Sunday, November 30, 2008

Shortest Tournament Day Ever

I woke up this morning about 20 minutes before my alarm clock was to go off. I could hear outside that it was already raining, even though the weather forecast the night before said it wouldn't rain until mid-day. I put in, and was assigned, to a boys winter college showcase tournament. Fully expecting to see the tournament was canceled, I got up and checked the website. According to the website, the tournament would play through showers. Great. Large, aggressive boys on wet, slippery, cold fields. I arrived at my assigned location in plenty of time and met up with my good friend. We chatted for a while, not believing we were actually going to get any games in. It was raining pretty steadily and there were already a few standing puddles around the field. We received our field assignment. I had the 2nd game in the middle, so I was off the first game.
Young Referee
I wondered over to my field around mid-way through the first half, after checking to see if I might be need elsewhere first. I ran into the assignor, who was coming from our field. He came over to me and asked me to go stand behind a young referee on our field and coach him a little on foul recognition. I did just as he asked and noticed right off he was being a little lenient. The referee was about the same age as the players. I found out later that he still plays. In talking to him a little, he seemed to think the rough play was nothing "he couldn't play through." It was an interesting comment as it lead me to believe his judgement was being influenced by his playing rather than what he knows is right as a referee. I pointed out that letting some of these obvious fouls go could result in the game getting out of control and he really needed to tighten up in order to help the center referee. I'm not sure how much I helped, but I hope I got him thinking and looking at the game from a different view point.
Right Diagonal
The tournament asked that we run a right diagonal in an attempt to save the fields. I'm referring to running the field toward the right corner flag as you enter the attacking half of the field, instead of running toward the left flag, which is the direction most of us choose. If you've never done this, don't underestimate how hard it really is. The first 4 minutes of the game I felt really awkward. It took me a little while to figure out just where I should be running and where my AR would be standing. Oddly enough, it made it much harder to remember which way the team's were playing. I recommend running a game with this opposite diagonal maybe once a season. I'm glad I had this experience, but it was stressful. I doubt anyone actually noticed, but I sure felt like they might! That will get you on your toes very quickly.
The good news (or bad news, depending on your viewpoint) is the tournament shut everything down 25 minutes into my first game. It was disappointing because I had not refereed at this age group in quite some time, but it was definitely necessary to ensure the safety of everyone involved. The fields had really become slippery and nearly unplayable.
So, that's it for my Fall season. I'll probably post a couple of times between now and March as things come to mind. Feel free to shoot me an email if you are looking for a sounding board on any referee issues.

No comments: