This week’s Officials’ Skills series continues with the topic of teamwork, looking at how a referee crew can work together for the benefit of the game.
It is important for officials to display awareness in two main aspects of teamwork:
- Their responsibilities as each individual team member (basic and communication)
- Their credibility in making decisions as a team member. Who is expected to be seen making the decision at certain times during the game: if an official does not visually make the decision when expected, does this undermine teamwork?
In relation to simple technique, use of communication systems and understanding priorities in mechanics given the situation and what the game expects to see, are all important aspects of awareness from the referee and their assistant referees. This is a vital part of pre-game preparation at every level.
Do not forget the fourth official. The technical areas are something every official should be aware of and how the temperature of coaches and substitutes can fluctuate given the circumstances of the game. If officials display confidence and accuracy in their decision making, these emotions can be controlled and understood.
In these clips, look how the officials worked together to not only provide the correct decisions but display confidence to all participants in carrying their duties out (in the first clip the technique from the assistant referee is something every player, coach, spectator and participant likes to see).
This comes from awareness of responsibility and the pressured surroundings they face. In the second clip the referee is very aware of the importance in backing up his fourth official when the player tries to move the free kick forward, despite requests from the officials.