALL OFF! Good luck, enjoy it, and have fun. After the game, think about 3 things you did really well, and 3 things you may do differently next time. It'll make match number two even more enjoyable. Don't forget to let us know how it all went. Welcome to the madhouse.
 
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