Yes, I have been a ref since I was 16. I am 25 now. I have just started to get more serious about being an official. I know that having a good pregame speech is a good indicator of how seriously you take your job as an official. I would like to have a pre-packaged speech before a game to give to both my assistants & the coach/captains. What I am asking is for an example of what to say.?.?

USSF answer (September 15, 2008):
Whoa! The referee should NEVER — let us emphasize it — NEVER, give a speech of any sort to the coaches and captains of the teams whom he or she is refereeing. Doing so only invites later criticism and shouts of anger when the “promises” made in the speech are not kept — not unlike our general run of politicians, who rarely deliver what they promise. Giving a speech to the players and coaches is simply pouring fuel on a fire that might not be extinguishable.

Nor should the referee have a long and fully packaged pregame conference for every occasion. There are too many variables, such as the experience of the referee, the assistant referees, the fourth official (if you are so lucky as to have one), the experience and skill levels of the players, the importance of the game, and many other factors.

In general, the referee should be certain that the ARs are familiar with and ready to practice the information contained in the USSF publication “Guide to Procedures for Referees, Assistant Referees and Fourth Officials.” Then the referee should give his/her fellow officials guidance on what is expected of them in field coverage and signals for various special situations.

1. Make eye contact with me at every through ball and at every stoppage.
2. Flag only for infringements that I cannot see; do not flag if it is clear that I can see it and have chosen not to call it.
3. Keep your signals simple, using only the signals authorized in the Laws of the Game. If something unusual occurs, for example, (whatever it happens to be), let us agree on this unofficial signal (whatever it happens to be).
4, If I miss your flag, keep it up for only a short time and then drop it. Leave it up only for serious fouls and misconduct.
5. Keep an eye out for signals by the other AR (or the fourth official) and alert me if I am missing something.

Go into great detail only on things that are unique to the particular competition, which may have rules different from the Laws of the Game.

You also need to remember that the pregame is a CONFERENCE, not a speech.  The days when the referee “lectured” the lowly subservient assistants on “the way things are going to be” are long gone — thank goodness.  The pregame is a discussion among equals, of whom the referee is the designated leader, not the dictator.  “Discussion” means that communication is two-way — the referee should be listening for important information from the appointed assistants, one or both of whom might know something the referee does not, may be more experienced, and may have officiated one or both of the teams before.  The participants in this pregame conference need to agree on their respective roles and responsibilities.  Only when there is not agreement does the referee decide what he wants for this specific game — remembering that the roles may be reversed in the next game.

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