The real question posed to referees about their career choice usually includes one or more of the following:
- “Why refereeing?”
- “Do you like being hated?”
- “You probably like being beaten up”
I think the real answer is that it is the closest we can get to the beautiful game at all levels of play. I mean what beats getting exercise and getting paid for it? Every referee’s goal is to get a game with great talent, to be able to manage the game effectively and to watch some great football!
The only way to truly understand the beautiful game is to have experienced roles in all capacities; player, coach, spectator and perhaps the hardest job of all, a referee.
Now the more interesting part of how I got into refereeing… The spark really was when I had entered Grade 12 of high school. As part of the Diploma Programme, I was required to complete 150 hours of extra-curricular activities in various categories. I had decided to try out different things and the deputy principal of my school was offering a course on Football Refereeing. I thought “Why not?”. I went ahead and gave it a try alongside another classmate JU and to our surprise, we found out that our deputy principal WB used to be a high level referee!
WB, JU and I worked home school games together as a trio and as assistants for the first year. Every Thursday afternoon we spent reviewing a Law off of FIFA’s website. It was definitely the time where I learnt the most about the Laws as WB tested us on many scenarios. Dubai didn’t have any stores that sold referee kits so the school had to make do with the volunteers they had. After all we were doing it for free!
To current and former referees, how did you get into it? Comment here and leave your story.
For those of you that aren’t into it, what would it take for you to try?