|T O P I C R E V I E W
The LKA would like to discuss its draft AGM proposals at the LKA development meeting to be held at Whitgift School on 15th April. The draft proposals can be found on the LKA website (http://www.londonkorfball.co.uk/index.php?p=news/new&nid=141)
Please come along prepared to discuss the issues addressed by these proposals. Constructive criticism is welcome as are alternative proposals. The proposals can also be downloaded as a PDF from the LKA website.
|| Everything seems really good to me except the reffering thing.
Im not sure how other people sitting on the sidelines and dishing out 'cards' can help.
all its doing is telling the ref thats actually doing the game that they wasnt good enough and will knock there confidence even more.
And what happens when the ref doesnt agree with the the non ref who wants to report the person another arguement? the ref getting talked into reporting someone when they didnt think they needed to give them a card during the game?
just give the refs more feedom to issue yellow cards and issue harder punishments for repeat effenders.
|| I agree.
If you're going to have someone observing, with the power to cite, that should be entirely separate from the on-pitch referee, not subject to his/her aproval, and the decision should not be communicated to the player/team until after the game.
But overall, very positive and sensible proposals.
SKA Development Officer
|| I like these proposals. I'm very heartened to see a proposal to make the recreational part of the game more informal and hence both more accessible and more responsive to fluctuating recruitment and drop-out rates.
On the refereeing proposal (#4), I think the principle behind it is sound, but not its application. As it's currently worded, it could create a potentially messy situation with lots of finger pointing.
I do, however, recognise the need for disciplinary committees (not referees!) to get information from other sources to do their job. I have on several occasions wished as a referee that there was a way of putting an incident on report where I didn't see the root cause so that the disciplinary committee could follow it up (and also follow up a player whose name started appearing on multiple reports) even though I was unable to issue a card at the time. Eye-witness accounts from other refs and officials who happen to be present, or even video if it was available, would be very helpful in this case. I think rugby league offers their referees this facility and I think it works well.
What we also need is for "issuing cards" and "taking further disciplinary action after the game" to be seen as two separate things. There's obviously overlap but there are several occasions where a card should be issued without the need for follow-up and several incidents where a disciplinary committee should be aware of what's happened but where I didn't feel I had enough information or didn't feel it appropriate to issue a card to a specific player at the time.
|| Thanks for the comments.
I think your comments about using qualified referees to cite abusive behaviour are valid and I am always open to new suggestions. However, all that I've heard is that the proposal is a bad one. Can anyone suggest an alternative way of cracking down on abusive behaviour towards referees, particular at the recreational level?
|| Give out more cards. korfball players tend to push the boundary as cards are rear if you give out more cards to beginners these beginners are less likly to be abusive as they work they way though the levels.
higher fines for cards. recreatioal players are probably not put off by geting a ban for the next game as there most likely to not be playing anyway everyweek.
at your mini tournaments make a telow card a one game ban and a red the rest of th tournament. if a player has given up 5+ hours to play for the day im pretty sure there not going to want to miss out on a hunk of the day and again if new players see cards being given out and other players missing out then they are less likely to do it themself
|| Thanks for that.
I would argue that referees have the power to give out cards for abuse right now, but don't. I personally think that there is a cultural problem and that new referees are reluctant to give out cards to people part of a small community, particularly abusive players that are viewed as senior players. Is this a problem that others think needs to be tackled? Would higher fines solve this problem?
|| Although I don't have a ready-made solution for the problem, I think there needs to be a far bigger responsibility for the team or captain? At the moment, it seems that it's the referee's problem in the first instance and the EKA's in second, without any direct consequences for the team. Make the team as a whole suffer for their abusive player(s), not just the player him/herself.
|| I wholeheartedly disagree with Steve. Cards should serve an in-game purpose and disciplinary action should serve a wider long-term purpose. There is overlap but the two are not the same.
Knowing that a yellow card results in a one-game suspension makes me less likely to issue one, especially for other offences besides abuse.
The same is true of fines. I'm a referee, not a judge or a policeman.
I referee in order to serve the game and enable a match to be played. I'm not there to dish out fines and suspensions.
Liam, I would suggest that a workable alternative is to enable referees to put incidents on report for follow-up by the disciplinary committee, where they can call on eyewitness accounts and video if it's available to take disciplinary action after the game. No referee should be isolated when making disciplinary decisions, which they are at the moment. Let's free them up to call the rest of the game.
|| And on Arnold's point: solving abuse in-game by punishing the team is a much better solution. In fact, I've already thought about how this might work in practice.
In rugby, backchat is penalised by advancing the ball 10 metres down the pitch. In korfball, this doesn't quite work, but a similar system would be to penalise backchat by "upgrading" the decision as follows:
- A defensive re-start is upgraded to an attacking re-start
- An attacking re-start is upgraded to a free pass
- A free pass is upgraded to a penalty
- A penalty is upgraded to a penalty-plus-possession: the referee clears the area around the basket of all players, the taker takes the penalty (no rebounds), and the taker's team re-starts play from the half-way line regardless of whether or not the penalty was scored. In other words, the backchatter's team forfeit the right to re-start the game after the penalty has been scored.
Once you've exhausted all those possibilities then perhaps you can think about getting cards out but by then the captain should have taken the offending player out of the situation or the coach should have benched him/her.
|| To use cricket as an example.
There was a league rule that was introduced just before I stopped playing where any direct disent to an umpire led to a ban and fine for the player and for the captain for not controlling their players.
There are no yellow cards in cricket. If it's felt a greater punishment for disent/ abuse of referees is required would it be of benefit if the coach and/or captain were awarded the equivalent of a yellow card as well, for failing to control their players?
This could shift the management of this undesirable behaviour back to the teams as the result of the disent/abuse has a wider impact.
Cambridge Phoenix Korfball Club.
Cambridge's best Korfball Club in Green!
|| I'm not sure that yet more rule changes are needed if you are not implementing the ones that exist.Refs should be able to run games with the right experience. (though I have no knowledge of the LKA)
Before last season the NWKL sent the usual 'respect yor refs' memo but with the addition of emphasising the role of captains in the well being of their team, recommending the use of time outs to calm agitated players etc, bigging up their responsibilities. Also for the most part, we assigned the more experienced refs to do the potentialy tougher games. We had very few problems in the end, but you can never be complacent.
Sometimes it's just little things like this you need to do, but again I dont know the conditions in the LKA.
Proposal 6: The LKA proposes to limit the length of the indoor league in order that the league doesn’t last too long and to make it less like likely that there will be gaps in the fixtures. A shorter season should help to keep established players sufficiently fresh to participate in summer development activities.
Oh yes, please. I've just worked out that our second team finished their season 8 weeks (!!!) before our first team do.
Supernova Korfball Club - Central London's Korfball Club
Training every Wednesday, near Waterloo Station
|| The agenda for the LKA development meeting to be held at Whitgift school on Sunday 15th April is on the LKA website. The meeting will be held from 11.00-13.00.
|| On the reffing side of things, I'd like to see more thought being given by clubs as to how they are supporting their new refs, as well as thought being given on how to reduce the abuse of refs.
In the lower league matches that I have watched, I have seen inexperienced refs turn up to matches, and attempt to ref a game with no support whatsoever from their own club. I have to say that at the lowest league level, I have seen frustrated players, but not huge amounts of abuse of the ref from players. (It's more of a problem at higher level games when abuse can come from more experienced players.)
My proposal would be to consider different ways of supporting those new / inexperienced refs, eg 1) If a club is sending an inexperienced ref to a match, contact the home team beforehand and ask them if there is an experienced player / ref who could make them feel welcome when they arrive, put them at their ease, and possibly even provide feedback at half time. If this is done in advance, then it would be supportive, rather than confrontational.
eg 2) Consider using home team refs for lower team matches, especially where there are more than one team playing at the same venue. These home team refs could either be experienced refs, or they could be inexperienced, with an experienced ref assessing them / giving them feedback. Some people might find it tricky to ref their own club members, but others may find it less intimidating than reffing 16 people they've never met before.
Croydon Tournament at Royal Russell School on Sunday June 24th
Have just noticed that the LKAdevelopment meeting clashes with the juniors games at 11.40. Regretably this will impact those involved in Bec, Bromley, Croydon, Nomads and possibly Trojans juniors.
I thought this meeting was originally scheduled to start at 10am?
|| To echo Anna's point, I am very much behind home clubs refereeing their own games at a local league level. Due to errors or referees not making it in time, it has happened a couple of times to the team I have coached this season. On these occasions it has worked absolutely fine.
As Anna states, it has a lot of merits for new refs and also means less travel for players who can/want to ref. It should definitely be put into place where two teams from the same club play each other.
For me, it is contingent that teams accept the ref's decision without bias (I have yet to see this to be a problem when we have had a home club ref) and a feedback mechanism for both teams to rate the ref in case there are consistent concerns.
This is not an ideal situation and would not put in place to regional league but I think has significant merits at the lower level.
|| Would LKA members prefer to have the meeting from 12.30-14.30? Although this will clash with the Mitcham vs Bec game.
|| Speaking as an interested outsider... I broadly liked the proposals and wonder how they could be applied to other regions.
I have a few reservations with regard to the refs bit though. I think the only way a non-officiating qualified ref could cite a player was if they were a neutral spectator at the game, ideally present to give feedback to the beginner ref. I cant see how a player or coach (who just happens to also be a ref) can make an unbiased judgement in the heat of a game. You could in theory have a situation where a player cards their opponent!!
A mentoring system i think is the way forward and is something we have tried to implement in the northwest over the last few years. Clearly the theory exam does not adequately prepare someone to ref a league match, though sometimes in the past it has been a case of "well your're the only one available", and we give them a whistle and sort of hope for the best. We now ask clubs to get their newer refs to start doing games in training, so at least they get some experience, and any major errors in the knowledge of rules can be corrected sooner, and in a more informal setting.
Clubs are responsible for their appointments (we have neutral refs), so they can ensure first time refs get their least contentious games when they are ready to do full length games - Its not a written rule but clubs will expect each ref to do a game or two. The two captains are informed before the start that there is a debut ref and to ensure their players behave themselves. It has also helped that we have moved to a MGV format which means there is usually an experienced ref present to give feedback as a qualified neutral. Indeed if we know its someones first game we can normally arrange for someone else to go along if needed. This in particular seems to have helped as 1) Refs are more confident as they dont feel so alone, 2) Any guidance to refs can be given in an objective manner at half time or at end of game, rather than a player telling them they dont know the rules etc, 3) Players seem generally happier as they can see we are actively attempting to improve standards, and I have been very impressed by the standard of some of our refs who only did the the theory 6 months ago.
While I dont know the level of dissent at LKA level, it also helps if refs are always prepared with cards at matches in case they need them. Im guessing at recrational level often refs may not have them. We issued each NWKA ref that passed the theory exam a whistle and red/yellow cards. The cards were cut out from A4 so cost virtually nothing - You could even cut them to credit card sized to fit into wallets so they dont lose them - Anyone playing in NWKL knows for a fact that the ref WILL have cards on them.
While this has not eliminated all problems it has certainly helped, though I would agree that some newer refs would not feel confident in issuing cards. It may help if experienced refs show a good example when cards are warranted, though funnily enough whenever I ref local league games the players are as good as gold, so my cards are never needed!!
|| In Holland they use the home teams referees for lower league games and for junior matches. This works fine enough, some dodgy decisions here and there but it works overall. For important matches like title deciders they send an independent referee so you have that option too?
|| It is the lower levels of all age groups that have home refs and some are also not qualified but as soon as it gets serious even at u12 level the knkv send a ref
|| Thanks for everyone's comments.
One thing to bear in mind, particularly for the LKA, is that whatever we try to do it has to be practical.
It would be easier for referees (independent or otherwise) and assessors to be present if there were more than one match being played in a venue. I think there is some benefit for the home team providing a referee when that home team has multiple teams. It works less well for one team clubs where the qualified referees are also players and/or coaches. Asking these people to give up their game to referee is a bit too much. I think the LKA can do more to have more than one game in a venue.
As for the citing of abusive behaviour, perhaps the independent referee could bring the matter to the referee with the yellow card only going through with the referee's consent.
It would be easier for referees (independent or otherwise) and assessors to be present if there were more than one match being played in a venue.
In the Scottish league we have fixtures in threes---three teams turn up to a venue and each team plays twice. Each team provides a referee for the match they're not playing in.
Its not ideal and you have to be careful here and there but it does work fairly well.
|| I would like to see a move towards more games being played at the same venue. I think that this would aid the provision of coaches and referees. More people may be encouraged to ref if they were already at the venue and knew that they had support on the side lines. Also, it may help with recruitment if new players knew that they only needed to head to 2/3 venues to play matches.
For example, it would be good to see the "inner london" clubs (Bec, Highbury, Mitcham, Supernova) share one or two venues as their "home" venue. I am particularly fond of Ernest Bevin and the Pimlico hall that Supernova used for a while. Sharing halls would also help with booking halls and to get some consistency with fixtures.
I would also like the LKA to find some way to encourage the setting up of more clubs. In my view the current number of clubs is not sustainable. Perhaps the proposed winter/spring leagues for the lower level may help this as it would enable people to perhaps trial setting up a new club for half a season? Sharing halls may also promote this by providing a ready available playing venue?
|| I have read this paper with interest and look forward to discussing its merits on Sunday. I do however want to say that the proposals that refer to recreational leagues looks like a solution to a problem that doesnt exist. Is this not a case of clubs pricing structure putting people off?
I dont want our league shortened or halved that to me would be counter productive and undermine the league.
I also get very irritated by the term "recreational" as if to suggest they are not competitive. My players have never viewd London League 3 as recreational especialy as they have had to face players from leagues above them who of course are only playing to make the games happen and not of course to win at all costs!
There is a place in our club for all, those who want to play in league games and those who dont.
Bromley Korfball Club
I do however want to say that the proposals that refer to recreational leagues looks like a solution to a problem that doesn't exist.
I don't want our league shortened or halved that to me would be counter productive and undermine the league.
I do however want to say that the proposals that refer to recreational leagues looks like a solution to a problem that doesnt exist.
Isn't the problem "How in London do we get more people involved in korfball and/or create more teams/clubs"?
If so, I can see that having a bottom league that splits the season into two separate tournaments could help promote the inclusion of more beginners/teams.
- it would give clubs more flexibility to enter teams half way through the year if they have successfully recruited.
- it may reduce the fear of clubs entering an extra "beginners" team at the start of the season if they aren't sure they can retain numbers for an entire season.
- it would give people the option to potentially trial running a new club/team without fear of having to withdraw halfway through the season.
- We could use it to perhaps encourage work teams, friend teams etc. Beginners are more likely to commit to say 7 weeks rather than a full season.
|| I share Dave's view.
At the danger of repeating myself, the problem that currently exists in korfball is that you can not realistically just rock up and play (i.e. like football in the park using jumpers for goal posts). In London in particular you have to train regularly and pay not insignificant amounts of money to get into teams (particularly if you are an intermediate player). This can be off-putting at retaining players with a desire to play competitively but can not commit either in time or financially.
There are currently clubs struggling to put full teams out in London and there have been teams in the LKA2 this year that have only had seven players at games. That is not really good enough when others have trained hard and paid high amounts of money to then come to that on a Sunday.
There is a real danger that some clubs in London could struggle or worse-still fold if work is not done now to increase player numbers. In recent years we have lost clubs like West London, North Downs, WL Wildcats and is something that needs to be avoided.
I think you address that by making access easier.
By having shorter leagues we could well end up with more retention which is important.
One thing I would really criticise about the current league set up is that there is actually little to win. A lower league London club is never going to win the EKA cup (even with the handicap system)and large leagues with one winner does not give much to the rest. Shortern the league and throw in some interesting cup competitions with medals, socials etc and I think we will encourage more new players and keep people involved.
Liam was very successful last year at showing how a short 6 week competition can be fun, competitive and interest people. Scale that up to a higher level (e.g. intermediate players) and I think you would get a lot of interest.
Edited by - Weeksy on 12 Apr 2012 19:03:05
Edited by - Weeksy on 12 Apr 2012 19:04:06
Edited by - Weeksy on 12 Apr 2012 19:07:51
|| The minutes of the development meeting held on Sunday 15th April can be found on the LKA website for those interested in the outcome of the discussion.
|| There look like there were some really positive things to come out of this meeting.
Having had a quick read of the minutes though; if I was a coach, I would object to having my contract sent to the LKA. I understand the drive to get clubs to be more professional in their approach to coaching and coaches, but for me, a contract is a confidential document between the club and its coach. It may well contain targets for the coach, and details of which expenses will be repaid, which would clearly not be appropriate for non-club people to have access to.
Perhaps instead of having clubs send copies to the LKA, the LKA could draw up a "draft" contract, that could be sent to clubs for them to use if they do not currently have one. This could either be used as it was, or modified by the club to suit their needs.
Croydon Tournament at Royal Russell School on Sunday June 24th