Wednesday, May 4, 2011

New Faces and Ugly Weather

This past weekend, I was assigned to a girl's college showcase in the area.  The tournament takes place over several sites.  I was assigned to different sites on each day, which is something new for me.
I have stated in other posts that one needs to be careful, especially when you are new, about following the advice and example of other referees.  Be sure the advice or example is sound before you adopt it as your own.  Case in point from this weekend: I was on a four man crew and we had mostly U-17 girls all day.  It seemed we probably had the higher quality brackets as well as I recognized a few top 5 ranked teams in the mix.  I worked with 3 guys that apparently work together all the time.  One of the guys was a relatively new referee, having been certified only a couple of years.  The other two guys had been around for some time.  One was even a State Referee Emeritus.  For those of you that are not familiar with this grade, it is only attainable by referees that have been a State Referee for 3 years or more.  It basically means you are no longer a State Referee, but you were for quite some time.
The last guy I have seen around before.  He's very experienced.  I noticed that the newer guy clearly looked to the other two for guidance.  Apparently, they worked together often in league games and he respected their ability.
In observing the other three, I noticed something interesting.  The young guy had new uniforms.  He had a very positive attitude.  He called an excellent game.  The more experienced guy (the one with the grade 8/7 badge) was put together well.  He called a solid game, although he looked like maybe he had lost a step or two (I found out later he was recovering from a major medical problem).   My expectation would be that the State Referee Emeritus would be the one setting the example.  Not in this case.  This individual barely spoke a word to me.  I watched him running his line in the first game.  He wasn't staying even close to his offside position.  He seemed like he was easily distracted by the other games and the parents on his side of the field.  I had the second game and he was my AR.  I immediately noticed that his mechanics were so poor I was not completely sure what he was trying to signal at times.  I felt like I had no help on that end of the field.  Watching him do the center wasn't any better.
My point is this:  Just because someone has experience and rank doesn't mean you should use them as a role model.  When you are new, you might see that emeritus badge and assume this is a good example for a referee.  That is not necessarily the truth.  At one time, he must have been very good.  You don't get to that grade by being a terrible referee.  However, it seemed to me like he had given up and was ready to (should?) retire.
That evening, I noticed the weather report for the next day looked, well, awful.  It seemed unlikely we were going to get the day in.  Sure enough, I awoke to the sound of rain.  You can't assume things, so I proceeded to the days assignment.  We waited around a bit as the tournament was on a delay.  I finally received a field assignment and quickly got the field.  The rest of the crew arrived and we got started.  From the start, it was obvious we were not going to get the full slate of games in.  It was about 50 deg and raining almost constantly.  We got through two games and they tournament was ended.  I was not disappointed.  By that time, I was absolutely soaked and getting cold, even though I had all my cold weather gear on.

1 comment:

Brian said...

Come out West. Our weather has been great and we seem to always have more games than refs.

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