This blog is proudly created By Keith Hackett for Keys to Referee

One of the main communication tools of the Referee is the WHISTLE In my early refereeing career I often officiated in a local park in Sheffield that had twenty six pitches.

It was soon evident that you needed more than one whistle.

I can recall one Sunday morning officiating a game and players stopping when the referee in the adjoining pitch blew his whistle.

It was the same Acme Whistle that I was using and the next day I was in the main sports shop in Sheffield, Suggs to buy another with different tone.

In the early eighties I was in Milan and walking in the city centre when I could hear a traffic policewoman.

She was controlling the traffic with a high pitched tone whistle and very clear hand signals.

Given the traffic if the whistle could not be heard and her signals delivered with clarity she might have finished up with a few crashes each day.

I gingerly walked and stood alongside her and enquires about the whistle.

I managed to see that the manufacturer was Ballila and before I left Italy I had searched one out.

That whistle was used by me for the rest of my career.

Today most referees operate with a Fox 40 whistle designed and manufactured by a former official in North America.

The whistle is the main tool of a referee and sadly a lot of referees do not use them properly.

When I run workshops overseas I have the referees standing around the centre circle.

I get them to individually blow the whistles to vary tone, volume and length of signal.

Yes when that poor challenge takes place it requires a real loud and long blast.

When you are attempting to control the placement of the ball in mid-field then short sharp blasts with clear hand signals will ensure that you achieve this.

So make certain you carry two whistles and do not have the habit of running around the field with it in your mouth. Holding it in the hand can often give you some thinking time before putting the whistle in your mouth and blowing.

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Thanks again,

Keith Hackett
Former Head of PGMOL and FIFA REFEREE

Keith Hackett
Keith Hackett

Keith Hackett is a proud Sheffield Man, Ex FIFA Referee, Former Head of the PGMOL, Author, FA Cup Referee and a Gentleman who knows the laws of the beautiful game in side and out. He is counted amongst the top 100 referees of all time.