Thursday night saw over a third of Aldershot RA’s members brace the warm summer evening over at the Polo Fields in Aldershot to learn about the ‘Art of Assisting’ from Steve Scott, our resident trainer. After a short warm-up, we were taken through the basics of flagging and signalling for offences, something that only comes as second nature after seasons of practice. Remembering to keep the flag facing the field of play and in sight of the referee at all times is a key part of the communication between the team – so that ‘leading’ signals for throws can be seen. As we found out, moving with the flag and ensuring it was in the correct hand before signalling takes a little bit of concentration!

We discuss the decisions we have to make as an Assistant...
We discuss the decisions we have to make as an Assistant…

The group then split into two teams to participate in some light-hearted movement races, to get the brain switched on and the legs moving, and Steve showed how this could be adapted for some great individual training sessions. Then came the time to put everything we had learnt into practice as one, through following ‘defenders’, ensuring you kept in line and giving those all-important decisions in the correct hand.

Everyone appreciated the importance of ‘assisting’ rather than ‘insisting’, and it was great to see some discussion taking place about credibility and managing situations when you are an assistant referee. Feedback from members on the session was extremely positive, and as a result we hope to be running even more of these sessions in the near future. We believe that the best way of developing skills as referees is by going out and doing or observing others do!

Huge thanks go to Steve for his excellent efforts in organising, planning and leading the practical session.

Photos will be up in the photo gallery shortly 🙂

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