This game was interesting in nature. I had left the house a little over 2 hours before kick-off and enjoyed an hour long bus ride with my wheeled trolley bag to carry everything with me. I was to connect with a colleague DM in another city before we carpooled to the venue of the match appointment.
I spent the hour on the bus ride listening to the latest episode of the RefereesWorld podcast; June 2013. They are back after six months off! It was nice to hear my Canadian colleague’s question being answered on the podcast given that we spent so long discussing it; goalkeeper hanging off the crossbar kicking the ball away. I hadn’t fully finished the episode before I got to my destination and I spent a long while chatting on the 25-minute drive to the field on anything and everything since I hadn’t spoken with DM for a while. I also checked my phone again to re-affirm my homework on both the teams; the game had significant effect on the top spot of the league.
We arrived at the field to look out and see the beautiful weather and good field conditions. A nice change having worked recreational games a few days earlier where the rain took it’s toll on the field and left things muddy. This field was firm after the drizzle earlier in the day.
Both officials assisting me I knew; one I had worked with several times and the other I had seen working before and had interacted with a lot before. Team chemistry was not non-existent.
Reflecting on this game, I have witnessed numerous penalty decisions over my past 4-5 games. I have had to make a good 10+ decisions to award penalty kicks in which all, but one this game, were converted into goals.
I have not also been very accustomed to making dismissal decisions given that my games in the past have had plenty of cautionable offences. For this reason, this game had significance on my development as I saw borderline if not actual dismissal offences occur.
One being a DOGSO where a defender slide-tackled to clear the ball but brought the opponent down first. I had a bad angle (behind play) which didn’t serve well in judging the situation.
Another was at the end of the game that I knew warranted a caution at minimum so I was quick to pull out the card but practiced the isolate-take name-show card approach. I had a bad feeling that the discipline wasn’t right and what I had managed to witness was serious foul play. The victim player was back on his feet in 30 seconds picking himself up gingerly.
Funnily enough, the day after the game, I witnessed a clear-cut DOGSO-F decision and was able to dismiss the goalkeeper without any difficulty. Hopefully it was the first step in dismissing with confidence and without fear.
The thing I am pleased about this year while upgrading is comfort level as the qualifying games at this new higher level is something I am enjoying and getting used to so the pressure has alleviated for the most part.