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A thread for all things FA...

 

Born out of an interesting debate on Jim Whites show today on talksport regarding experiences of young referees and the way in which disciplinary and personal hearings safeguard refs as young as 14 & 15 years old.

 

Do we have any refs on here that have been through similar - what is it like reffing at grassroots levels and how supported are you?

 

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I reffed at grassroots level for a bit and hated it. You were always out their on your own with nobody for back up. At higher levels there are obviously proper assistants there, some of which were more experienced officials than you and would give you advice where you needed it but otherwise it feels like the whole world is against you if you have a bad day when you’re on your own. I don’t think the thuggish coaches and parents care how old you are when precious Sunday League points are on the line

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4 minutes ago, RutlanderFox said:

I reffed at grassroots level for a bit and hated it. You were always out their on your own with nobody for back up. At higher levels there are obviously proper assistants there, some of which were more experienced officials than you and would give you advice where you needed it but otherwise it feels like the whole world is against you if you have a bad day when you’re on your own. I don’t think the thuggish coaches and parents care how old you are when precious Sunday League points are on the line

Did you ever file a misconduct report and if so what was the process like?

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5 minutes ago, Swan Lesta said:

Did you ever file a misconduct report and if so what was the process like?

Nah I just decided to quit reffing. I went back every Sunday thinking I’ll just improve my performance and hopefully the abuse will die down (that did happen some weeks as there are actually some really nice coaches out there) but overall it didn’t and I just thought “I don’t need to put up with this”. I thought the development pathway for refs was very weak and don’t get me started on the “respect” campaign the FA have. When primary school children are on the pitch effing and blinding at you it’s clear that there is virtually no respect for refs whatsoever. I probably should’ve filed a misconduct report at the time but tbh I didn’t know that was an option that existed and even if I did I probably wouldn’t have gone down that route anyway as I just wanted to get out of the hellish world. If the FA doesn’t do something about supporting young refs in their development then I can see many others taking a similar course of action. This is why I very rarely criticise a ref when I’m at matches anymore because for you to make it to the PL you have to be a world class ref and a stubborn arsehole and take no crap at all especially with the world’s largest egos on your back all the time both on and off the pitch. Once you become a ref at any level, you watch the refs more when you’re at a game and you notice that they have exceptional control of a match 99% of the time, maybe with the exception of Jon Moss but he’s still very good!

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2 hours ago, RutlanderFox said:

Nah I just decided to quit reffing. I went back every Sunday thinking I’ll just improve my performance and hopefully the abuse will die down (that did happen some weeks as there are actually some really nice coaches out there) but overall it didn’t and I just thought “I don’t need to put up with this”. I thought the development pathway for refs was very weak and don’t get me started on the “respect” campaign the FA have. When primary school children are on the pitch effing and blinding at you it’s clear that there is virtually no respect for refs whatsoever. I probably should’ve filed a misconduct report at the time but tbh I didn’t know that was an option that existed and even if I did I probably wouldn’t have gone down that route anyway as I just wanted to get out of the hellish world. If the FA doesn’t do something about supporting young refs in their development then I can see many others taking a similar course of action. This is why I very rarely criticise a ref when I’m at matches anymore because for you to make it to the PL you have to be a world class ref and a stubborn arsehole and take no crap at all especially with the world’s largest egos on your back all the time both on and off the pitch. Once you become a ref at any level, you watch the refs more when you’re at a game and you notice that they have exceptional control of a match 99% of the time, maybe with the exception of Jon Moss but he’s still very good!

 

This is depressing.

 

Im afraid that’s all I have.  I have no solutions.  Just a sigh.

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2 hours ago, RutlanderFox said:

Nah I just decided to quit reffing. I went back every Sunday thinking I’ll just improve my performance and hopefully the abuse will die down (that did happen some weeks as there are actually some really nice coaches out there) but overall it didn’t and I just thought “I don’t need to put up with this”. I thought the development pathway for refs was very weak and don’t get me started on the “respect” campaign the FA have. When primary school children are on the pitch effing and blinding at you it’s clear that there is virtually no respect for refs whatsoever. I probably should’ve filed a misconduct report at the time but tbh I didn’t know that was an option that existed and even if I did I probably wouldn’t have gone down that route anyway as I just wanted to get out of the hellish world. If the FA doesn’t do something about supporting young refs in their development then I can see many others taking a similar course of action. This is why I very rarely criticise a ref when I’m at matches anymore because for you to make it to the PL you have to be a world class ref and a stubborn arsehole and take no crap at all especially with the world’s largest egos on your back all the time both on and off the pitch. Once you become a ref at any level, you watch the refs more when you’re at a game and you notice that they have exceptional control of a match 99% of the time, maybe with the exception of Jon Moss but he’s still very good!

Would body cams have helped your confidence and defensibility in terms of justifying your concerns around any abuse you were made subject to?

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3 hours ago, RutlanderFox said:

Nah I just decided to quit reffing. I went back every Sunday thinking I’ll just improve my performance and hopefully the abuse will die down (that did happen some weeks as there are actually some really nice coaches out there) but overall it didn’t and I just thought “I don’t need to put up with this”. I thought the development pathway for refs was very weak and don’t get me started on the “respect” campaign the FA have. When primary school children are on the pitch effing and blinding at you it’s clear that there is virtually no respect for refs whatsoever. I probably should’ve filed a misconduct report at the time but tbh I didn’t know that was an option that existed and even if I did I probably wouldn’t have gone down that route anyway as I just wanted to get out of the hellish world. If the FA doesn’t do something about supporting young refs in their development then I can see many others taking a similar course of action. This is why I very rarely criticise a ref when I’m at matches anymore because for you to make it to the PL you have to be a world class ref and a stubborn arsehole and take no crap at all especially with the world’s largest egos on your back all the time both on and off the pitch. Once you become a ref at any level, you watch the refs more when you’re at a game and you notice that they have exceptional control of a match 99% of the time, maybe with the exception of Jon Moss but he’s still very good!

That sounds horrific, how long ago and where did you tend to ref? And what age? I have to say that in the few years my lad has been playing I've never witnessed anything that would concern me regarding attitude towards the ref. I agree that the young refs are left with no one but their dads usually as support but I can't see a way round that as there just doesn't seem to be the numbers of people to be present. 

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30 minutes ago, Vlad the Fox said:

That sounds horrific, how long ago and where did you tend to ref? And what age? I have to say that in the few years my lad has been playing I've never witnessed anything that would concern me regarding attitude towards the ref. I agree that the young refs are left with no one but their dads usually as support but I can't see a way round that as there just doesn't seem to be the numbers of people to be present. 

https://talksport.com/football/talksport-exclusive-abused-managers-then-threatened-fa-shocking-treatment-15-year-old

 

And then the follow up....

 

https://talksport.com/football/football-association-fascist-organisation-referees-grassroots-official-tells-talksport

 

and the show today from 11.30 - 12pm is here:

 

https://talksport.com/radio/listen-again/1520935200

Edited by Swan Lesta

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1 hour ago, Swan Lesta said:

That is terrible, and hopefully an isolated incident, I do get the impression that local fa can be slightly amateurish. Like I say though, in the few years my lad has been playing I've never witnessed anything that would cause concer, he is younger than the teams mentioned and it may be more of problem once the matches get competitive. Hopefully things are improving and these incidents will become few and far between. Either that or my lad plays against nice teams. :)

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The FA need to support young refs financially as much as they do with grassroots football. There are not many kids they grow up wanting to be a ref so they need to offer the support to encourage more.

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The FA needs to be reformed but FIFA regulations prevent state interference, it's an old boys club that I don't have any faith in at all.

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I am aware of an incident this year where a player struck a ref. The extent of the punishment was a individual suspension for the player but the result stood and the club has been allowed to continue. I’m sorry but for me any violence against officials should be immediate exclusion from the league. Self police it from within and other players affected could quickly find new clubs no problem. 

 

Coaches/organisers have a huge role to play at all levels. Your conduct becomes the standard for the team you manage. We all disagree but there’s no need for vitriol. Any need to add the f word or c word in a sentence rather than that’s a joke ref? 

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31 minutes ago, Wookie said:

The FA needs to be reformed but FIFA regulations prevent state interference, it's an old boys club that I don't have any faith in at all.

The FA is utterly full of mates hiring mates. A former head of Leicestershire FA is now fronting a non league reform. Yeah no problem with that as he may have the experience. Had to smile when I read that two junior members of staff who worked for him at Leicester FA, now find themselves working on the same reform. 

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3 hours ago, Vlad the Fox said:

This was a couple years ago when I was 17. I’m quite big which might have made people think I’m older but regardless I was still a young beginner. Just to clarify none of the abuse was crimewatch worthy but it just held you back really. You occasionally got things like “you’re a joke ref” which was as worst as it got for me over the course of 10 games before I’d decided I’d had enough. I think your main concern is what your child is doing. When you and other parents go you just want your child to enjoy playing and become as good a player as they could possibly be. My dad would have taken this attitude when he took me to play when I was younger and adopted the same attitude when I was reffing and he admitted he never really paid too much attention to the refs when I was playing but he saw things from a totally different perspective when your child is reffing and he said he “wanted to hit” one or two of the parents on the sideline. I mainly reffed in the Melton/Oakham area for convenience but sometimes went further afield. I found that the inner city teams have more of the “rougher” individuals amongst their club. I got into reffing because I wasn’t a good enough player and I thought being able to apply the rules in a match day situation would be fun and although I have no regrets, I was wrong. Don’t get me wrong there will be many young refs out there who love it and we should be thankful for that otherwise the game would have no future but from my personal experience I wouldn’t recommend it to anybody unless you have a very, very strong character about you

Edited by RutlanderFox
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2 minutes ago, RutlanderFox said:

This was a couple years ago when I was 17. I’m quite big which might have made people think I’m older but regardless I was still a young beginner. Just to clarify none of the abuse was crimewatch worthy but it just held you back really. You occasionally got things like “you’re a joke ref” which was as worst as it got for me over the course of 10 games before I’d decided I’d had enough. I think your main concern is what your child is doing. When you and other parents go you just want your child to enjoy playing and become as good a player as they could possibly be. My dad would have taken this attitude when he took me to play when I was younger and adopted the same attitude when I was reffing and he admitted he never really paid too much attention to the refs when I was playing but he saw things from a totally different perspective when your child is reffing and he said he “wanted to hit” one or two of the parents on the sideline. I mainly reffed in the Melton/Oakham area for convenience but sometimes went further afield. I found that the inner city teams have more of the “rougher” individuals amongst their club. I got into reffing because I wasn’t a good enough player and I thought being able to apply the rules in a match day situation would be fun and although I have no regrets, I was wrong. Don’t get me wrong there will be many young refs out there who love it and we should be thankful for that otherwise the game would have no future but from my personal experience I wouldn’t recommend it into anybody unless you have a very, very strong character about you

To tell you the truth I think shouting 'you're a joke ref' is pretty bad when you're young and most likely a little unsure too, I should imagine confidence is something, like when playing, that grows the more you ref, however if you're constantly being questioned that confidence is bound to be fragile. I did wonder if it was more inner city, we don't have many inner city matches. I do sometimes chat to the refs as they look so young and sometimes so nervous, if it helps them relax and not feel so alone then alls good. I also tell the kids never to argue or question the ref and accept their decision. 

 

You're right that these refs are vital for the game and the mouthy idiots will be the first to shout up if games were called off due to a lack off refs, I've stepped in before and was terrible, it's not as easy as it looks when you have to actually make the decision, thankfully the parents of both teams found my attempt amusing and were willing to help with decisions. Hopefully things have changed for the better since you stopped. 

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' you're a Joke ref'. From a Young Kid..The repost is so simple..

Easy Put Downs,to any Little squirt are numerous.

Especially If one is a Referees. A few vocal sarcastic Clip around the ear would do

them a world of good..

 

I had 2 good Friends,who became refs.Both Started Out in the older Kids Weekend  leagues.

With Football-rage parents..Various ,funny, weird,strange Stories,but both gave Up after ca 10yrs.

They Reffed in the 90s, they Said the Kids and parents,they could handle,but the Young Teenage

Groups, Put them Off.They Loved reffing, Said 85-90% of the Games,ran well even with the

silly snarling,but both Said It was that 4-5th Game,Just went OTT Not Just aggressive,but

even violent after the Game,the fun left them..Threats on and beyond the field even at work.

 

One jacked it,  took up Athletics and Marathons. ,the other actually,turned to rugby-reffing,

They both looked Back,at the positive sides,but Said there was never enough support behind

the refs.but the Club officials in football,especially lousy.

Rugby Clubs more welcoming,and accepting. Seemingly.

 

 

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I was a ref doing Burton junior leagues from just before I was 16 until 18 and I pretty much had exactly the same experience as @RutlanderFox

 

kids on the whole were ok, though coaches set a horrible example. Had 1 game I remember where the coach was abusing an opposition player and I gave him a warning, he carried on so literally I picked the ball up and said were not carrying on until he’d left the field. 

 

Only ever very booked a player once for calling me a **** or something, sent off the forms but never got registered with the FA. 

 

Absolutely no help from the FA, had no idea where I would report any abuse etc as shown when a booking wasn’t registered. My dad usd to come along, he used to stand in the background and give me feedback which was really helpful. Otherwise none whatsoever. 

 

And some of of the people they get to run the lines :rolleyes: I’d explicitly say at the start only flag for offsides and throw ins I’ll handle fouls and that just wouldn’t go through. 

 

Incidentally as as a player I saw a referee get punched by a player, and that player was banned from the league for 12 months but unfortunately that thing is too common at this level and that sort of aggression is ingrained at grassroots local leagues. 

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12 hours ago, Richard said:I was a ref doing Burton junior leagues from just before I was 16 until 18 and I pretty much had exactly the same experience as @RutlanderFox

 

kids on the whole were ok, though coaches set a horrible example. Had 1 game I remember where the coach was abusing an opposition player and I gave him a warning, he carried on so literally I picked the ball up and said were not carrying on until he’d left the field. 

 

Only ever very booked a player once for calling me a **** or something, sent off the forms but never got registered with the FA. 

 

Absolutely no help from the FA, had no idea where I would report any abuse etc as shown when a booking wasn’t registered. My dad usd to come along, he used to stand in the background and give me feedback which was really helpful. Otherwise none whatsoever. 

 

And some of of the people they get to run the lines :rolleyes: I’d explicitly say at the start only flag for offsides and throw ins I’ll handle fouls and that just wouldn’t go through. 

 

Incidentally as as a player I saw a referee get punched by a player, and that player was banned from the league for 12 months but unfortunately that thing is too common at this level and that sort of aggression is ingrained at grassroots local leagues. 

I agree that the FA were totally unhelpful. The fact that you only gave out one booking over a 2 year period and that was for someone calling you a **** tells it’s own story. I spent a whole week, doing 25 mile journeys to Holmes Park for a full day every day, being taught the more intricate rules of the game and how to apply them successfully and then they chuck you in at kid’s level to start with where they say “don’t card anyone because they’re only kids and it might upset them”! I do kind of understand that but then if you don’t book a player for a clear yellow card offence then the opposition would have something else to have a go at you for. I was dreading the day (which thankfully never came for me) where a kid would handball it on the line because they said to “never send players off” but you can’t not send someone off for that. How do you explain that to the coaches? Being indecisive makes you more of a target and as I said before you’re usually the only qualified official there so there’s no one to back you up or advise you so you could look a right fool. It’s just terrible grounds for development for all parties. It’s like the LCFC academy coaches training all week with the beginners in the youth team on how to perfect their shooting/finishing but then to say “oh but on the match day don’t apply any of those techniques, don’t shoot at goal and make sure you intentionally bottle it and kick the ball into the stands because it might upset the kids on the other team when you score”.

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A number of years ago a mate used to ref junior matches one sundayjust after kick off a parent started.

 

Tosser "fvck this that the other that was no free fvcking kick"

 

After 3/4 minutes the ref walks over to Tosser/parent " If you continue I'll red card you and both you and the club will be fined.

The game re starts 6/7 minute

 

Tosser to own child "No no that's the wrong fvcking ball are you still fvcking sleeping ya little cvnt"

 

Ref blows up and starts walking to Tosser.

 

Tosser " You can stick your red fvcking card you can't fvcking prove fvck

all you useless cvnt"

 

Ref reaches into pocket as he gets to Tosser.

Tosser "I told you stick your fvcking red card"

 

Ref " A card it is but not red its my warrant card shut your mouth or you're nicked"

 

Tosser/church mouse "ok"

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9 hours ago, sylofox said:

A number of years ago a mate used to ref junior matches one sundayjust after kick off a parent started.

 

Tosser "fvck this that the other that was no free fvcking kick"

 

After 3/4 minutes the ref walks over to Tosser/parent " If you continue I'll red card you and both you and the club will be fined.

The game re starts 6/7 minute

 

Tosser to own child "No no that's the wrong fvcking ball are you still fvcking sleeping ya little cvnt"

 

Ref blows up and starts walking to Tosser.

 

Tosser " You can stick your red fvcking card you can't fvcking prove fvck

all you useless cvnt"

 

Ref reaches into pocket as he gets to Tosser.

Tosser "I told you stick your fvcking red card"

 

Ref " A card it is but not red its my warrant card shut your mouth or you're nicked"

 

Tosser/church mouse "ok"

So in the absence of real support perhaps we should employ police people to referee!

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40 minutes ago, Swan Lesta said:

So in the absence of real support perhaps we should employ police people to referee!

I know it don't help and parents of kids should know better.

 

But to see it was FAF must have been fifty adults pissing themselves. Poor old tosser did not even have a beer in our bar after the match lollollol 

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