Coaches and Officials’ Relationships

The relationship between coaches and officials often seems to be adversarial.  Both have an important and necessary role to fulfill during a match.  Knowing and understanding each other’s concerns, needs and expectations may lead to a more harmonious relationship.

The following lists are a compilation of various readings dealing with this issue and are not all inclusive.

What Coaches like Referees to Know:

  1. Act/Dress in a professional manner. Show respect toward players and coaches.
  2. Have a thorough knowledge of the Laws of the Game and mechanics.
  3. Be consistent when making calls and decisions. Show confidence.
  4. Keep the game moving
  5. Look for dangerous situations/plays and strive to keep the athletes safe.
  6. Do not go into a match with the appearance of having prejudged a coach or team
  7. Avoid coaching a player
  8. Referees should not consider themselves the most important factor in a match.

What Referees like Coaches to Know:

  1. Have everything ready to go so the game can start on time
  2. Refrain from bringing up past contests or situations. Officials must concentrate on the match at hand.
  3. Know the Laws. Read the rule/Law book.  Don’t waste the officials time with matters in which you should have known the rule/Law.
  4. At an appropriate time, approach an official with respect when questioning or asking for an explanation of a call.
  5. Respect and support officials. Refrain from indulging in conduct which could incite players or spectators against the officials.
  6. Referees do not openly criticize or insult coaches in front of a group of players or spectators. It would be nice if the coaches would refrain from doing so.
  7. Officials are the guardians of the Laws of the Game and coaches should not blame the officials for enforcing their Powers and Duties.

Coaches and referees should regard themselves as fellow sportsman.  They are there to serve the game and have the primary goals of safety and enjoyment for the players and spectators in attendance.