The Football League Paper - - GRAHAM WESTLEY -

AS PART of my role on the LMA’s Tech­ni­cal Panel, I at­tended a work­shop or­gan­ised by the Pro­fes­sional Game Match Of­fi­cials to de­velop their mem­bers’ skills. It was a fas­ci­nat­ing ex­er­cise.

What be­came clear, was that an­gles (a step right or a step left), re­ac­tions, in­ter­pre­ta­tions, and even per­sonal ex­pe­ri­ences make a dif­fer­ence to de­ci­sions (be­cause how­ever hard we all try, we are all hu­man) and that we will never truly see con­sis­tency in de­ci­sion-mak­ing even if tech­nol­ogy be­gins to play a big­ger part. Be­cause so much still just comes down to opin­ion.

Around a work­shop ta­ble, the same in­ci­dent, un­der in­tense scru­tiny, led to tech­ni­cally skilled/trained people (refs and as­ses­sors) hav­ing dif­fer­ent and even op­po­site views.

When viewed from two dif­fer­ent an­gles, the same in­ci­dent looked like a harm­less trip on one hand and a po­ten­tial leg breaker on the other.

What was def­i­nitely ev­i­dent though, was that there is a big op­por­tu­nity for teams of of­fi­cials to work much more closely to­gether to im­prove de­ci­sion-mak­ing. The ref does have only one an­gle on things while his as­sis­tants and fourth of­fi­cial have more po­ten­tial to add their views.

It is im­por­tant that we are all will­ing to see strength in the ref­eree who seeks to use his team more com­pre­hen­sively to get de­ci­sions right. The ref who does check and bal­ance things is a wise man. Not a weak one.

We all get to hear about the ‘mis­takes’ ref­er­ees make. What is ev­i­dent when you get be­hind the scenes is that there are a lot of good men with a love of the game, in­vest­ing their time to learn about some in­tri­cate tech­ni­cal­i­ties (for in­stance, when is off­side ac­tu­ally off­side nowa­days?) and with the un­en­vi­able task of be­ing judged on a Satur­day af­ter­noon by two sets of pub­lic both want­ing ev­ery de­ci­sion to be the other way round.

It is great to know learn­ing is be­ing shared and opin­ions are be­ing ex­changed; per­for­mance will thus get bet­ter.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.