Our season of monthly meetings got off to an excellent start with Football League referee Graham Scott. Graham, who took as his subject ‘Foul Recognition’ bravely, showed video clips of seven of his matches in the Football League, including one at the Madejski Stadium.
Graham broke the meeting into three teams of ten to discuss the incidents, asking them to not just consider the decisions and sanctions (if any), but also the location of the ball, his positioning, angles and distance. After members gave their views Graham then gave what he considered the lessons to be learnt.
It doesn’t matter if you haven’t seen the videos the lessons as he explained them, are still valuable ones.
Don’t ever play advantage on a card (unless a member of the team offended against, has an open goal without even the goalkeeper to beat). Be switched on right from the start. Don’t play advantage after a reckless tackle no matter how tempted you may be. Beware ignoring challenges that justify a card, just because it is in the first few minutes.
Take a picture in your head when a defender commits himself to a challenge that might constitute a DOGSO. Strike a balance between making a positive decision and rushing to a judgement. Is it serious foul play or Denying Obvious Goal Scoring Opportunity, make the correct decision not the easier one.
Video 3 (Diving)
Consider where has the ball has gone. Is the player’s fall natural or contrived? Does it make any difference if the player has already been cautioned?
Distance and angle are both important in positioning. Find an unobstructed view of likely challenges. Keep your body language positive to enhance a decision.
Be clear what the law says about arial challenges. Distinguish between fair and unfair contact. Acknowledge aggrieved players who feel they have been fouled.
Video 6 (corners)
Where is the ball, what is its destination? Is the defender looking at the ball or his opponent? Stay out of the penalty area. You will be able to see more from a little further away.
When taking up position in and around the penalty area, remember that angles are more important than proximity. Consider movement if you can’t get room. Don’t get too deep.
Our thanks to Graham for an entertaining and instructive evening.