At present technical foul is considered usual, normal, “light” violation. We do not speak about cases, when aggression, amoral behaviors and provocation are obvious. We try examining the reactions of players, disagreements with the decisions made by referees, the disturbances of coaches and other participants.
The task, which is put before us — not to reject a technical foul as such but try to look widely, that is, to find possibilities besides technical foul — short and clear conversation, warning, conversation (discussion) with the coaches, players, with the captain, sometimes strict look on the player.
Each referee who gave technical foul is right in his solution, as he tried to save your decision by the rules. But if we have in our arsenal some other, nonstandard psychological methods and approaches to find a solution, then we must try, bearing in mind what we know about players, their characters, how they behaved earlier in such situations etc.
Technical foul is always a conflict. But inside any conflict there is never a one side only. Put yourself on the place of players; you can imagine how you would react to technical foul. Would you agree with this solution? Would you respect referee for a strict solution — technical foul? Hatred, spite, anger, fears — only negative qualities are present on the court in these times.
Role of the referee is not to give to these negative emotions a channel to go further out. It is necessary to use all possible positive methods and only use technical and disqualifying fouls as last chance. The main thing is referee must give chance to all participants to correct their behavior.
Game is always a dialogue. There are contacts between all participants. The referee has more rights and authority in the game than others. There is a force of referee — to use responsibilities and rights. But sometimes it is useful just to ask: “Are you always correct giving a technical foul?”
Analyzing many game situations with technical fouls, sometimes it is possible to say that many fouls could be not fixed or could be avoided. Neither coaches nor players usually seem to be aggressive or nervous or telling something against referees before the game, so they do not want to receive a technical foul. They friendly meet each other before the games, and wish to referees a good job. However, what does occur, when referees give to player a strong punishment? Is such foul always correctly fixed? Are really only players and coaches guilty?
American specialists of officiating calculated that about 70% of disagreements with decisions of referees go back to the erroneous solutions (decisions) made by referees. This is our main problem during the games.
For example: ball goes out of bounds from the given player and referee erroneously gives the ball to the same player who last touched it and even didn’t look for partners to assist. Opposite team would always disagree with referee’s decision, but due to the disturbance, referee punishes nervous, emotional player by technical foul. When some player disagrees with the decision and expresses his disagreement, usually technical foul follows and all accept this. This is the referee’s right by the Rulebook. Everyone knows the Rules.
Yes, this is an action, which cannot be disregarded, but still it is possible to find different versions of any decision. To call technical foul is the simplest solution (decision). But here we also have warning, short and strict conversation with the coach or the player etc. – all may be seen as means of solving the problem in our games.
It is very important for the referee to control actions and correctly use authority and rights (duties). This gives chance for the dialogue, understanding of game situations, feeling of game, respect of players, coaches. You therefore can obtain not anger and hate, but respect regarding you and your decisions. Give a chance to any player or coach to correct their behavior by themselves during the games. This will always be appreciated by coaches also players. We have a lot of examples. The reaction of player, team or coach is always emotional and often aggressive. Everything, of course, is subjective, and each participant has a right to make an error. All people, everyone makes mistakes.
Each violation, serious conflict must be analyzed by referee.
At present the following recommendation is given to all referees — for each unquotable statement (bad words) to punish without the warning by technical foul. This must be taken into consideration, but let us attempt to analyze our today’s life, living conditions, situations, in which live all players, coaches, referees. Bad words, unmoral behaviors — became the standard of life. It is present everywhere: at home, during the training, in the street, in the school, in Universities, etc. It cannot be avoided. To be insulated only at games from the entire world — this is clearly impossible. To punish by technical foul — this is within the rules. But will such resolution also resolve the very problem we face? Will the punishment as itself be sufficient or not?
This question we must put before any referee. Tactically, for the short time interval the answer is yes. You may intimidate player or coach by sanctions, but strategically the answer is no! And hardly will any player understand something deeply and honestly thanks only to punishment or penalties. It is necessary to bring up, to teach, to explain, and not only to judge, for you do not judge one time only. In many such game situations there must be deep approach to the problem. It is easier just to give a foul, for it is always possible to cover yourself by the Rulebook and by its articles.
But to be a participant in the game, to be intelligible and objective, by creating positive atmosphere, too – it is a mission of referee! To use all methods: conversational monologues, official and friendly warnings and finally, if only needed, to give a FOUL! Clever player will understand that he was not right, that you gave him a chance to correct himself, which he did not use. This will be obvious for everybody. Referee must understand why at all he gives a technical foul – it is not a way to earn authority, experience, class status, professionalism. “Do not judge — and you won’t be judged, too”!
After giving a chance to player and coach to correct their behavior, without giving penalties, you can receive more than respect as referee and personality. Tough remark, thrown behind your back, but left without your attention and punishment, does tell much, yet not about your weakness, but about your WISDOM!
Find more range (kinds) of solutions (decisions) – it will give you more (ways) versions of dealing with difficult situations. You must be diplomats.
Diplomat, during the conflict, never works by emotions. He regulates everything by his mind, intellect and knowledge. There are many examples in the history, when large conflicts were solved by diplomatic channel, without the excess of emotions and aggression. This way must be used by referees. Do not wait, do not search for violations — just officiate the game! Experience and confidence come with years! Good luck!