After going to watch the under 12 boys team I have been coaching play on Wednesday night, it got me thinking how bad the referee being shouted at is. But it gets worse than that, the guy who was shouting was supposed to be in charge of the team. Yet every single little thing that happened on the pitch he was blaming the ref, and not quiet about it at all.
Why can’t people accept that players will commit fouls and give away free kicks? It’s just part of the game, a slightly mis-timed tackle will happen every now and then. The other team will get a free kick so get on with it right? Well that’s what players should be taught to do.
As the game progressed this guy seemed to get worse but not only towards the referee but to the players as well. Screaming at the goalkeeper to come out for the ball (that has to be the goalkeepers decision, someone shouting at the keeper is not going to help at all). He was always shouting at them for missing a tackle, with a massive basis towards his own son. In all honesty I was shocked at the behaviour.
Everything was starting to get more edgy as well, the boys were then starting to get wound up by the shouting from the sideline. This guy even blamed the ref for the players getting more on edge, don’t think so at all it was his shouting from the line which started to get them fired up and not in a good way.
If you take away all of that shouting mainly directed at the referee it had the potential to be a very good game. I am sure this is not the only grassroots boys game that has been spoilt by people shouting from the sidelines and it most definitely won’t be the last which is such a shame spoiling the game for the players (and the other parents who just want to watch their child play football).
I think The FA need to push the respect campaign even further and really have a bigger attempt at getting this side of the game sorted out. Having someone shouting at the ref from the sidelines is not creating a very good environment for the players to thrive from a footballing sense.
This then links me to attending premier league matches and hearing the majority of the crowd constantly shouting abuse at the ref. I guess this is the environment a lot of the people who stand on the lines at grassroots football are used to and take that same shouting to the games. I don’t understand the blaming of officials at the top-level either, yes they will make a few mistakes but why go and watch your team if you are just going to come out at the end blaming the ref for something no matter what the result?
Another thing about the grassroots game has to be when the offside rule is brought in, obviously the ref is going to miss some offsides. They do not have linesmen or that should be assistant referee’s to be helping them out with those. So just remember if they miss some for your team they will miss some for the other team as well. The play will move faster than the ref can at times, so they will not always end up in the best position (not due to fitness, just the speed the ball can be moved).
It all makes no sense why can’t people concentrate on the game and just let the ref control the games and get on with it. This does seem to be something more related to the men and boys game than it does for the women and girls side of football.
So as coaches we must coach the players to concentrate on playing the game. The ref will not see everything but we must focus on playing our game!