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How Game Reports Must Be Done

Game Reports Must Be…

Informative, Complete, Accurate, and Legible.

Once the final whistle blows and the game is over, officials often believe that they are done.  Not true!!!!   The saying, “The job is not complete until the paperwork is done.”  definitely holds true in this case.

Law 5 lists the Referee’s Powers and Duties.  Among other duties, the referee

  • acts as timekeeper and keeps a record of the game
  • provides the appropriate authorities with a match report, which includes information on any disciplinary action against players and/or team officials and any incidents that occurred before, during or after the match.

Officials need to recognize the importance of these post game reports.  There have been cases of players being unfairly disciplined for incorrect calls or the wrong information being put down on the report; while others have escaped discipline altogether because of inaccurate or poorly written game reports.   Not only players, but coaches, teams and parents have been affected by these kinds of reports.

Here are some steps officials should take in order to get it right:

  • don’t leave the field until the paperwork is done and agreed upon by all the officials.
  • check the accuracy of the final score as well as any scorer’s number and the time of the score.
  • verify any guilty player’s name, number and time of any caution or ejection, as well the reason for each. There are only 7 reasons to show a yellow card and 7 reasons to show a red card.  Make sure you use ONLY THESE in your report and have the player’s pass in your possession.
  • neatly and legibly fill out and sign the game card and any additional report. Penmanship is very important.
  • your description of what happened should be without personal opinions or prejudices. The facts and only the facts should be put down.  Who, what where, when and how should guide your writing.

If the report is properly submitted, there should be no reason for anyone to further contact and question the officials.  The report should speak for itself.

Remember, the players, coaches, teams and families rely on you to write accurate reports without any of your prejudices or opinions.  Be informative, complete, accurate and legible.

Pat Ferre

US YOUTH SOCCER (2021 Volunteer of the Year) USSF Referee Grade 15 Emeritus USSF Referee Instructor USSF Referee Assessor USSF Referee Assignor District-7 Youth Referee Administrator (DYRA)