Sunday, August 29, 2010


Those of you that follow my blog know I took a while to get to grade 7.  There was the politics of even getting considered.  There was a couple of state cup tournaments and an ODP tournament.  Several assessments and almost 2 years later, I got upgraded.  I put in for a tournament for this past weekend, my first as a 7.  You'll never guess what my assignments were...2 days of short-sided and the U-littles!  Ironic, isn't it?  It turned out to be fun and its always a good way to start the Fall season.  My son worked with me as well.
The interesting thing about the short sided game is you will often see situations that never occur at the older levels.  For example, you will see goalkeepers handle  balls kicked by their teammates on a regular basis.  You will often see balls mishandled on the goal line (so run that ball out when you are an assistant!).  There are any number of awkward and ugly tackles just because the kids are clumsy.  In short, you still have to know the Laws of the Game inside and out.  In fact, maybe more so for the little ones.  Also, you will often have teaching moments that you can take advantage of.  For example, I had a goalkeeper make a save.  The opposing team backed off, expecting him to distribute the ball.  He knelt down, put the ball down (almost having it roll over the goal line for a corner) and tied his shoe.  He then picked it back up and distributed the ball.  I let it go.  At the half, his coach and I took 30 seconds to remind him that he can't put the ball down and then pick it back up.  The coach was very appreciative and I think I managed to teach this kid something about the laws.  That's always a good thing.
We did have a really funny comment from a coach that left one of my assistants barely able to hide his grin.
I awarded a free kick for a goalkeeper handling the ball just outside the penalty area.  I'm standing to the left of goal at the top of the penalty area, with my back to the coaches.  One of the coaches yells "Is it direct or indirect?"  I reply direct.  He says "Your hand is not up so I wasn't sure." I look across the field at my assistant.  We exchanged completely puzzled looks...and then nearly lost it on the field.  Inside my head I'm saying "My hands is not up for a reason..."  Too funny.