Members on the promotion ladder for the last 12 months have recently heard whether they have been successful. Many congratulations to those who have achieved their goal. And to those that haven’t, I say, stay in there in the coming year and continue developing your game. Most of us achieve our reasonable aims in refereeing with sustained effort, and our levels of satisfaction, happiness and fulfilment are all the better for it. It is far more satisfying to continue to learn and develop than to stagnate – even for the level 5 who has peaked and is not seeking further promotion. Be grateful for the ongoing challenge of refereeing and for the assessors whose devoted efforts help those who are ready to get where they want to be.
Society Meeting on 9 March
Actonians FC hosted a very enjoyable evening led by Cambridgeshire Referee Development Officer Colin Hills, standing in for Level 3 referee Ashley Slaughter, and presenting the RA-FA training hub event Identifying and Punishing Serious Foul Play.
He displayed DVD excerpts of incidents in semi-professional football and invited opinion on whether each amounted to a penal offence, and if so what colour card, if any, was to be shown.
It was not always easy to see the incidents clearly and so it made us really appreciate the advantage of seeing challenges from the many different angles available in premiership football. Our views sometimes changed on a second viewing. Colin asked for reasons for our opinions; having to articulate them in front of a group of 25 referees was a useful exercise. Although we did not all agree on all decisions, opinions tended to converge after several viewings and discussion. At the end of each discussion Colin offered the FA’s definitive position.
A majority of challenges shown were said to be red card offences. I was left wondering how many of us at County level really do apply full sanctions consistently in our games. If we err it tends to be on the side of giving the benefit of our doubts to players, reprimanding players who should be cautioned and showing yellow cards for challenges where the FA might say a red card is needed. I was reminded of the saying ‘If you think that might be a yellow card it probably is a yellow card; if you think that might be a red card, it probably is a red card‘.
New: Free RA and Society Membership for all newly qualified referees
The RA has recently decided to offer completely free first year membership to all newly qualify referees. The AFA & Lonsar has for over 10 years offered free first year membership, but the big difference now is that we need no longer charge new referees any RA subscription or insurance premium for that year. This means that every new AFA or London FA referee can be offered free Society and RA membership for one year. We intend to make maximum use of this to encourage all such new referees to join us. A rule change will be proposed at next month’s AGM to accommodate this new arrangement.