Thursday 6th Feb : Mike Desborough

The first Thursday of February saw Aldershot RA host Mike Desborough, a Level 3 referee, Football League assistant referee and RDO for Bedfordshire to deliver a session on communication and teamwork when we are refereeing. The evening started out with the youth section reviewing clips of difficult challenges and seeing what the referee did well and what we would do to overcome that sort of challenge during our games.


We then moved onto the main session with Mike and it was a unusual start as he asked us to listen to a motivational speech without the pictures. Then he had the members playing human noughts and crosses but with a twist of using different forms of communication (verbal, non verbal and visual) to dictate where to put your player to win the game. This challenged the team leaders to think of different ways we can communicate and how that can be focused into a match.  Not sure what everyone thought to having to move around!


The groups were then asked what attributes make up  good team that you can depend on during a match. Some of the best answers were trust, awareness,communication and consistency. Without these qualities then you would struggle on match day. The next group task was to make a paper plane, but again the challenge was doing it 3 different ways (verbal, written and non-verbal).  It was great to see how we all adapted to something that was slightly outside our comfort zone and how different forms of communication work in different scenarios.


The final part of the night was looking at videos of match based scenarios and looking to see what the referee could have done differently to help aid his match control. Then then led to the explanation of the “ripple effect” which means when a incident occurs the closest official gets “hit” by the ripple first and so is usually in the most credible position to make a decision.


Overall it was a great evening with another wonderful guest speaker and i’m sure our members learnt something to take home. We now look forward to March where our guest speaker is Dan Cook who is a Premier League assistant referee and recently promoted to FIFA assistant referee.