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Ref Camp Diary #2

By Cammy Macdonald
Wed, 1st Oct 2008 12:06pm

Consistency! It’s all we say we want from our referees. Every time referees decisions are analysed by journalists or pundits one of the biggest complaints is that the referee was inconsistent. Ok, by the time the 20 camera angles have dissected his performance and the pundits have decided he is incompetent the phrase "lack of consistency amongst officials" is repeatedly trotted out.

However, one thing that has become apparent at the Referee class is that whilst there are laws that govern the game of football, how an official applies them is all down to his opinion. Last night there were two scenarios which arose during our class, and in each of them the instructors who take the class would each have dealt with them differently. It did hammer home it home that the consistency we demand from our officials is something we will struggle to get as long as they are human beings and not robots.

An example of this is repeatedly every Saturday we watch yards being stolen at free kicks or throw-ins. And repeatedly we watch referees and their assistants ignoring what is an infringement which really does annoy spectators. On Saturday we watched the officials at Broadwood allow players to move forward at least five yards virtually every throw in. However, one of the instructors last night insisted that when he was refereeing he pulled the first one back, gave a foul throw and it ceased there and then. On Saturday he saw a foul throw given at a senior game for the first time; and this is not a guy who is just starting out.

So different referees are never going to apply the laws of the game consistently, but surely a referee being consistent throughout his game for 90 minutes is all we can realistically expect?


Every Friday night, Revival FM gives away a pair of tickets to the next Saturday home game, courtesy of the club. If you want the chance of winning a pair of tickets for the match against Dunfermline, just answer the following simple question about the laws of the game:-

A defender takes a free kick back to his keeper. However the keeper misses the ball and it goes into his goal without anyone else having touched the ball. What decision is given?

Send your entry and a contact number to [email protected] by 6pm on Friday night. Don't forget to listen to the show to find out if you've won!