Week 43

Monday

The intramural referee scheduler messaged me on the Monday to do a game that night at the nearby field and it was a potentially difficult game so I was appointed to the middle alongside two other certified referees. The weather was quite cold on the day but had slightly improved by game time for me; 10pm. I arrived to find out that the games before mine had all been forfeited by no-show teams so my game was the first and last of the day.

I am using these games to practice my S-diagonal and positioning as well as to experiment with new positions such as standing on the goal line outside the field of play on a corner kick. It has been a lot of fun and the goal line view during a corner kick was fantastic as there is little chance of being struck by the ball and an excellent view of activity in the penalty area. I definitely got a great insight into what AARs see as they watch oncoming traffic towards their respective goals.

I was lucky that there weren’t any large breakaways that I would have had to sprint after. The position was also a great way to enforce presence and let players know that my positioning isn’t stagnant and predictable. I think I will risk trying it out a bit more in games. No risk, no reward!

Wednesday

Wednesday brought another instructing session. The intramural league’s referee play-off meeting was in the evening and I was set to present a presentation on Law 6: The Assistant Referees. Certain games at this stage would be appointed three match officials. The meeting started with league rules specific to play-offs.

I also received an award for helping out with the league by the Referee-In-Chief that I was happy to receive. A golden whistle!

My outdoor refereeing isn’t quite done since the meeting lead to an appointment to the top division finals more than three weeks away! This was the weather today so I shudder (perhaps literally) to think what the weather will be like then!

dcSnowFall

This is snow by the way. Not rain.

mcQuadSnowFall

snowOnHand

And the following is after the light snow. It had melted here but was lying in other areas.

uwPostSnow

Nevertheless I am still very excited for the upcoming games with officials I have worked with before.

Friday

Meeting day for the local RA and I dragged a boatload of referee equipment with me. Hint: See previous post. It was the AGM so a trio of posts were up for election and saw a complete makeshift. I received a lot of attention because of my help in education sessions over the year (3/7) and for the equipment.

Saturday

Unfortunately I lost all my photos on the action for the day due to a malfunction.

At 12pm, Barcelona kicked-off against Real Madrid in La Liga’s El Clasico. Meanwhile 8750 kilometres away on a Futsal court, a different El Clasico was set to get underway only 30 minutes later! It was quite the heated battle of two teams ending in a grand total of ten accumulated fouls during the course of the whole game for both teams. No cards but several confrontations showing that both teams were in the game for the passion. The onlookers for the game didn’t envy the referee role as they expressed their thanks at the end of the game but I knew it was a challenge and there were few opportunities for games like that.

Later that night I sat down to watch the other El Clasico while having dinner and I felt an involuntary twitch in my finger as I saw Diego Lopez, RM goalkeeper, release the ball to a teammate before receiving it directly back. An infringement in Futsal but not the same in football. It really reminded me of how familiar Futsal has become to me since I started 12 months earlier. Something in my mind screamed “Noooooo! Don’t do it!”

Sunday

Nothing really referee-related. I spent five hours in the Linux machine labs working/studying and once it neared 4:30pm, left for my match. Playing this time! 5pm KO so I headed to the field but not before I stopped by the local Futsal court to watch a part of an Advanced game and chatted with a few of the players. I got dressed and people were in awe that I was dressed in short-sleeve and no underarmour i.e. my kit I wear in the summer. I didn’t find it particularly cold on the day so I wasn’t worried. It was chilly but I was sure the game would warm me up enough not to freeze.

The game proceeded and the team referred to me a lot for tactical advice and in some cases on dealing with specific scenarios. I managed to foster a quick-restart mentality and the first such opportunity resulted in a goal after the ball was chipped to the captain who finished it into the bottom right corner as he came in running in from the left. The rest of the game was spent keeping the ball up in the air; something our opponents couldn’t handle changing the complexion of the second half in our favour and a 1-0 ending. The game was a bit chippy and I took a fist in the nose from an opposing attacker in my CDM position. Apparently he was flailing his hands as he was playing the ball with a closed fist. I’ve never heard of that. I also got a fist in the back just before the half-time whistle but I managed to keep my composure in a deserved win for the physicality we all took.

After the game, I hung around with the captain to watch another playoff game with a higher ranked team and we witnessed a SFP tackle that sent a goalkeeper in the air in a flip and landing very awkwardly on his neck/back and lying motionless for a while which was shocking. I finally left with one of my teammates and went to have dinner before heading home. Just before reaching the restaurant, we passed by a Futsal player in plain clothes who smiled and said “Hi ref” despite me being in a full playing outfit get-up. I smiled and returned his salutation. Being a referee has become a part of me.

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