Week 21

Refereeing is absolutely not a walk in the park (despite what my posts on the blog may lead you to believe). šŸ˜‰

There’s definitely some lost sleep over it and some recently. It has its ups and downs. Speaking of which, World Cup is edging closer than ever and the fever is slowly catching on. With squad lists being posted, Howard Webb looking more like Bane from the Batman in his tropical fitness training, all eyes are slowly turning to Brazil. Hang on folks because almost everyone (football-lovers or not) is turning their heads.

I watched a bit of Futsal early in the week. A colleague was playing and another colleague refereeing the game so to watch a fixture from the league’s debut season, I went to watch. A nice escape and great to see the presence and strength of Futsal keeping it going even in the summer! Normally everyone wants to get outside especially with the great weather. Not that Futsal can’t be played outside but there aren’t many well-maintained and marked surfaces.

wlooMayWeather

The irony of having a football pitch in the view outside my window.

footballPitchWCI

I also got some new running shoes that I use for day-to-day use and for gym/training. I consider myself an athletic-nut.

underArmourRunningShoes

I had a surprise Mens recreational middle come up on Thursday. Not too much prep time but my AR was able to pick me up and we went to the game together which was a bit hectic since it was after my first day of work. The crew for the game was quite young. In fact, I’m sure I was the oldest. I reached just over 9.2km in field coverage but even then, I felt I had barely run.

I look for trends in games to see what are of my performance I need to be working on and feel it brings up certain areas that I would not normally look at (just because I haven’t been given assessor feedback in that area yet). The match went smoothly partly because everyone came to play and much less argument. The game had a few instances of misconduct but some talking and man management kept it in check. A lot of items have come up with post-match reflection so I prefer a bit of space between my games so that I can focus on them and eliminate them as a weakness. No reflection, no progression.

Incident

The biggest talking point of the game was an offside scenario. I was working with a fairly inexperienced AR and a ground shot was taken to goal from the edge of the penalty area to the far post. The defensive line (and second last defender) was a few yards into the penalty area. There was an attacker clearly in an offside position. An accompanying defender was with him but ahead of him. I was near the edge of the penalty area on my S-diagonal and was able to make the judgement along with the AR’s advice. The ball went towards the offside attacker and then he let it go through his legs and the goalkeeper didn’t have enough time to react. Goal.

The AR’s flag went up and I remember my very recent discussion of the new offside law change this year. I didn’t blow the whistle for offside and mayhem started to ensue from a few players. I spoke to the calmest player on the pitch and explained the decision before moving on. The team calmed down later and having reviewed the law, I went step by step to ensure I had taken the right decision.

The attacker had not:

  • interfered with play: he didn’t touch it
  • gained an advantage by being in that position: there was no rebound and he didn’t play the ball either!

Really the point of contention is:

ā€œinterfering with an opponentā€ means preventing an opponent from playing or being able to play the ball by clearly obstructing the opponentā€™s line of vision or challenging an opponent for the ball

  • He didn’t physically prevent the opponent from playing the ball NOR did he prevent the goalkeeper from seeing the ball (it was always visible) NOR did he challenge for the ball.

What he did do was distract the goalkeeper through his playing movements but it makes no difference under the wording of the new Law. Right? I was empathetic to the players’ frustration but the goal stood.

What do you think? Was I right?

I thought I could have handled the incident better with confidence. I sensed I left the situation open to argument by not moving on quickly (not sure what my facial expression was!).

I came back home exhausted and fell asleep. Lucky for me, I really don’t have any other responsibilities other than waking up for work the next morning. No cards so gamesheets were done and done at the field. I just had to put them into an envelope.

The last activity of the week was meeting a scheduler along with a pair of friends and it was a lot of fun sorting out the July schedule for games. There were a lot of jokes and I’m sure it took far longer to do it this way but definitely not half as fun. Things will slow down with Ramadan and fasting for me but I simply love football too much to stop completely!

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