Did you hear about the football referee who forgot his coin, and instead made the 2 captains play Rock Paper Scissors to decide who gets the choice of ends, and who kicks off…
It was a high profile game too. Between 2 women’s Super League teams (Manchester City & Reading) featuring the current England captain Steph Houghton as 1 of the Rock Paper Scissors stars.
Personally. I think he showed fantastic initiative, and solved the problem of having to delay kickoff to go get a coin. Surely guessing which side a coin lands is a game of chance, just like Rock Paper Scissors, isn’t it?
David McNamara should be applauded for bringing a sense of fun to the situation, whilst correcting his mistake. And I’m sure the 2 captains didn’t mind. In fact I bet it brought a smile to their face and eased the tension between them.
But the FA’s women’s refereeing manager Joanna Stimpson said: ‘It’s not defendable. He should have been more prepared, he should have had a coin but he didn’t. It was disappointing, it’s not appropriate, it’s very unprofessional. ‘The laws of the game state you toss a coin. I can’t think it’s something we are going to ignore. He wasn’t taking the mick out of the game, it was just a really poor decision.’
So instead of applauding his initiative and his ability to think for himself. You get the usual response from an archaic ‘way out of touch’ organisation like the Football Association. You can’t have fun. It’s not in our rules. How dare you think for yourself. Just do what you’re told.
And now they’ve only gone and banned him for 21 days. Yes it’s true. Read about it in the Daily Mail here.
An ‘official’ FA spokesman said: ‘The FA can confirm that referee David McNamara has been suspended for 21 days, starting from Monday 26 November, after accepting a charge of “not acting in the best interests of the game”.
Then something fantastical happened at the weekend…
Hundreds of referees came out in protest against David’s ban, and all used Rock Paper Scissors instead of a coin toss before grassroots matches all over the country. Risking a ban themselves. And it was even covered by the BBC.
One young referee in Lancashire said the players asked for it: “Without me saying a word, four of the players came up to me and said ‘are we getting on the Rock Paper Scissors today?”
And Ref Support UK chief executive Martin Cassidy said: “We can’t condone anyone deliberately breaking the laws of football. However, we understand hundreds took part. The level of support should send out a message that the punishment was disproportionate. An this suggests people are willing to face a possible charge from the FA or their county FA as they feel so strongly about it.”
Surely, even those of us who are not remotely interested in football can see the Football Association has made a grave mistake, and lost a fantastic opportunity to show how in touch they are with the people. Why not applaud his initiative, whilst telling him to remember his coin in the future.
Not for a moment, would we want our team ‘not to think for themselves’, ‘not to be creative in difficult situations’, ‘not to have plenty of fun’, ‘ to stick to the rules in a desperate situations’ and ‘to do just what they are told no matter what.’
If we thought like the Football Association we wouldn’t have a team, we’d just have a bunch of sheep. And our organisation would never progress.
Our team certainly aren’t sheep, they’re special. Our team think for themselves. Our team make critical business decisions. Our team bend the rules when required. Our team tell themselves what to do. Our team hold themselves accountable. Our team don’t get banned for doing the right thing. Our team are encouraged to have fun. Our team play Rock Paper Scissors whenever they like. And that’s why our team are high performing.
So what about you. Are you an archaic ‘out of touch’ organisation full of sheep, like the FA. Or are you dynamic ‘ and in touch with your customers’ complete with a high performing team?