Getting off a brutal week ending in deadlines, it was fun to be able to breath and relax after a while.
A line on Saturday in another city for a university game which was quite exciting. I met up with a crew member who stopped by my house and we discussed all the random going-ons and the sport in North America on the trip. It was a lively and interesting discussion. We arrived at the field quite early (earlier than the required arrival time so we had plenty of time to watch the crew of officials on both sets of fields with a lot of familiar faces from the local area and far away. We were soon under way with our pre-game preparations and it was the same team and referee I had seen over the past week but on different occurrences and on different games. This game was quite exciting as there was no way to predict who would win. I really enjoyed the teamwork of the crew this game. Thumbs up to this ref for acknowledgement of ARs! Well worth the five hours invested into the game.
How many instances of adidas can you count on the shot below? Just realised when I was walking to the Futsal court. Might defeat the purpose of wearing socks with flip-flops but the court is nearby and I only wear the my Futsal boots on the court. Just before noon, I got the notification that my evening assessment game line was cancelled. Postponed likely but it may not be on a date that favours me later. That left the evening and day open for Futsal! Joga bonito! The weather was quite foggy on the afternoon. I guess these weather updates mean nothing when you are refereeing indoors unless it affects my travel. The arena was only three traffic stops away from where I was when I took this photo. Aaaand here’s the arena! My second home for the next eight months as we swing into the football off-season but right into the Futsal season where 400+ Futsal matches will be played at the arena! The first match of the day were the only two All-Star division teams that had registered this term so it promised to be an exciting encounter. 40 minutes of Futsal later, the score ended at 2-1 with countless rebounds and ricochets off the woodwork. The second half found a team hit the five accumulated fouls rule, one of the rare occurrences this term, but not reach the sixth for a 10m mark kick. Another Futsal match to referee and the remainder of the time for spectating. I managed to find two hours of rest time to dash back home before another important Futsal match later in the night. WHOOOSH. Two hours flew by and my buddy, RM, who was playing on one of the teams picked me up 30 minutes before kick-off. We were early at the gym and I met my partner referee for the game, AA. The game to be played was a battle of two ethnic teams of Futsal roots. I always heard from my football mentors that if you want to learn to be a good referee, you should learn in the competitive but lower-tier Mens games where there is plenty of man management to be used. Typically the teams represent an ethnicity and some of the intimidating names that were used for emphasis were the Croats, Turks, Poles, Slavs… When it comes to Futsal, all you need was this fixture. Iran versus Brazil. Two very passionate teams were playing to determine a shift in the top region of the Advanced division table. I knew all the players in both teams having played with them or having interacted with them via refereeing! Not sure if that was a good thing but they were a little more understanding and there was a lid on the passion if not securely holding it down. The first half ended 3-2 to the home side. The away side called a time-out mid-way through the first half to re-group and strategise. As the second half kicked-off, there were a flurry of goals and the away side led with the score at 4-6. As the game was rounding up, tensions started to rise and the home side netted another goal! 5-6. The home team only needed one more goal to get a point from the game so everyone was playing hard. As usual the woodwork acted as a ball magnet with some unbelievable chances going wide. There were also a few instances of fouls that brought up heated arguments between players. Luckily I was able to quell it without brandishing cards. The second instance of managing it worked quite well as I blew the whistle to get everyone’s attention and gave clear body language of relaxation and breathing and the serious-faced target player broke a smile on his face and diffused the tension. With the two major stoppages, the allowance that had to be made for time lost was a whopping 5 minutes. The game ended with plenty of discussion points and some sadness that the excitement was over.
Final score ended 6-5 to Brazil. See @4:11 of the above video. The play-offs in a month’s time are going to be intense. I can still feel the physical toll and mental drain of yesterday’s game today. Going to be a couple of days before I regain match fitness.
Pack 90 minutes of action on to a smaller court. Now do it in 40 minutes. Throw in some basketball-style rules (no hands of course). Play with a heavier ball. What have you got?