As an upgrading referee, the requirements include passing the fitness test, passing a written exam, officiating in a bunch of qualifying games -both referee and AR , as well as completing and passing at least 3 assessments (a passing mark is 70.5%). It is this last point that has ruffled my feathers a bit this season. Throughout my 14 years of officiating, I have always been told that one of the key attributes to a great official is his ability to be consistent. Well, this point should also be made true for assessors. There have been plenty of times where at the end of what I think was a fantastic game, an assessor has approached my crew and I for a briefing and everything that comes out of his mouth leads me to believe that I did in fact have a great game and will pass with flying colours. One thing in my Association, which many people think is strange, is that when being assessed, referees are very happy with a 71% or 72%, and we are not happy at all with high marks of 80% or higher. I know this might sound strange to some people reading this however, the thinking goes like this…
If you are refereeing at your level, and given that the game you are officiating is challenging enough then you should be scoring around 70% because no referee is perfect! If you are performing above your level, then a score of 71% or 72% is the norm. Anything much higher than that (80% and above) usually suggests that the game was too easy and not challenging or competitive enough, and therefore it is not a good test of your abilities as an official.
OK, so, now that we’ve cleared up the marking scheme, back to what I was ranting about. After being debriefed by the assessor, I usually leave a game with the expectation of a mark of 71% or 72%. Two days later I get an email that alerts me of my pending assessment. I log into the system, pull up my profile and take a look at my assessment – 70.5%
Yes…this is a passing mark and, Yes…I shouldn’t be complaining but, the problem is in the assessment report itself! Assessors need to be consistent!!! Throughout most of my assessments, there are areas (which are marked out of a total of 5 points) where there is not one negative comment or criticism mentioned, and yet I only get a mark of 3/5.
The other point of inconsistency regarding assessors is that they all give conflicting information! How on earth is this possible? The LOTG are WORLD WIDE! The standards to which we strive to uphold, as well as the mechanics and guidelines that are taught to us are universal and come directly from FIFA, so why aren’t all assessors saying the same thing? Example – One assessor has told me that the accepted method for cautioning a player is to record first, then display the card. A different assessor has told me the opposite. In both instances I have lost marks because I was listening to what are supposedly senior officials and assessors who are supposed to be helping me improve. Instead, I get docked marks because of it. It’s time for our governing bodies to start driving the point about consistency not only to referees, but to their assessors as well, and start holding yearly meetings/education sessions to discuss what sort of things are/aren’t accepted at that moment otherwise, we will continue to lose precious marks because of assessor inconsistency.
In conclusion….to sum it all up…
The Third Blind Mouse