This past Saturday, I journeyed to my university town for an Entry Level Futsal Referee clinic hosted by the local club. After hearing about the sport, Futsal, recently more from fellow referees, I thought I would give it a shot and I attended alongside my referee study group peers.
One long clinic later with almost four hours of refereeing/playing Futsal, it was an eye-opener to how difficult managing a game in this sport really is. The real difficulty is in being able to micro-manage all the different rules that govern the game. Four seconds for a player to restart the game from all restarts except kick-offs! This makes the game fast. I mean really fast! Now factor that in and the difficulty of getting used to the new system of referee positioning that involves criss-crossing and eye contact once every ~7 seconds with the fellow referee. Yeah. Hard.
Futsal refereeing is going to take a while to get used to especially since the movement and techniques are very similar to that of an assistant referee in outdoor football but require the certain techniques at different times. Almost everyone in the clinic found themselves side-stepping towards the goal after kick-off despite having to hold our ground and stay at the centre until play develops. I hope to get some valuable Futsal refereeing experience this season while I am in Toronto.
One of the highlights of the clinic was while I was playing. A younger referee playing on the opposing team stuck his foot out and caught my back foot as I made an attacking run down the left wing of the opposing half. I stumbled and was about to regain balance but thought I would give the referees in training a test and fell flat on the floor with a short roll and got a face full of artificial dirt. Luckily I got the call for the trip! A little more theatrics and it would have been interesting to see if I would have been cautioned. It was all in good fun, of course, and everyone had a laugh out of it.
Playing this sport is definitely a lot of fun since I despise when games slow down and players attempt to delay the game. Being fast is the real test of endurance and skill. My favourite way to play!