Sometimes after a bad game you can't help but thinking, "Maybe it's just me. Maybe I have no control over these games. Every other amateur game in the country went fine today except mine. I just have a way of winding players up. I really am getting all the decisions wrong. The players are right - I need new specs."
|No ball, no whistle, no game|
This is when sharing experiences with other referees becomes of paramount importance. I won't lie - in general, refs are a weird bunch. They don't necessarily have a great sense of humour, they are very rules-oriented (and thus rarely of a radical bent), and they are not particularly ready to open up or criticise authority. Which is a shame, because dialogue is essential to help us communicate what's going on out there, and how we can act to improve the levels of sportsmanship in the amateur game.
So whenever I encounter a fellow ref, it's usually me who does the running. "Where are you from?" and, "How long have you been reffing?" are the two standard opening questions of any polite conversation between two officials. Then I follow up with the question that takes us to a higher level