Ref Review 2012/13: The referee competency league table

By Walter Broeckx

This article is part of the series of the Referee Review 2013. You can find links to earlier articles on the bottom of this article.


After having dealt with the different teams and after having examined all the refs we now bring together the scores from all the refs and we will try to find out who was the best ref in the PL.

In this article we will give you a few tables and will order the refs based on their performance scores. Now I know that the PGMOL has something similar. It is called the merit table. Over here we will call it the Referee Decisions table.

We have split it up in to 4 tables. The 4th table is for the next article as in that table we will show who was the best ref taking in account these tables and adding the bias score. As we cannot just judge a ref on his decisions but we also should have refs who have shown less bias in total. Better to have a ref making more mistakes for both teams than a ref who only punishes one team but has a higher score.

But now let us look at the decisions table and first we start with taking all the decisions at the same value.

ref table correct decisions all

And I think some people will be surprised when they see the first name in this table. And the second name.

As based on the numbers from our referee reviewers whom I would like to thank for the time, dedication and hard work, the best referee in the 2012/13 when we look at all the decisions was Jonathan Moss.  Not that long in the PL, he is relatively low key and that usually is a good thing for a ref. And an impressive score. More than 90% correct decisions in total on all his decisions. Well done Mr. Moss.

In second place and just behind ref Moss we find Kevin Friend. And that also will be a big surprise to most. But the scores are what they are and we can only  congratulate him with having also a score above 90%.

And then third place in this table we see the first ‘famous’ ref and Fifa ref Andre Marriner.

Now if we compare this to last season we also had ref Moss in first place with his score but as it was only based on a couple of games we didn’t take him and Swarbrick in to the table.

Last year the top 3 was Phil Dowd, Michael Oliver and Kevin Friend.  So Dowd went down to 7th place this season. Oliver went down to 14th place. The only survivor of last years top 3 is Kevin Friend who moves up one place. Andre Marriner came 6th last season so did much better.

Let us now try to see how the table looks when we only take the important decisions.

Ref table correct important decisions

And the league table roughly looks the same.

The same top 3 with again Jonathan Moss being the best. With a score of 81.75% he is the only one that managed to get more than 80% of his decisions correct. Well done Mr. Moss.

Kevin Friend and Marriner complete the top 3 once again.  Last years top 3 was Dowd, Friend and Oliver in the important decisions.

A ref who has improved in this table compared to the first table is Clattenburg. His important decisions were better than the place he found himself in the overall decisions.

You can look for your favourite ref in the tables. Or for the ref you hate most. To round off this article I will show you another table in which we will show the difference between all the decisions and the important decisions.

In this table the lower the percentage the better. As that indicates that there is not much difference between making calls in general and making calls that are more important.

Ref table difference imp all decisions

And in this table we again see Mr. Moss as top of the list. And that truly is amazing.

Andre Marriner takes the second place in this table and Kevin Friend drops to third in this table.  Mark Clattenburg, our last years winner moves up to 4th place.

Looking at this we have the next table and this will show the competence table of the refs in the PL season 2012/13:

Ref table ref of the season 2012 2013

So these are  the tables when purely looking at competence in making decisions. But we will of course add other things to this and in the next article we can say that Jonathan Moss was the most competent ref in the PL.

In second place we find Kevin Friend. And in third place we find Andre Marriner.

Now in a way this could be compared to the PGMOL merit table. And I know that some of the names at the bottom of our table are rather similar to what the PGMOL has found. And some names returning there each season.   Both in the Ref Decisions and the PGMOL table. And yet these refs stay in the PL. Really strange.

But more about that in the final article when we will add the bias weight to the competency numbers. And then we will announce what for Referee decisions was the best ref of the season 2012/13.

And for those who think that the winner is already a certainty I must warn you that the bias numbers can completely change the final table. After all we don’t only want competent refs but we also want refs who show a low bias for most of the teams. And we want to punish them when they have a big bias against teams.

So it will be interesting to see what happens when we combine the competence and the bias numbers.

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