Week 39 & 40 rolls by! It’s astonishing to see how fast time is flying by. The first week’s weekend was quite quite busy with the W.Cup, assessment game, a Provincial match appointment and watching more league recreational Futsal. A great and enjoyable weekend all-in-all.
Both match days, Tuesday, Wednesday was spent watching Futsal games at the local court and ensuring that referees were officiating games up to the league standard and adjusting to the new sport. Not only referees but players too! I was spectating the vast majority of games and I even officiated one of my few game shifts of the term and had a lot of fun both managing and educating the players. Later during the shift switch-over, I realised that the game to follow was quite challenging and that a few referees had come out to watch this particular game as well as the officiating so I stayed back and helped run the game with the next referee, AR. It was a fantastic Futsal game with no end to action and some good goals and finishes.
Friday night was an experience as a friend of mine and I went out to watch a local Provincial referee do a University game just down the road from my place. We got a great vantage point on the stands high above the field to see what was going on and the first half went by smoothly. The weather was chilly so RM and I left after that.
The weekend kicked-off to a dream start. A 6am wake-up to get ready for a morning tournament in a township 50km north. Isn’t that how all weekends should start? Just kidding. I was in zombie mode for the first few minutes but slowly kick-started. It was still dark outside because the sun hadn’t quite risen yet so I questioned my judgement and enthusiasm for taking these games at the beginning but it soon wore off. To my mild surprise, everything was blanketed in fog! I guess since my training is typically in the evenings, I never really noticed the weather going-ons so early in the day especially with my curtain being closed!
50 minutes of driving later… “Your destination is on the left” was the message from the GPS and the sun had risen but still not quite visible through the fog. The crew I was travelling with included RM and DL.
We arrived at the field to find it empty so we dropped off DL at his field and returned to field and got a little closer to see a few players warming-up and our third crew member. We were ready for game time and it was definitely a quieter, more peaceful experience since we didn’t have people yelling at us every other second.
These are a few shots of our travel on our return trip.
Here’s a picture of the field after full-time of the third and final match; my middle. Having looked back on it, I called a quick instance of would-be handling and missed for the first time, what I realise, was simulation as an attacker fell down screaming during a corner kick in the penalty area under minimal contact as I had my eyes fixated on the incident. I only realised in the post-game discussion. The rest of the game went quite well as I aimed to keep my work rate up and work on my S-diagonal.
The best part was meeting up with my entry level instructor again! Well it was pretty much the only reason I agreed to a 6am roadtrip. I hadn’t seen him for two years and it was great to meet him again and catch up.
After the trio of games and heading back home, we had a short pit-stop for lunch near in the home city before going on.
This was the weather just before we left the field.
The inside joke was that I was super hungry since I hadn’t eaten anything really that morning so we passed several Tim Hortons on they way but my buddy asked me to wait till we got to some good food. Here are the Timmies we passed on the way.
We made our way for the assessment game after lunch. We were on the line for another upgrading referee. It was a good competition game although the result of the game had little effect on both teams.
The field was the usual grass field and for some odd reason, this particular field always leaves my feet weary after the game.
A local Provincial line like the week before so a very convenient travel to the field. In fact the mileage might have been 30 cents in total! The game was definitely a higher calibre and my workrate had to be right through the roof. Good fun and a good challenge. I also got to work and meet a new set of officials.
Back to classes and no refereeing but there was a change. I was playing on this night!
I play recreationally with a few friends from the university and we were playing our fifth game of the Fall season. Prior to the game I saw a lot of familiar faces from Futsal since I had been keeping tabs on my league. We discussed in-game tactics and soon the game was under way. I play Centre-Defence Midfielder because I have always been wary of my own team’s defence in general so I get the option to cover the back and move up a bit.
The captain gave me as much playing time as possible since I was only able to attend this game out of all the regular season games. I played the full game but it could have been short-lived. Four minutes in, an attacker broke through the defenders and luckily I was far back enough covering so I was able to pursue him as he was running straight through in on goal. After a few seconds of the foot race, I realised I wouldn’t be able to catch-up to him but I knew he wouldn’t get away so I slid to get rid of the ball. As I went down to get the ball and I lost view of it from sliding, my feet grasped out but there was no contact. I had missed the ball. The attacker and the ball came back into view. He had skipped out of the way but had lost pace and the ball was still moving forward in its motion. Luckily this gave defenders from behind enough covering time and the goalkeeper time to charge to cut down the shooting angle. We only conceded a corner kick. Luckily my legs hadn’t clipped him or I would have had the shortest season in league history.
At halftime, my team joked that I didn’t have to do everything I could to stop a goal. I jovially tried to convince them I was genuinely trying to clear the ball but I guess from any angle, it would have looked like I was trying to do anything to stop the OGSO.
We won the game 3-0 and the second half was an extremely technical game. In fact in more than 500 games I’ve managed, I have never ever seen such an occurrence. Our opponents began to play an extremely high line with the second last defender. Enough so that the referees executed the wait and see technique to perfection as a cross over the defensive line yielded five offside players running through. Luckily I yelled at the right ones and we were able to mount a few threatening attacks on goal.
Similar to the photo below but a much more populated second last defender line with about 5-6 defenders and 6-7 attackers.
Most of the half was spent trying to find holes and time runs through this second last defender line as our opponents would not budge and held a great line. The most comical moment was when we had almost 8 attackers beside defenders trying to time their runs. Our captain, GC, was in possession of the ball in the defending half and there were countless appeals for crosses as we almost had to dance between our opponents. To my utter astonishment and amusement, he ran towards us… and then ran right through the defensive line! Nobody stopped him and I couldn’t help but burst out laughing during the game because it was so brilliant. A goal didn’t come of it but he was applauded for the ingenuity.
We spent the hour after the game discussing what had happened, the season’s progress and Futsal since GC had been involved with Futsal for a long time; much more than me!
A college line and this was another interesting game. A great day for a game if not for the sun shining directly onto my face on the far side of the benches as the sun was setting. I spent most of the half with my hand up to block out the rays so I could get a better view of play and didn’t have to squint to protect my eyes being burnt out!
I really thought and have reflected on this game since it ended replaying and reviewing a few incidents that happened and what decisions I would take. Not being as experienced, I was trying to grasp at straws at a few incidents I witnessed.
Now it’s the final weekend of game appointments. Two lines and four Futsal games.