The Beginning Part 2: My First Game

With a lot of interest in my last post, From the Beginning, I’ve decided to continue and elaborate more on my story leading up to the first game.

Now when I had first tried to be an AR, I hadn’t taken a Referee Course yet so I was thrown out to the wolves. My first game was a U15 Boys line so I was briefed by one of my classmates MS, the school’s senior team goalkeeper at the time, on the basic signals. He was a football fanatic so there was credibility on his instructions and I remember them to this day during games.

Game Day: Sunday 19th October 2008; 3:15pm kick-off

Funny I know the exact date/time right? I kept track of all my CAS activities back then in a database so I am able to go back and track the dates I have done anything refereeing related. Pretty handy all-in-all.

One clear moment I remembered during my first game was an offside call I missed. I hadn’t even known that the Laws of the Game existed and I was faced with a tight scenario.

  1. Two attackers broke away on goal for the home team (EIS-J) with only the goalkeeper to beat. Attacker 2 was ahead of his teammate, Attacker 1, who was in possession of the ball. Attacker 2 was, therefore, in an offside position (ahead of the ball & between the second last defender and the last defender).
  2. When Attacker 1 had reached the penalty mark, he took a shot on goal but the ball rebounded off the cross bar and his teammate (Attacker 2) slotted it in. Now, at the time, I hadn’t realised that it was an offside offence and the fact that the attackers were only a yard apart didn’t help.
  3. I continued with the goal signal by running down the touch line but a few seconds later, the referee overruled me because the attacker in an offside position was gaining an advantage by being in that position.

    Gaining an Advantage by being in that position

I wasn’t very hurt by this overruling because at the start, everything is a learning process! It was after that game, I realised how hard it was to be an AR and making accurate offside judgements.

At the end of that week and for the rest of the academic year 2008-2009, I attended WB’s ‘Football Refereeing Course’ activity on Thursday afternoons and we spent weekdays after-school doing inter-school games at most twice a week. Refereeing in Dubai was undoubtedly weak at the time. The FA there had no structure or pyramid for refereeing. FIFA Referees just popped out of nowhere! A very frustrating system but I was relieved to find Canada’s far stronger.

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2 comments on “The Beginning Part 2: My First Game

  1. markdecosemo says:

    We all get decisions wrong, especially when we only have club assistants and no TV replay to help us out. Just this weekend I suspect I got a penalty decision wrong, when I saw the reaction from both teams. My view made it look like a poor tackle, but without objective evidence from a neutral assistant or the fouled player telling me I was wrong (unlikely) I have to stick with my decision.

    • larbitre says:

      I agree. My mistake was through lack of awareness of the Laws when the school really needed assistant referees. Sure enough I took the courses and now it’s all elementary!
      We have to, of course, call what we see so great job sticking to your decision this past weekend!

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