Meet the ‘no-yellow-referee’ – Rodric Leerling

Meet the ‘no-yellow-referee’ – Rodric Leerling

The rookie ref confided to me during half time he’d rather not issue yellow cards. At least, he hadn’t done so in his last 20 or so (lower youth) games and he seemed convinced it didn’t fit his refereeing style.

But in my view, he should have given at least two yellows during 1st half. When confronted with these concrete game situations, he told me he considered this simply not his style. I was flabbergasted. And I told him so. In fact, I asked him to re-frase his apparent favorite statement. In stead of “I just issue yellow cards” I asked him to say “I haven’t issued yellow cards recently.”

During 1st half, he simply missed two clear yellow-card-situations. One for dissent: throwing away a ball when told the throw-in was for the other team. And the other for obstruction, blocking a player from passing. The ref knew the rule, strongly blew the whistle, but gave no warning whatsoever.

I told him this weak ref conduct would, 100% guaranteed, lead to game escalation one day. He nodded, and seemed to understand my critics. But I had my doubts. It simply didn’t seem to fit his shy character to take unpopular measurements. Shortly into 2nd half he had a chance to revenge himself when the away team indicated a substitution. Despite his clear instructions, the sub was done completely opposite to his instructions. The sub player entered the field before the exiting player was even pointed out. He didn’t make any comment and just noted the shirt numbers. Why he made the formal announcement at all was a mystery to me. To impress me perhaps?

It took me some time to write the assessment. Key question: could this new ref become a threat to himself refusing to use his  cards or can we as mentors train him to start using cards as healthy form of game control? This ref needs more mentoring. And a strict warning. I was thinking of a ref yellow card.

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