Lisa Benn, Berks & Bucks RDO visits Reading RA

Our guest speaker for January was Lisa Benn, the newly appointed Referees’ Development Officer for Berks & Bucks FA. Lisa has been a referee for 10 years and is now a level 4 referee and a Futsal referee. She is a FA Referees Tutor, qualified to tutor on national FA events.

Last year was particularly exciting for Lisa; she was selected to go to America for the Dallas Cup. She also had her first international appointment to the Nordic Cup in Denmark and also went to Belarus for the Women’s U17 UEFA tournament.

For the evening, Lisa concentrated on two subjects; misconduct report writing and the future of refereeing in Berk & Bucks.

Lisa referred to report writing as the ‘Importance of doing your job off the field’ and she reminded members that reports must be submitted within two days of the game involved. Unfortunately, she said, the standard of report writing was generally not very high and she showed some examples of the reports received at the County FA. The following are complete entries:

  • “He was guilty of Foul and Abusive Language.”
  • “A serous foul was committed by a player injuring a player.”
  • “I stopped play and awarded a free kick and sent the player off for serious foul play.”
  • “All I heard was various expletives with supporting body language.”
  • “The player pushed an opponent so I took the appropriate action.”

“Why is the referee’s report important?” Lisa asked. The chain of events was considered:

For a caution the referees report is received and checked by the County FA. The club is then notified of the charge, which they acknowledge and pay the fine.

For a sending off or other misconduct; after the report is received and checked by the County FA it is sent to the club who have two days to appeal based on the content of the report.

When writing your reports, consider the following:

  • A precise and detailed account of the incident
  • The player’s full name
  • Time and location of the incident
  • If for offensive, insulting or abusive language, the actual words used
  • If for Serious Foul Play or Violent Conduct a description of the actual offence
  • Your view of the incident; was it clear and unobstructed?

It is imperative that separate reports are submitted for each incident, otherwise fines and charges may be missed.
Any incident after the final whistle will need to be submitted in misconduct report and not added to the sending off report.
Misconduct reports must be sent to the County FA only.

Leagues and clubs are more honest than one might think; they often ask where the report for an incident is. So if you haven’t sent it in, you will be caught out. Lisa also touched on the Whole Game System method of sending in reports. It makes referee reporting more efficient she said, there is help and support for referees to use WGS and club secretaries are abler to respond to cautions electronically.

Lisa then reviewed the last four months at Berks & Bucks FA, which included 120 new Level 9 referees having passed the new basic referees course, which she outlined. Lisa also looked ahead to what she planned for refereeing in Berks and Bucks:

  • Support all referees in the allied counties.
  • Develop our tutor workforce
  • Provide development opportunities for all referees
  • Level 4 Development Group
  • Develop links and support local RAs
  • Improve communications and support to our academies and academy co-ordinators
  • Develop mentor schemes and recruit a mentor co-ordinator.

Our thanks to Lisa for a full evening, we look forward to welcoming her back to Reading RA

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