In every soccer match, there are three teams involved... the Home Team, the Visiting Team, and the Officiating Team. The officials' preparation should be no less exhaustive than that required to place a soccer team on the field. Consider:
Referees should always look and be more disciplined than the players. Dress professionally, with socks pulled up and shirt tails tucked in. Leave the sun glasses at home. Enter and leave the field as a Team. Carry and use your flag properly.
Establish yourself just above the level of the players... close enough to be approachable for questions, and far enough so that you are untouchable in matters of dispute.
Decide before the match who will be responsible for what, and how you will respond to various situations. Determine how you will communicate with each other. A good, interactive pregame will help avoid - or at least ease - problems later.
The Referee should establish full eye contact with each Assistant early and frequently in the match. This forms a cooperative bond, assures good communications, and cements the Team.
You are handling more than a game, but a collection of individuals who see events in different ways. Study the players, their tactics, and their temperaments. Try to experience what they are experiencing. Referees who do not are powerless to deal appropriately with player conduct... or misconduct.
Resist the temptation to examine your decisions. A Referee who appears indecisive loses respect. You must learn to use your experience to act quickly and forcefully.
The Assistant Referee is there to assist the Referee, not to manage the match. However, the Assistant is a part of the Team, and any dissent against an Assistant is to be treated the same as dissent against the Referee.
As Abraham Klein says in his book, The Referee's Referee, "Arrayed against us are both teams - players, coaches - and most fans. It is just about even, as long as we stay together."
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