Monday, 19 September 2011

JP Doyle deals with difficulty

London refs where treated to a pep-talk from the pocket rocket that is JP Doyle the Irish-English premier referee on Thursday. He spoke about focusing on the how you wanted your game to played and dealing with difficult  moments on the field. The two clear messages to come out of the talk were to believe that you will give those players a better game than anyone else by applying your own game philosophy. What ever that philosophy is, it should focus on making the game better for the players and spectators, if you are refereeing for yourself and not them, then you are refereeing for the wrong reasons.

Doyle had some interesting clips showing iRB refs responding to challenging situations. One of the good examples was Wayne Barnes giving two red cards in a Harlequins v Leicester game. 

Barnes has seen the incident clearly as it happen, he's gone to his AR, described what he's seen. He doesn't ask for any input from AR, he is using the time to clarify he thoughts and given the technology, explaining to TV why and what he going to do. He is calm, assetive and clear through out. 

Steve Walsh also featured. 

This clip sees the Waratahs get frustrated with Walsh and it all starts to get personal. Walsh's response to the dissent is unnecessary, the sarcasm only irritated the players further. 

Finally this clip of Dave Pearson

Clearly there is a lot going on here, it kicks off behind the referee, he is following the ball but the assistant referee, Sean Davey is watching the fight closely. Pearson approaches the AR to find out what is going on but then starts to suggest his own interpretation to the AR. Davey is trying but failing to give a perspective that Pearson fails to grasp. 

All three of these referees are highly experienced in pressure matches and the clips show us that remaining calm and focussed on an un-impassioned consideration of the evidence isn't always achievable. Barnes successfully uses the space of a chat to the AR to collect his thoughts and come to a clear and concise course of action. Getting time to deal with a situation on your won term is the most valuable thing you can manage, run through what you've seen, communicate clearly with other officials and players; deal with evidence, not emotion.

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