Sunday, March 16, 2008

Here we go!

That time has come again! I started the Spring season this weekend by doing a day of a local girls college showcase tournament. It ended up being a pretty good day for me with 2 games in the middle and 4 on the lines. It was pretty clear the younger girls were scheduled in my time slots. I had a U-15 game and a U-16 game. It's a start, although I want to try my hand at the U-17-u-19 ages so I can start thinking about my upgrade to 7.
I really felt like I did a pretty good job and didn't make much in the way of mistakes. As some of you may know from reading my blog, I've been trying to concentrate more on making eye contact with my assistants as I've missed a few flags in games. This tournament showed I have made improvements in that area. I felt like my positioning was better and I was keeping my eyes on the ARs.
In one game, I had a player go down in her own penalty area. The ball was played off to the corner and I saw it go over the touch line. In hindsight, I think I gave the ball to the wrong team after we got the fallen player squared away. It just goes to show that you need to keep every detail in your mind. Fortunately, it wasn't a huge mistake but merely something I need to remember.
One thing I found myself pondering at the end of the day is how to deal with players that basically collide going for the ball. I had that happen in one of my games. I felt the ball was basically 50/50 and the girls merely collided trying to get to the ball first. One of the girls got a little banged up and I restarted with a dropped ball. I asked my AR about it at the half and he said he would have went with a foul. So how do you do that if you see it as a 50/50 ball? Both players have the right to go for the ball. I guess it's one of those "opinion of the referee" calls.
The other referees I worked with were pretty good. There was one odd thing though. One of the guys didn't have a gold jersey with him! How do you go to a high-level tournament without a gold jersey? He seemed to be a pretty experienced guy too. It bothered me a little. In the 2 games I was referee, he wore a USSF sweatshirt instead of a jersey, even after one of the guys offered him a short-sleeve gold jersey. It looked sloppy and unprofessional. Yes, I believe those things do matter. You can't expect people to take you seriously if you don't look like you are taking your job seriously. It invites dissent.
The next day, I had some league games scheduled. I could have put in for the 2nd day of the tournament, but I feel some obligation to my league assignor so I made sure to keep the day open for his games. I was originally scheduled for 3, but 2 were canceled, apparently for a lack of players. I ended up with the middle for a U-13 boys game. Again, this game went real well. I was assigned with 2 very competent officials. I've worked with one of them a few times and he's a real professional, pleasant guy. The other referee proved to be very good too. I'm told she's a grade 7 and has been doing this for some time.
The game had a minor coach problem that I shut down pretty quickly. After a foul called by one of the ARs, I heard one of the coaches say, loud enough so I could hear it, "this is why referees should play the game." As I ran by, I said to the coach, "Take it easy coach, we don't need any of that." He said "I'm allowed to disagree with you" to which I replied, rather quickly "Yes, but you are not allowed to dissent." That seemed to make it clear to him that I wasn't to be trifled with as I didn't hear anything from him for the rest of the game. I felt good about it because I dealt quickly with the problem without having to resort to being rude, or disrupting the game by getting out the notebook (we card coaches in this state)
All in all, it was a good weekend. I put in my availability for another college showcase next weekend. Hopefully, I get some older age games.


Madam referee said...

I had a 50/50 moment today in a U14G game. One of the players did go down with an injury. The ball was quickly cleared away from her, giving the opposing team a run on goal. I allowed the play to finish its momentum, go out of bounds before signaling for the coach. I debated at the time to stop play, but she was in no danger sitting where she was and the other team had a clear advantage. Of course, parents didn't agree! The coaches both thanked me after the game and complimented my "not interfeering" with the game! Goal accomplished! I wish I could say the same for the officials we had working our games this weekend!!

Anonymous said...

(we card coaches in this state)

Coaches are NEVER given (shown) a card in USSF/FIFA/USYSA.
You can discipline a coach with a warning or a dismissal. NEVER show a card to the coach.
Your state association is breaking the laws of the game.
Jeff Forward
USSF National Referee, 2004-2006

The Referee said...

Jeff, thanks for your comment. I realized some time ago that this fact was a little bizarre. I asked an instructor about it. He pointed out that we are 1 of only 4 groups in the country that do this. To be honest, I try to avoid it and follow the LOTG but I am interested in upgrading next year, so...

Anonymous said...

I am starting my first year as a referee. I enjoy your blog and look forward to reading more as the season progresses. Your insights are helpful!