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Author Topic: The Role of the Referee - The most important aspects  (Read 13905 times)
The Saint
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« on: February 01, 2006, 03:03:56 PM »

I was just going over some important points with a few of my friends who hope to one day aspire to be a world class referee, and I figured that such a topic would be useful to have on here. I believe this topic had been on here before the great crash of '05. But felt it was important to have up for any newcomers who may be interested in such a career, as we welcome them to the board.

So go ahead and post any points of interest you may feel pertain to the subject, and feel are important in the making of a good referee.

I'll start off with what I feel is one of the most important jobs of a referee (as I stated in an earlier post), and that is to be sure that two competitors are in synch with one another, and in the case that they are not, stop their priming before either player is able to deliever a throw.

Such occurances may take vastly different tolls on a match, sometimes good for some players, sometimes bad for others, sometimes, with a seasoned perfessional can be used to their advantage. Any case, the best case is to not allow for it to happen in the first place, and that is the role of the referee.
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martinburley
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« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2006, 03:30:42 AM »

Wow, excellent topic!

In terms of character, I'd say a good referee has confidence - a clearly confident referee is likely to gain the respect of the players, and have the poise and courage to make the tough and tricky calls when required.

There are a lot of important qualities, as well as technical issues that developing referees should be aware of, and I hope that plenty of them will be discussed in this thread.

For the moment, however, I want to look at it from a slightly different angle.

A referee is expected to ensure players play by the rules of the game... to perhaps be a little lenient to novices but to require high standards from all other players. He or she is expected to judge the intentions behind a player's actions, ruling (and perhaps penalising) accordingly.

A referee is expected to be able to earn the respect of the players and be someone they can turn to for advice (where appropriate e.g. rules clarification). He or she is, ultimately, trying to create a sacred space for the duration of the game... a space within which the players have the opportunity to compete at their best (whether or not they meet this challenge)... and to do this the referee must ensure the space is one in which the players honour the spirit of RPS in their play.

Hopefully no-one would take issue with that description. But let us think... outside of competitive matches, who is it who fulfils the same role?

Encouraging novices... challenging players to excel... demanding respect for the game and punishing illegal play... holding the trust and respect of the players... clarifying rules or other confusing points... embodying the spirit of RPS in their actions... surely this could be a point-by-point job description for an RPS trainer/mentor/tutor?

One of the differences between good referees and great referees is that great referees implicitly recognise this and act in this way. (Just today, for example, Mr. Fox posted an encouraging message to a novice bullboarder.)

To summarise (about time, I hear you say), when players are training, their trainer is their master. When players are no longer training, the game itself is their master. And in competitions, the referee is the living embodiment of the game.
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Jef Hallestone
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« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2006, 01:12:39 PM »

I tried out to be a referee once and was denied a license due to my making one small error and calling a rock vs. scissors a stalemate. Ok, fine, big mistake, but I was darn nervous and I guess it showed.

In training matches I never made that mistake, but non-other than Brad Fox was doing the final testing so I think you can all understand that how nervous that can make a guy (which I guess is the point). Anyway, fine I am not ref material but before I left Brad gave me a little slip of paper that I carry about with me all the time now.

It is the WRPSS referee creedo which every ref at the World Championships carries on their body. This is done in honour of the ref that all refs aspire to emulate: none other than Chuck "Stripes" Swalla who was famous for saying:
Quote
"I believe in firmness, compassion and fairplay"


Anyway, here is the WRPSS refs creedo which I think sums about everything ones needs to know about being an RPS ref:

Quote
I shall always:
? Maintain the utmost respect for the game of RPS
? Maintain the dignity of my position
? Support a professional separation from both players and coaches.
? Be loyal to my brother officials, and never permit or promote criticism of them.
? Control the players effectively by being courteous and considerate without sacrificing firmness.
? Live up to the credo of the ideal official who notices everything but is seldom noticed themselves.
? Consider it a privilege to be a member of the WRPSS and will uphold its ideals at all times.
? Never allow personal relationships to affect my professional standards


Understanding this will not help your game, but it will help you better understand the people who help us play the game which I think is important.[/color]
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Jef Hallestone
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Brad Fox
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« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2006, 02:14:46 PM »

The previous thread, to which I think you were referring Saint, was really focused more on the retaining of referees by tournament organizers - I don't think we've had a good discussion about the mechanics of match adjudication for some time.

I agree with you saint, that throwing off un-synched primes is probably one of the most important (and probably most called upon) roles of the referee in the early rounds of any tournament.

One of the brightest (but trickiest) aspects of such a widespread sport as RPS is that dispite the best efforts of the WRPS to standardize the rules many regional variances will creep into play styles. UK "Pony"-style paper, American "table-priming", or Chilean horizontal-priming all could be disconcerting on one's first view.  At a tournament where one is encountering many different types of players it's understandable that all players will need a period of adjustment.

I also agree that decisiveness and a strong backbone are critical requirements of a neophyte referee. Professional play attracts strong, vocal, personalities who will not waver from trying to bully or intimidate a new referee. While this is often a blind for their own lack o f skills, it is still an unfortunate reality of the entry level tournaments where many Zebras cut their stripes.

RPS parents are the worst. While their children are often cordial and well mannered, I've seen parents go after refs like you wouldn't believe. The officiaries awareness program entitled: "You had your chance" is just one response to the growing spectre of parent - referee altercations at junior level tournaments.
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The Saint
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« Reply #4 on: February 02, 2006, 03:04:23 PM »

Brad, thats what I thought, but I wasn't sure, and I though that a topic of this nature would be a very beneficial topic to have on the board. It even play a bit of the "get to know your referee" role.

A referee, as stated should have a commanding control over each and every match, which often requires (much like a police officer) a stern and sometimes threatening demeanor. However, the referee should also not be so overwhelming that even the most innocent of people are afraid to aproach them and ask for help.

I felt that this topic could help with the player to officiator relationship. Serving as an easy way to communicate pros and cons of the role of an officiator, and how a middle ground can be met on any situation in which a debate may arrise. By stating some of the important roles of a referee and general talk about officiating positions, will help to create a better RPSing atmosphere.

-St.
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The Saint

"In the name of the Rock, the Scissors, and the Horizontal Paper, Amen"



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custardchuk
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« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2006, 08:48:49 AM »

I've got a credo. "Don't tell me your problems and and i won't tell you mine."
Nothing gets my goat more than referees complaining.
You don't like RPS parents? Nor do I, but you won't hear me carping on about it.
A free tip. Stay impartial.

rergards
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