Case Study: The 4th Symphony

Case Study # 16-2013
Date Various
Competition Barclays Premier League
Fixture/Result Various
Referee/Badge Michael Oliver, Kevin Friend, Lee Probert, Neil Swarbrick
At Issue The joy of being a 4th

We’re heading into the high school playoffs here in Georgia, and that brings to mind one crew position we don’t normally see: the 4th official.  All of the high school playoff games have a 4th.  But the adjustment can be challenging at times for some of us because we have so few opportunities to be a fourth official.

Of course, we can read the enthralling USSF publication “Guide to Procedures for Referees, Assistant Referees and Fourth Officials”.  But, somehow, that just seems to fall a little short of the actual, real world job description.

Which reminds me of a quote by a former national referee, who once told me that the primary job of a fourth official is “to be a. . .chew toy for the coaches”.  (This space is generally “G” rated, so, I’ve taken some editorial license with the original quote.)

It just so happens that I have some relevant frames showing the fourth officials hard at work.  I’ve taken the opportunity to have a little fun at the manager’s expense.  Hopefully, the supporters of said manager’s sides take it as it is intended: a harmless bit of fun.

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