IMAT 2014 Q10 [Argument | Professional Players]

There is concern at the moment about the way in which football referees are treated by players during games. The Football Association and the Referees’ Association feel that there is too much verbal (and physical) abuse directed at referees. Various solutions have been suggested such as only allowing the captain of each team to approach and talk to the referee. The major difficulty is how such new rules should be introduced. The preferred suggestion seems to be that the rules should be changed first in the amateur game, the aim being to improve discipline in the game from the bottom upwards, until the whole game is improved.

Which one of the following, if true, would most weaken the argument above?

A. By introducing it first to amateur players, it reaches those who spend the least time playing football.

B. Not many professional players start out in the amateur leagues.

C. Amateur players are more likely to abuse referees than are professionals.

D. Referees should use their existing powers to control abusive players.

E. Referees in the amateur game are less proficient than those in the professional games.

Steps:

  1. Find the Argument

  2. Find supporting evidence in the text, this is needed before we analyse our possible answers.

  3. Eliminate easy options

  4. These will be the answers that are opposite to what you want (ex. Strengthen instead of weakening)

  5. Determine which answer strengthens or weakens the argument THE MOST

We are looking for what weakens the argument the most, so in this case we are trying to figure out an argument that provides evidence as to why we should not implement these new rules in the amateur game first.

A By introducing it first to amateur players, it reaches those who spend the least time playing football.

Although the amateurs may play less, we cannot make any conclusion about their interactions with the referees based off this compared to pros. Maybe amateurs train less than professionals but play more games. Or the amount of abuse that the amateurs deal to the refs could be disproportional to the amount of game time. This answer option does not provide us too much, it leaves too many unanswered questions and does not really attack the author’s conclusion. Therefore A is incorrect.

B Not many professional players start out in the amateur leagues.

If the goal of the author is to have the game improved from the bottom up, it would be much more difficult if the amateur leagues did not send some players up to the pro leagues. Why? Because those in the amateur league will be already familiar with the rules and therefore woud be more comfortable with applying them in these larger leagues should it be needed. If there is not much activity for transfers between the pro and amateur, it is harder to share the same rules as you have to reintroduce them from scratch all over again, instead of having players help other players out. Therefore B is correct.

C Amateur players are more likely to abuse referees than are professionals.

This could be somewhat related to E because it means that there is more abuse in these amateur leagues and therefore this is where the most reform is needed. It these new rules work in the amateur leagues, where the abuse is more common, then it has a higher chance in also working in the larger leagues. Therefore this does not weaken the argument and C is incorrect.

D Referees should use their existing powers to control abusive players.

The problem is the players’ faults, not the referees. The author talks about way to control players who initiate the abuse and they give no critism to how the refs deal with it. Therefore D cannot be the answer because the passage is about controlling the players and protecting referees, not about how the referees can control the players.

E Referees in the amateur game are less proficient than those in the professional games.

Assuming that referee ability and the abuse they receive is linked, it would mean that it would be more welcomed in the lower leagues because it is what needs to the most reform. This is not great evidence for either side but it does not weaken the argument, probably even slightly strengthens it because if it works at the amateur level and there is more abuse here, it is likely to also work in the bigger leagues. Therefore E is incorrect.