RefSix

Question

Sheffields Finest

Maybe I'm foolish, maybe I'm blind!
Level 7 Referee
Which would be the biggest car crash (hypothetically), an experienced L7 plucked from the crowd to finish off let’s say an easier EFL game..... or an SG ref plucked from the sidelines to finish off a neanderthal alcohol fuelled inter council estate battle.... ??
Forget all the AR stuff.... just that?
 
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Ben448844

RefChat Addict
Level 6 Referee
Let's just say that I don't speak alone when I say I've met a level 7 referee or two who are a bit, erm, interesting in their refereeing style and personality. I'm not sure an EFL match would bring the best out of them 🙄

I've also met some excellent ones that may not completely embarrass themselves at that level, although it really is a different sport when theres 1000s of pwople watching you!
 

Sheffields Finest

Maybe I'm foolish, maybe I'm blind!
Level 7 Referee
Let's just say that I don't speak alone when I say I've met a level 7 referee or two who are a bit, erm, interesting in their refereeing style and personality. I'm not sure an EFL match would bring the best out of them 🙄

I've also met some excellent ones that may not completely embarrass themselves at that level, although it really is a different sport when theres 1000s of pwople watching you!
Conversely what would happen if an SG ref reffed like they do in the Prem and the game went south??
 

RustyRef

Administrator
Staff member
An SG ref would almost certainly breeze even the most difficult of grass roots game. I never made it that high, but after I quit L3 I went back to Sunday mornings and found it was an absolute doddle compared to when I'd previously done that level. I went months without issuing a single card, think it was 15 or 16 games from memory, all at Hackney Marshes. Two reasons for that, one is obvious in that I was vastly more experienced than the previous times, but more importantly the players quickly worked out that I'd been at a much higher level, trusted me and just let me get on with it. And I did just that, staying out of the way unless I had to get involved. The only thing they didn't like was my talking to them, at least initially. "Ref, why are you telling me not to foul him?" "Were you going to foul him?". "Probably", "OK, so I've saved you a yellow card then yes?", "Fair enough ref" ... :). I know other referees who have stepped back down who tell similar stories.

When my card less run ended it of course was spectacularly with a total nightmare of a game with mass cons, reds, and managers sent the (very) long walk back to the changing rooms. Even then though I managed it fine, and had the same thing happened back when I was L7 or L6 I'd have been a right mess.

An L7 going into the middle of a PL game would be immensely more difficult. The pressure in front of tens of thousands of people is likely to play an effect on everyone no matter how good they are, and it would be pretty much impossible to adjust to the pace of the game jumping straight from L7 to SG1. Worst of all though the players would seize on it big style and would be right on the referee's back at every decision, but the smarter ones would have been encouraging him beforehand to try and sway any decisions their way. Whilst it is generally acknowledged that players aren't always the sharpest tool in the box, the higher you go the smarter they get, not necessarily their IQ but certainly they are more mentally and game smart.
 

Ben448844

RefChat Addict
Level 6 Referee
An SG ref would almost certainly breeze even the most difficult of grass roots game. I never made it that high, but after I quit L3 I went back to Sunday mornings and found it was an absolute doddle compared to when I'd previously done that level. I went months without issuing a single card, think it was 15 or 16 games from memory, all at Hackney Marshes. Two reasons for that, one is obvious in that I was vastly more experienced than the previous times, but more importantly the players quickly worked out that I'd been at a much higher level, trusted me and just let me get on with it. And I did just that, staying out of the way unless I had to get involved. The only thing they didn't like was my talking to them, at least initially. "Ref, why are you telling me not to foul him?" "Were you going to foul him?". "Probably", "OK, so I've saved you a yellow card then yes?", "Fair enough ref" ... :). I know other referees who have stepped back down who tell similar stories.

When my card less run ended it of course was spectacularly with a total nightmare of a game with mass cons, reds, and managers sent the (very) long walk back to the changing rooms. Even then though I managed it fine, and had the same thing happened back when I was L7 or L6 I'd have been a right mess.

An L7 going into the middle of a PL game would be immensely more difficult. The pressure in front of tens of thousands of people is likely to play an effect on everyone no matter how good they are, and it would be pretty much impossible to adjust to the pace of the game jumping straight from L7 to SG1. Worst of all though the players would seize on it big style and would be right on the referee's back at every decision, but the smarter ones would have been encouraging him beforehand to try and sway any decisions their way. Whilst it is generally acknowledged that players aren't always the sharpest tool in the box, the higher you go the smarter they get, not necessarily their IQ but certainly they are more mentally and game smart.
Aside from the game itself, quite how PL officials deal with the fall out when they've made a big error in a PL game (particularly if it's gone against a big team) I'll never know. As soon as the final whistle goes the cameras are in their faces, they're all over the news, every TV station and newspaper, social media going mad at you etc. Cant be many other jobs where if you get a decision wrong you probably feel uneasy about going for a pint or even to the shop afterwards. I don't envy them one bit.
 

Big Cat

RefChat Addict
Level 6 Referee
I've just entered a fine pyramid and have earned a pass to ascend one flight of stairs. From my vista looking up, above a certain level, I see moulded referees who act in unison devoid of individuality. There are some referees who are not progressing or are no longer interested in learning. Aside from them (they're generally poor), the trait of being fallible does not diminish much towards the top. The bouncers atop are burly fellas. Their remit is to only allow MO's to the top levels, who will sell the same basic mistakes, albeit in an environment which is exponentially more intimidating and challenging

So, SG1's would make fewer mistakes on a Sunday Morning and would sell any that did crop up with ease
An L7, depending on his or her minerals, would melt (like a dyslexic on Countdown) at St James Park (other grounds are available)

@RustyRef your claim of 16 games without a card is troubling me on the basis that I've worked with a couple of post-L3 referees on the Spartan who didn't sanction misconduct or foul play, seemingly because the games were beneath them
I'd expect an experienced referee to avert many sanctions, but many instances of RP and SPA (to name but a few) will happen regardless
Maybe you just got a very good run of games

The view we have from the bottom may indeed be opaque, but I can only report on what I see from my vantage point
 
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RustyRef

Administrator
Staff member
your claim of 16 games without a card is troubling me on the basis that I've worked with a couple of post-L3 referees on the Spartan who didn't sanction misconduct or foul play, seemingly because the games were beneath them
I'd expect an experienced referee to avert many sanctions, but many instances of RP and SPA (to name but a few) will happen regardless
Maybe you just got a very good run of games
I was doing step 6 games on Saturdays at the same time and had no shortage of cards in those games, including several reds, and like I said once the run was over it finished with a bang.

It was probably a lot of luck, but also I'd done several games on that Sunday league the previous season when I was coming back from injury so they knew me. There was one particularly troublesome team in the league with a gobby manager who thought he was untouchable, I dispelled that myth in style one Sunday with many of his players and himself trying and failing to test me out, and I think that set my reputation that was carried through into the following season.
 

Big Cat

RefChat Addict
Level 6 Referee
I was doing step 6 games on Saturdays at the same time and had no shortage of cards in those games, including several reds, and like I said once the run was over it finished with a bang.

It was probably a lot of luck, but also I'd done several games on that Sunday league the previous season when I was coming back from injury so they knew me. There was one particularly troublesome team in the league with a gobby manager who thought he was untouchable, I dispelled that myth in style one Sunday with many of his players and himself trying and failing to test me out, and I think that set my reputation that was carried through into the following season.
Mostly just good refereeing then. Glad you did misinterpret my post (which wasn't the best). You'll have a field day if ever I cross your observational path!
 

Sheffields Finest

Maybe I'm foolish, maybe I'm blind!
Level 7 Referee
I wasn’t at that level but 100% my card count dropped as I got more experienced. It wasn’t better games or wanting to please club marks or even going soft, I genuinely earned my spurs and reputation at the sharp end took that knowledge and hard earned reputation up a notch and the players seemed to respond in calming down their abuse, fouls and I obliged accordingly. Being a large unit (tall) I think helped in this in sometimes being the human shield and breaking up certain situations on my own. Obviously they say step back and take names and I found that difficult as the dad in me steps in takes control. And yes, on one day, any game can go south at the drop of a hat or bad tackle, any age, any pitch!
 

Brian Hamilton

RefChat Addict
Level 5 Referee
Observer/Tutor
I wasn’t at that level but 100% my card count dropped as I got more experienced. It wasn’t better games or wanting to please club marks or even going soft, I genuinely earned my spurs and reputation at the sharp end took that knowledge and hard earned reputation up a notch and the players seemed to respond in calming down their abuse, fouls and I obliged accordingly. Being a large unit (tall) I think helped in this in sometimes being the human shield and breaking up certain situations on my own. Obviously they say step back and take names and I found that difficult as the dad in me steps in takes control. And yes, on one day, any game can go south at the drop of a hat or bad tackle, any age, any pitch!
I've tried unsuccessfully a few times to retire from the green stuff. It always used to make me laugh when a player who didn't know me on the local circuit would decide to test the tubby bald bloke in black. Meanwhile his team mates looked on either in horror or amusement as I allowed the newcomer to dig himself deeper. I used to particularly enjoy those who played at a reasonable level on a Saturday and were used to influencing referees through a combination of abuse and kidology. I generally don't get that now working solely in junior football.

What I do get are the managers who look at the fat bald bloke and think they can get a decision by screaming across the park for a throw-in. Their counterparts on the other team are genuinely bemused at their behaviour and you can always tell when they are trying it on because you'll get a player or a parent tell me to ignore it. In fact I've had applause for sending some of them to polish the dashboards of their cars while they wait for the game to finish. I used to encounter the same sort of behaviour in the women's game as well. Not so much at the top level, just before the WSL went full time, but in the divisions just below or when you got a national level team playing in a county cup.

The ones who worry me are the ones who, despite having hit every step on the stepped approach, still think their paltry attempts at intimidation will win them decisions. Is this how they operate in their day to day jobs?

Anyway back to the OP. I used to work with the Madleys regularly when they were on their way up. I will never forget the time AM stepped in at the last minute to cover a local cup game. He told us he hated every minute because he was on his own. Secretly I think he enjoyed it because it reminded him of what he had and where he'd started. It wasn't a disaster but I do think he had his highest card count of the season. Putting a L7, even a seasoned one, in the middle of a professional game would see the game completed but not enjoyed. A friend did step in to pick up the role of 4th official when he'd travelled away to watch his team (he was L5 at the time). He thought it was a great experience but couldn't say he enjoyed it, however both teams were fairly respectful towards him.
 

Sheffields Finest

Maybe I'm foolish, maybe I'm blind!
Level 7 Referee
I've tried unsuccessfully a few times to retire from the green stuff. It always used to make me laugh when a player who didn't know me on the local circuit would decide to test the tubby bald bloke in black. Meanwhile his team mates looked on either in horror or amusement as I allowed the newcomer to dig himself deeper. I used to particularly enjoy those who played at a reasonable level on a Saturday and were used to influencing referees through a combination of abuse and kidology. I generally don't get that now working solely in junior football.

What I do get are the managers who look at the fat bald bloke and think they can get a decision by screaming across the park for a throw-in. Their counterparts on the other team are genuinely bemused at their behaviour and you can always tell when they are trying it on because you'll get a player or a parent tell me to ignore it. In fact I've had applause for sending some of them to polish the dashboards of their cars while they wait for the game to finish. I used to encounter the same sort of behaviour in the women's game as well. Not so much at the top level, just before the WSL went full time, but in the divisions just below or when you got a national level team playing in a county cup.

The ones who worry me are the ones who, despite having hit every step on the stepped approach, still think their paltry attempts at intimidation will win them decisions. Is this how they operate in their day to day jobs?

Anyway back to the OP. I used to work with the Madleys regularly when they were on their way up. I will never forget the time AM stepped in at the last minute to cover a local cup game. He told us he hated every minute because he was on his own. Secretly I think he enjoyed it because it reminded him of what he had and where he'd started. It wasn't a disaster but I do think he had his highest card count of the season. Putting a L7, even a seasoned one, in the middle of a professional game would see the game completed but not enjoyed. A friend did step in to pick up the role of 4th official when he'd travelled away to watch his team (he was L5 at the time). He thought it was a great experience but couldn't say he enjoyed it, however both teams were fairly respectful towards him.
Thanks @Brian Hamilton , that was the point I was getting at for the discussion, we all know that SG refs have started at the bottom rung and assume they have done the so called 'Neandathatl' games when some maybe haven't???. Some may have started at the posher end of town or area and never being subjected to this type level. As BH said it should work as you may get sheltered promotion games in the top division leagues where the better footballers do hang out. They never get to do an assessment and even appointed at D6 Dog & Duck FC Nightmare Xi.....
 

Big Cat

RefChat Addict
Level 6 Referee
Thanks @Brian Hamilton , that was the point I was getting at for the discussion, we all know that SG refs have started at the bottom rung and assume they have done the so called 'Neandathatl' games when some maybe haven't???. Some may have started at the posher end of town or area and never being subjected to this type level. As BH said it should work as you may get sheltered promotion games in the top division leagues where the better footballers do hang out. They never get to do an assessment and even appointed at D6 Dog & Duck FC Nightmare Xi.....
It almost entirely depends on where one lives. I'm guessing the Home Counties (where I am) are incomparable with say... 7 miles down the road towards Wembley (for example). So I'm yet to meet the Neanderthal teams (if they exist anymore) and am unlikely to do so. That said, individual Nut Cases can emerge from anywhere, before they're weeded out of the game
Obviously they say step back and take names and I found that difficult
WRT to MCs, I also find this difficult. I'm at the point where I do the human shield thing briefly and step back only if it doesn't work. I've always been a strong peacemaker (this might come as a surprise as I'm objectionable at times on the forum!), so stepping in is instinctive

One other thing mentioned elsewhere to do with players knowing a referee's history or level. I don't think anyone in any team for (including Step 7), ever knew or took any interest in what level a referee was. It's only since taking to the whistle myself, that I've referenced (looked up) some of the referees that I rated at the time
 

Sheffields Finest

Maybe I'm foolish, maybe I'm blind!
Level 7 Referee
It almost entirely depends on where one lives. I'm guessing the Home Counties (where I am) are incomparable with say... 7 miles down the road towards Wembley (for example). So I'm yet to meet the Neanderthal teams (if they exist anymore) and am unlikely to do so. That said, individual Nut Cases can emerge from anywhere, before they're weeded out of the game

WRT to MCs, I also find this difficult. I'm at the point where I do the human shield thing briefly and step back only if it doesn't work. I've always been a strong peacemaker (this might come as a surprise as I'm objectionable at times on the forum!), so stepping in is instinctive

One other thing mentioned elsewhere to do with players knowing a referee's history or level. I don't think anyone in any team for (including Step 7), ever knew or took any interest in what level a referee was. It's only since taking to the whistle myself, that I've referenced (looked up) some of the referees that I rated at the time
I heard a few team talks and they usuaually included something like ''Look, its him again (or expletives to that effect), don't give him sh!t, he will book you, don't back chat, he will book you, he likes a tackle but don't cross the line and don't call him a c&@t'...;)
 
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Mr Dean

Active Member
I heard a few team talks and they usuaually included something like ''Look, its him again (or expletives to that effect), don't give him sh!t, he will book you, don't back chat, he will book you, he liked a tackle but don't cross the line and don't call him a c&@t'...;)
I've heard a few as well and they sound a bit like this: "this one accepts tips💰 so let's pay him upfront"
 

Ben448844

RefChat Addict
Level 6 Referee
I heard a few team talks and they usuaually included something like ''Look, its him again (or expletives to that effect), don't give him sh!t, he will book you, don't back chat, he will book you, he liked a tackle but don't cross the line and don't call him a c&@t'...;)
This reminds me off a ref we had for years in the South Manchester Sunday Leagues who was just obsessed with the game being a "good one". If you were winning then he'd be giving offside every time you went forward and finding any reason to stop attacks. If you were losing you got everything. He just seemed to want a close game. Sounds like I'm exaggerating but its 100% true. It was bizarre.

Managers team talk. "Dont say a ******* word to that ******* weirdo. But if we're losing, appeal for ******* everything!" 🤣🤣

Our manager was a former non league footballer and "pro'd" in league cricket in Lancs, which was a very high standard back in the day. We weren't allowed to say a word to referees apart from this one.
 

Sheffields Finest

Maybe I'm foolish, maybe I'm blind!
Level 7 Referee
I never got booked in all my playing career, today that would have been a different record. There were refs you could just about do anything and it wouldn’t end in chaos.
I just watched the Shearer & Neville documentary and tackles shown then were easy yellows would be reds all day today.

I do feel sorry for the top boys at times and the microscopic demolition of their usually good performances. That said we still have Anthony Taylor, Little Keef and a few others to bring us back down to the Parks and how they would go on??? I suspect it would be 7 a side!
 

Ben448844

RefChat Addict
Level 6 Referee
I never got booked in all my playing career, today that would have been a different record. There were refs you could just about do anything and it wouldn’t end in chaos.
I just watched the Shearer & Neville documentary and tackles shown then were easy yellows would be reds all day today.

I do feel sorry for the top boys at times and the microscopic demolition of their usually good performances. That said we still have Anthony Taylor, Little Keef and a few others to bring us back down to the Parks and how they would go on??? I suspect it would be 7 a side!
Never booked! I was sent off 4 times and I wouldn't even like to think of the number of yellows. I was only yellow'd for dissent once and that was a case of mistaken identity, I rarely said a word to a referee. I was at an academy as a kid and it was made very clear that you dont say anything to the referees + as a cricketer, its instilled in you that you dont say a word to the umpires either (although that is sadly on the decline in local cricket). I never had a straight red card, although at the back end of my career as I'd dropped down to park football I probably should've had a couple. I once received a yellow card for picking up a back pass (off the thigh of a defender) at the end of my playing days when I volunteered to go in net as our keeper was on holiday. Probably the only time I came close to a deserved yellow for dissent!
 

Tealeaf

Lighting the darkest hour
Staff member
Level 5 Referee
I never got booked in all my playing career, today that would have been a different record. There were refs you could just about do anything and it wouldn’t end in chaos.
I just watched the Shearer & Neville documentary and tackles shown then were easy yellows would be reds all day today.
Me either. I had a knack of getting away with nailed on reds.

I should’ve walked for the most blatant DOGSO ever, yanking a player back with both hands pulling him off the ball. And then he punched me, so he went and I got the free kick!

Or the time I cleared the back from behind the line, and then punched the second shot over the bar. (I wasn’t the goalkeeper). The only person who noticed was one of the centre halves. “Did you just..” “Shut up!” “ But you...” “Shut up!!!!”
Corner was given.

And then the time I missed the ball and was so frustrated I took a huge swinging kick in frustration and (unintentionally) smashed a defender across the lower back. No idea how I got away with that one; not violent conduct but definitely in the SFP category. I immediately apologised and subbed myself off as I was a danger to myself, losing control like that.

In actual fact the only time I’ve ever been shown a card was by Mr Hamilton at an RA meeting. I was playing the role of a particularly gobby player who just kept pushing his luck.

Celebrated it like a pro 😁
 

Sheffields Finest

Maybe I'm foolish, maybe I'm blind!
Level 7 Referee
Me either. I had a knack of getting away with nailed on reds.

I should’ve walked for the most blatant DOGSO ever, yanking a player back with both hands pulling him off the ball. And then he punched me, so he went and I got the free kick!

Or the time I cleared the back from behind the line, and then punched the second shot over the bar. (I wasn’t the goalkeeper). The only person who noticed was one of the centre halves. “Did you just..” “Shut up!” “ But you...” “Shut up!!!!”
Corner was given.

And then the time I missed the ball and was so frustrated I took a huge swinging kick in frustration and (unintentionally) smashed a defender across the lower back. No idea how I got away with that one; not violent conduct but definitely in the SFP category. I immediately apologised and subbed myself off as I was a danger to myself, losing control like that.

In actual fact the only time I’ve ever been shown a card was by Mr Hamilton at an RA meeting. I was playing the role of a particularly gobby player who just kept pushing his luck.

Celebrated it like a pro 😁
I had two players in hospital, one for a displaced patella (100% accidental) and one for a 360 summersault tackle (Vinny Jones type tackle on Peter Reid) which was very intentional as he was taking the proverbial.....I'd be a sitting duck to the brethren these days. a few of the dark arts, like a poor mans Billy Whitehurst!!
 
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