A Weekend of Futsal

FIFA Futsal Referee Badge

So capped off a Futsal-filled weekend with a great game. 10 Futsal games this weekend to reach the 37-game mark. 3 games on Saturday, 4 on Sunday and 3 more as a timekeeper after.

One can really learn a lot from watching other referees. One of the items is charisma and leadership and it is a sight to watch referees beaming with these qualities when they are in action showing complete control and authority in the game. Undoubtedly the best way to learn refereeing off the field; watching them in action.

The weekend really kicked off with a Futsal Refresher Clinic. Three months after my initial clinic, I joined the other referees on the Futsal league roster to get a refresher and firmly set the Futsal Laws of the Game in my mind. Quite useful and was excellent in elaborating what the various signals meant and how they were to be executed as well as information about CONCACAF and FIFA.

Three smooth youth competitive Girls Futsal matches on Saturday that were uneventful and four U10 Boys Futsal which totalled a near 50 goals (46)! The ball was hitting the back of the net so often that I was surprised that they held up by the end. One of the most exciting goals was a goal line decision where defenders were frantically scrambling and putting their bodies on the line to prevent the ball going in the net. The ball was more often than not right on the goal line and if it weren’t for me standing right on the goal line, I definitely would have missed the brief milli-second that I saw the ball roll in perfectly adjacent to the goal line before a grounded keeper attempted to scoop it out and save his team. Quite a heroic attempt on his part which was unfortunately unsuccessful.

Later on on Sunday, I served as the timekeeper to the arrival of a very surprising guest BT who refereed the match using some of my equipment. The initial duo to referee the match traded places between Referee 1 and Referee 3 for the two matches that occurred. It was also a change using a nice electronic scoreboard despite a muff-up where the shot-clock feature (for basketball) accidentally sounded once and another time, I accidentally partially struck the power button that shut the system managing time down. Lucky for me. another referee was maintaining time and we were back up before anyone else had noticed. Still awkward on my part nonetheless! The last game was a fantastic end to the day as one team, being highly skilled, and appearing to have played Futsal for years netted 7 goals but fell prey to the accumulated fouls rule and received four direct replies from the second penalty mark to end the final score at 7-7 in the last 30 seconds. A nail-biting fixture that had me on the edge of my seat.

Futsal Ball; heavier than a typical ball

The proceedings of the day didn’t end there! A friendly match between a few players from the league, a few well-known people and some referees! I had only played Futsal once before (at the Entry Level Clinic) but I always get excited to play football; whatever variation. We split up into teams and I had an interesting team with the CSA President (CSAP) and the Canadian National Futsal goalkeeper (CNGK). Quite the deadly duo but everyone was extremely amicable and it was almost a pick-up game with everyone laughing ever so often at the random going-ons. I managed to open the scoring when I came on a few minutes after the initial whistle and the ball was slotted into me by CSAP through a tight gap, I stretched my foot out to collect the ball arriving just behind me on my run and slotted it on the left side of the opposing goalkeeper in almost one motion. “Not bad I thought”. I usually don’t score! Not too long later I capitalised on a loose ball in the penalty area, neatly pulled it back from the goalkeeper, manoeuvred around him and a defender to find the bottom left corner again.

A few minutes into the second half, our goalkeeper took a tumble on a challenge from the opposing goalkeeper. Yes! You heard right! GK vs GK. Not as crazy as happening in the outdoor game but brave nonetheless. Being on the bench recuperating after the fast-paced Futsal action, I looked around to my team-mates to see who wanted to step up to the position. Nobody was very willing so I decided to take one for the team, grabbed a bib and went on into goal. We had entered the second half leading 6-3. With as much effort as I could, I managed to protect the goal from maximum damage as I faced several 1-on-1s with opposing strikers and let in just four goals. The final score ended 7-7 and we joked of a penalty shoot-out to end the tie as we walked off the court but a joke it was not! We went to penalty shoot-outs for 3 shots each and the first penalty taken on goal by the opposing team allowed me a comfortable save as my right hand beat a chip to the top left corner. My team-mates netted our three shots to end the weekend in a victory! The game followed a few comments asking me why I chose to referee Futsal!

Have you played Futsal before? I definitely like it better than its indoor counterpart; “Indoor Soccer”. Thoughts?

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