Friday, September 2, 2011

Let's Get Going

It's been a long summer off.  I haven't done anything in the way of games as I was training for a charity bike ride with my son.  We didn't have any time for games or running.
I've spent the last 3 or 4 weeks getting my running legs going again.  I put in for a Labor Day weekend tournament and was accepted.  Unfortunately, I will doing short-side games both days.  On a side note, for those of you that are assignors:  How do you decide where to put referees in your schedule?  Do you look at grade and experience or is it based on something else?  I don't mind doing short-sided games at all, but honestly, it does make me question why I put in all the time and effort to get upgraded to 7.  It seems that assignors just don't care about grade.  I don't understand that.
Given that I want to make grade 6 some day (before I'm too old to pass the fitness test), I have asked to be assigned to some adult games.  Unfortunately, I have not figured out how to get the adult assignor to respond to me.  I tried email.  That doesn't seem to be the right communication channel for him.  More on that at another time.
Assault and Abuse
I came across this article on the web.  It describes a very disturbing incident involving the assault of a football referee in Sarasota county, Florida.  Here's another article that links to other stories of referee assault.  Do you think referee assaults are becoming more common?  Or are they just making the news more often?  I don't have an answer.  I believe there has been a decline in abuse from coaches, but I've seen an increase in problems with players.  Refer back to my 2011 State Cup post.  Those were some abusive players.  Occasionally, you will have teams that just do not want to play, but only want to instigate some sort of confrontation.  It is the referee's job to try to prevent that from happening, but through that prevention (by enforcing the LOTG), you may become the target of abuse and maybe even attacks.
Fortunately, the USSF has a policy for dealing with referee assault and abuse.  It is in the Referee Administrative Handbook.  See Policy 531-9.  It defines assault and abuse and also describes how to report it.  I encourage each and every one of you to report these issues when they occur.  It's the only way it is going to stop.

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