This week’s Officials’ Skills series concludes with the topic of dissent, looking at how referees can use awareness when dealing with the emotions of players and club staff.
There are some very important questions that officials must ask themselves in relation to witnessing and dealing with both verbal and visual dissent at every level of the game:
- Are we as officials aware as to why it is happening?
- As the game continues, does it remain constant?
- Does it not happen? If so, are we aware why?
- Does it get gradually worse during the game? If so, why?
- Are we as officials aware that dissent dealt with early and visually (with the blame squarely on the players) can help our control?
- Knowing the difference between dissent and frustration from players and coaches. Officials must calmly deal with both.
In this clip, the referee correctly awards the penalty kick and explains to the group of players that no one can effectively communicate with so many talking at once. His calm demeanor and awareness of being in control and how this is portrayed helps him get through the difficult situation.
As we can see, there are many areas in which an official must be prepared to utilize their personality and softer management skills in game control. In conjunction with technical updates and discussion, these areas are crucial for the further development of officials, not only in MLS but at every level.