5 Ways in which Referees can improve

Advice for football referees

As football fans, and really sports fans in general, we can all agree on one universal truth: referees, no matter how experienced or professional they may be, and no matter how clean their records are, can make some absolutely horrendous calls. Whether it’s being trigger happy with a red card, missing an egregious foul in the box, or even not spotting a ball crossing the goal line before the keeper snags it, referees have the potential to ruin games, inspire fury, and even ignite riots among we football faithful. So, in the spirit of minimizing these types of incidents, here are 5 suggestions from a bitter fan for how the average ref can improve his performance.


How referees can improve

1. Invest In Corrective Vision

Let’s just get this one out of the way, shall we? Everyone in the world – fans of every sport – can agree that all referees have dismal vision. Or so it seems. In fact, it ought to be required for each and every fellow who wears a whistle to invest in some manner of corrective vision, whether that means contact lenses, standard glasses, or even laser corrective surgery. Anything to solve the borderline blindness will make fans happy!

2. Swallow The Whistle

Okay, so we already acknowledged that referees shouldn’t miss obvious calls. But in general, most of us would tend to prefer the refs swallow the whistle a bit. This simply means, don’t call a foul every time a player scratches his nose. Almost universally, fans prefer fewer whistles to too many whistles, so if a ref is going to lean one way, we’d all prefer that be toward silence.

3. Watch Other Games

Am I the only one who feels like referees don’t actually watch football? For many jobs, this is perfectly alright. A lawyer may become a fine lawyer without ever sitting in the courtroom watching other lawyers. But the average football referee could certainly benefit from watching more games. Basic logic dictates that a football referee watching a game in which another football referee is bombarded with criticism for a poor call will be less likely to make a similar call. Or maybe all the refs are watching plenty of games and are just slow learners.

4. Swallow The Pride

More often than not, it seems a referee resolutely sticking to a bad call is simply trying to save face. News flash for those refs: there’s no face to save. Nobody likes referees, so you have nothing to lose by being less stubborn, or by talking to fellow referees to make sure that you get a call right.

5. Use More Replay

Football should take a page out of the American sports book on this issue. I’ve heard all the arguments about disrupting the flow of the game, etc. But I’d argue that a horrible call disrupts the game in a worse way. Taking 30 seconds to check a replay and get a call right is a step football refs should take.


Categorized as News

By Matt

Matt is the owner and chief-editor of the Footy Blog, one of the UK's leading football news blogs.