Talk:Referee (association football)

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WikiProject Referees (Rated Start-class, Top-importance)
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I just don't understand why the English Wikipedia uses the word cautioning instead of Booked or Booking when a football player gets an yellow card. In every FIFA game when a player gets an yellow card, the comments says that the "player getting booked", not that the "player get cautioning". —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 19:32, 19 March 2007 (UTC).

Because booking is a slang term for the cautioning of a player. Law 12 does not refer to booking: "A player is cautioned and shown the yellow card" for the "cautionable offences." For the more serious offences, "a player, substitute or substituted player is sent off and shown the red card." —C.Fred (talk) 03:38, 20 March 2007 (UTC)
Before introduction of cards, players got cautioning and were booked. From the time with cards, players got/get cautioning by getting a yellow card and they were/are booked. It would be possible to caution and book if there a referee has no cards (maybe in very low leagues). In first it is important that he gets cautioning - and because referee should book this matter (he could forget all the cautionings a.s.o.), the comments says the phrase of "getting booked". -- (talk) 14:20, 24 November 2016 (UTC).
Due to technological progress, it may be that Referees will use apps in a few years? -- (talk) 16:34, 25 November 2016 (UTC).

Addition of External Link; relevance[edit]

On 20th December, user Shell Kinney unwound an edit I made to add an External link. This was done in good faith and apparently triggered by my check-in comment that I maintain the site (see history). Based on Shell's user page, she appears to be a self-appointed administrator who in good faith is working to keep the Wikipedia content clean of promotional links to external sites. Good for her. But she is nowhere near a domain expert.

On the surface, I can see this viewpoint. But I beg to differ in this "quick reaction" action. a) The site added is referred to and used by many referee associations all over the world and the USA b) It is maintained, like Wiki, for the benefit of the community and by the community c) The site is a one of a kind resource of links to current and historical rules of soccer, training material, equipment resources and the like d) The site is monitored and used by many FIFA referees who live and work within miles of me e) The site does not need anymore traffic nor links, it already ranks number one on the topic in Google, Yahoo and all other search engines. f) It is a non-commercial site with no advertising or other links. Purely information in nature for the profession as we know it. is number one and way, way ahead of any links to when searching in this topic area. is popular based on no action of mine other than to provide a site of useful and factual content. The ranking and links to the site have spread by word of mouth with others. I have never promoted it until maybe today.

So it appears, if I read the references correctly, I need you as other editors and users of this page to independently confirm the above information and deem the link is worthy before it should be added back in (likely by someone other than myself). Hence this discussion post on the topic as requested.

While on the subject, except for the FIFA link, the other External links are pretty poor and of a far lower quality. So it goes without saying that suggestions on other links to add should be mentioned here as well.
"Surplus Gadgets" —Preceding unsigned comment added by SurplusGadgets (talkcontribs) 04:21, 20 December 2007 (UTC)

New external link?[edit]

  • - a link collection of rule books and training materials for referees

This was added today. A quick scan says it's got lots of old versions of laws and may be useful. Has anybody, other than the editor originally adding it, been to the site and think it should be included? —C.Fred (talk) 04:23, 20 December 2007 (UTC)


The article section assistant refrees form association football should be merged, because the section is relitivly short and is directly related to the main refree. The article quality would also be improved as a wider scope for this article could be acheived.--Lucy-marie (talk) 15:52, 14 January 2008 (UTC)

Hi. Disagree. Directly related? Certainly not the same as. Just because an article is short (a stub) does not mean that we merge inappropriately to expand it. The first priority should be to expand the sum total of knowledge of the specific, before we drag in the related as a last resort. And as an ex-referee, I personally can assure you that the two jobs are far removed from each other in practice. If you propose broadening the spectrum like this, then the correct route would be to merge and rename - "Officials (football)" would be the most suitable. In closing, I would simply say that a referee (the boss) is not an assistant referee (the bossed), because only the referee, out of all the officials, can make a decision or carry out a sanction such as a red card - the other officials, including fourth official, can only provide an opinion to the referee. They have no powers during a game, only influence. So they are not as directly related as you assume. Thanks. Ref (chew)(do) 01:36, 16 January 2008 (UTC)
Disagree Udonknome (talk) 16:49, 19 January 2008 (UTC)

Ok then how about merging the pages in to Match officials (association football). This would draw a distinction between the refree on the pitch and the officials such as the linesman and the fourth official.--Lucy-marie (talk) 12:42, 3 February 2008 (UTC)

Hi again. For the reasons already outlined, I believe that no merger should be carried out involving Referee (football), because the referee (in the case of Association football), being the absolute controlling factor in the team of officials, is a separate and more responsible entity than the others, and has the final say on decisions of Law, the other officials merely advising or influencing whilst unable to make those decisions themselves. The other aspect which you seem to have overlooked is that, in competition and biographical articles, the terms are normally wikilinked when used to identify the roles of named persons - you would immediately disable this facility, as in this totally fictitious example:

Someland v. Acountry

Referee: Alan Wiley (England)
Assistant referee 1: Phil Sharp (England)
Assistant referee 2: Wendy Toms (England)
Fourth official: Uriah Rennie (England)
Fifth official: Amy Rayner (England)
For those reasons, any merger would be most illogical and unsuitable. Thanks. Ref (chew)(do) 14:22, 3 February 2008 (UTC)
I see where you are coming from but surley one article on at least the assitant refrees and the other officails would remove disparity of information and prevent linking to numerous pages which on thier own many not fulfill notability. Within the article there can be sections on the diffrent positions. I am not sugesting continuous pros removing the positions as seperate entities.--Lucy-marie (talk) 14:52, 3 February 2008 (UTC)
I will concede that, in the case of the assisting officials only, they could be made redirects to, say, Assisting officials (football), as long as there are clear sections and distinctions within the new article, explaining fully their roles and responsibilities. However, I must strongly disagree with Referee (football) being included in this, as they are now accepted as notable, even more so for the fact that some (as in the case of Professional Game Match Officials Limited in England) are now full-time paid employees specifically and exclusively in that role - it is their occupation and their notability. The other officials still only receive remunerations and expenses for their contributions to the sport. If you completely leave out the referee, I concede the rest. Thanks. Ref (chew)(do) 15:07, 3 February 2008 (UTC)
I shall leave out the main central refree, just merging the assistants in to one article under the title Assistant officials (association football).--Lucy-marie (talk) 15:29, 3 February 2008 (UTC)

How come articles about American football have to have the qualifier in them but articles about association football are just called "football?" Seems unequal. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:52, 14 February 2008 (UTC)

Please riase this issue atthe Wikiprojecy assocation football.--Lucy-marie (talk) 01:01, 14 February 2008 (UTC)
Because most of the world uses 'football' to mean 'association football'. The associated Wikiproject is WP:FOOTBALL (not WP assocation football). Paulbrock (talk) 17:15, 14 February 2008 (UTC)

Flag, hand and whistle signals[edit]

It might be good to add a section on the various signals used by referees. Rpvdk (talk) 14:32, 24 May 2009 (UTC)

What "signals used by referees"......? -- ChrisTheDude (talk) 20:33, 25 January 2013 (UTC)

2nd Merger Request[edit]

May I lend my weight towards a Match Officials article as it would represent the fact that all qualified assistant referee's are also qualified referee's and vice-versa. Therefore a match official in football is able to take up any of those roles without additional training. If an assistant referee gets injured in a top league, it is the 4th official who takes over who is usually primarily a referee. The quality of that article could easily get it to B class as-well. Thoughts? Geoff (talk) 23:31, 3 August 2010 (UTC)

FIFA's use of the term "match official" includes the match commissioner, the security officer, the referee inspector as well as the referee and assistants. Hack (talk) 04:09, 15 January 2013 (UTC)

Merge from Diagonal system of control[edit]

The material at Diagonal system of control is related to refereeing of football matches and I feel it can be adequately integrated into the existing page here. C679 15:03, 9 January 2013 (UTC)

I agree there is no need for separate articles. Camyoung54 (talk) 20:24, 9 January 2013 (UTC)
Note: This discussion has been included in WikiProject Football's list of association football-related page moves. GiantSnowman 15:50, 10 January 2013 (UTC)
I'm not sure the info from Diagonal system of control is necessary anywhere. It has one reference and doesn't seem to be a regular topic for third-party media. – PeeJay 16:27, 14 January 2013 (UTC)
I agree that it is a small article, however the information included in Diagonal system of control could definitely be incorporated into this article as another way to describe the way the referee acts on the field and the importance of the assistant referee. Camyoung54 (talk) 01:33, 16 January 2013 (UTC)

I agree also with this is can be merged — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:11, 13 May 2013 (UTC)

  • Merge looks fine to me, will go ahead and do it. GiantSnowman 12:31, 19 May 2013 (UTC)

Dan Tan[edit]

Worth mentioning in the article that refs are frequent targets of match fixing (let alone some of the more flagrant examples like Ibrahim Chaibou) given their ~$350/game pay and the importance of penalty kicks for soccer scores. I'm not sure which of the sources at Dan Tan discuss it directly, but it's in some of them if you don't want to just google around for it. — LlywelynII 09:17, 19 December 2013 (UTC)

Removal of section[edit]

I have removed the section titled "Referee bias". This section was essentially an abstract of a single research paper and had a focus that seemed too specific for this article. Language such as "The authors of the article mentioned above have developed such a causal probabilistic model that considered the important explanatory factors, and was applied to the English Premier League" is far too technical. There perhaps could be a section on "perceived criticism" but it would need to cover more sources than just this. --LukeSurl t c 09:15, 22 October 2014 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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"In doupt decision in favor of..."[edit]

Watchword, for a very long time in the past until the 1990ies, was "When in doupt decision in favor of defending team" - and from the 1990ies it changed into "in favor of attacking team" (due to law givers intention). But now it is said regarding to Bundesliga, maybe lower leagues too, that Referees row back to the first motto (especially in cases of deciding or not deciding a penalty kick). How do Referees in the UK handle? -- (talk) 13:25, 26 November 2016 (UTC).