Monday, October 11, 2010

The Rules Do Not Apply To Him

Wow, I had an interesting weekend.  Just when I thought I didn't have much left to write about...
I received a 3 game assignment this weekend, which I haven't had for some time.  I've been getting quite a few 1 game assignments.  We had U-11, U-12 and U-14.  I was assigned with my younger son as well as another referee that I've worked with on a few occasions. What a great day for soccer! We had perfect weather and a really nice field.  You have to love that.
The first 2 games went really well.  My son did the U-11 game.  He's developing into a fine official.  I had the U-14 game and that went well too. The field we had for the day was not unusually long, but it was very WIDE.  Note to self:  Do a little more running during the week.  I felt like my conditioning isn't what it should be.  I did fine with the 14's, but I will suffer when the college showcases come in November.
The interesting situation arose with the U-12 game.  The home club was set up to help under privileged kids from a nearby small city have an opportunity to play competitive soccer.  I've worked with teams from this club before.  The players are skilled and always play hard.  When checking the player passes for the team,
I asked the trainer for his pass.  He told me the coach, who had not yet arrived had them.  "No problem," I said, I'll come back in a few minutes and collect them.  I noticed the coach arrive so I went over and asked for the coach passes.  The coach tells me he doesn't have them.  Our local rule is "No Pass, No Play."
I explain to the coach that we may not be able to play as the league does not allow anyone without a coaching
pass to be in the technical area. I went and talked to the center referee who had the same position as me. While we are talking, the coach approaches us and gets quite beligerent and rude, calling us "a joke."  (Coaches: if you are reading this, that approach is not the best way to get someone to try to help you out when you make a mistake).  Not only that, but he brought up the fact that the club is for under privileged kids, the implication being that somehow we are being mean to the kids.  Keep in mind, he's the one that didn't bring his pass.  I mention to the referee that I'm willing to give our assignor a quick call to double check that there is no way around this.  We agreed and I made the call.  It turns out the league is fine with it as long as one of the carded coaches from the other team is willing to monitor the opponent's bench.  It's an odd arrangement, but workable.  So we ended up doing the game.  The referee even allowed the offending (offensive?) coach to be in the technical area which he is clearly not entitled to do without a pass.  The coach later apologized for his behavior.
The interesting thing about the ordeal is during the conversation, the coach mentioned a few times that
he has a national license etc.  I pointed out that it doesn't matter since he has no coaching pass.  However,
I did have the feeling I had seen this guy before.  On the way home, my son realized who he was.  He coaches a division 1 college team!  Unbelievable.
The lesson here is this:  Make sure you know your local Rules of the Competition inside and out.  Follow the rules and you can't go wrong.  Do not be swayed by those that bend the rules for their convenience.  They will not be there when you have to defend your position and decisions.

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