Walking Football Referees Are Failing The Game

This post was copied from the Walking Football United website. What are your views?

Not quite the headline any of us want to read, but without  doubt, one that needs putting out there. Not shy of shirking sentiment or hiding behind hope or naivety, you can count all of the entirely top referees on a leper’s hand. Countless others are somewhere near average, but generally a huge majority are just plain awful. WFU can name as little as three that are head and shoulders above anything else seen out there, with a few works in progress, but generally the game is plagued by incompetent, inefficient refs, and far too many ‘tolerant’ and inadequate officials.

It is staggering to find four years down the line, the same, tiresome issues blighting the game. Running and physicality. It is even more incredulous to find that the majority of referees out there cannot distinguish between a walk and a run, a quick walk and a jog. Is it really such a difficult task? Players are getting away with sprinting and quick paced jogging. How on earth are officials unable to differentiate extremes and continue refereeing games when it distinctly states that the game is ‘walking football?’ The tolerance of anything other than walking or quick paced walking is negligent and continues to discredit the game, especially to those outside of the sport. We all want the game to be taken seriously, but unfortunately all evidence continues to undermine the credibility of the game.

Forget one day ‘intensive’ referee courses, with a derisory 10-15 minute practical examination. All that does is clog up the cistern/system and put us back to square one – more inefficient referees not of the understanding and experience required for the competitive game. We can only hope that salvation comes in the form of the impending FA referee courses, where applicants may be observed over one or two bona fide competitive matches to determine suitability for accreditation.

Players of senior ages need protection. The referee has the sole responsibility of that role. Again the current mode of thought is that they are failing. A poor interpretation of minimal contact continues to befuddle referees. The range is far too wide and differs from referee to referee, player to player. Players are getting hurt. Non-contact also throws up the same conundrum. Referees are far too tolerant of players’ feet ‘gong in.’ Defenders are without doubt the worst offenders, and are quite content winning the ball at whatever cost is necessary – ball, player, both. Here lieth the cloggers. Some are clumsy, but that is an excuse. Others are cynical. Many are just plain thugs living out their former youth exploits.

The game neds ridding of these loathesome cretins.

WFU makes no apologies for spelling out the blindingly obvious, and dare It be said, we’ll all be having the same conversations several years down the line. Players won’t change, and raise the tariff to the referee’s failabilities. Referees are in short supply and are being trained inadequately. You Tube succinctly provides all of the evidence to sustain the argument that the game is plagued by  a derisory amount of inadequate, failing officials. Locally, county-wide, and nationally.

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