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10 crucial referee tips for beginners

WFC and SSL referee Thomas Andersson and FloorballToday started working on a referee series. In this article, we’ll focus on 10 tips for beginner referees. Use these tips and you’ll make it through your first game!

#1 – Relax

Your first game to lead? Everyone’s been there, so while you might get a few angry faces, most players will understand.

#2 – Know the rules

This is a referee tip for all referees. Know. The. Rules.

#3 – Don’t be afraid to blow that whistle

Use it! We often see beginner referees who seem to have lost their lungs. A whistle is meant to be loud, so don’t be afraid to use it.

#4 – Be convinced in your decisions

Do you notice a foul? Take action: whistle, mark the spot, point in the right direction, and do all this in with confidence. Teams will notice you might feel insecure and if you’re unlucky, they might take advantage of it.

#5 – Get your own whistle

Or better: buy a few different ones. There are differences in sound and volume, so make sure to check it out before buying.

#6 – Talk with your buddy

Refereeing is not a one man’s job. It’s the two of you who make sure the game keeps running smoothly. Talk with your referee partner, before the games (what can you expect, how do we move, etc.), but also during the game and intermissions. This could also include a headset. In that case, find out how to use it before the game starts!

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Don’t forget to have fun (Thomas Andersson, Photo: Peter Bohlin)

#7 – Don’t focus on the ball

Fouls are not only committed when the ball is near. Things like pushing can easily be done when players are not close to the ball, so make sure at least one of the two referees is focusing on the pitch instead of solely on the ball. This has to do with the previous tip as well! In short, you want to cover as much of the field as possible (as a duo).

#8 – Be on time

Makes sense, right? If you’re on time, you’re not in a hurry, so there’s a smaller chance you’ll feel stressed. This gives you the opportunity to think clearly and keep a high level of energy.

#9 – Practice

Before your first game starts, you can practice a few times during training. What can help too, is to record yourself when you practice the signs. How do you look in the video: focused, confident?

#10 – Ask for feedback

After your first game, don’t be afraid to ask for feedback. You can even ask someone beforehand already and have him/her check out the game. You can get feedback during the first and second intermissions to improve your leading skills right away!

#11 – Follow FloorballToday

You get one tip extra, for free! #11 is about the referee articles we publish every now and then. Have a look at the Referee Questions of the Week for instance.

Do you have any questions about this article or specific questions you’d like to ask Thomas Andersson? Send us a message on social media or mail (daniel[@]floorballtoday.com)!

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