No games on the first day of the week but I was phoned by a younger referee nervous about getting his first official assessment. He was in the middle for a mid-competitive youth age group. Instead of lecturing him, I asked him how he had prepared and how he intended to go about doing certain aspects of the game. He seemed to be in the right frame of mind but just missing the confidence. After chatting for a few hours with him when he came over to my place, he calmed down and gave me a surprise hug and thanked me for settling him down.
I think this is absolutely crucial to mention because it varies how the football season is and the intensity of games during the week. Foot care and fatigue. It’s absolutely crucial to take care of both as the season wears on as negligence can lead to much larger problems so I did make sure I was fit and healthy.
I had an exhibition game set up for the next day (Tuesday) and was working with assistant referees, one who was above and one who was lower than my current classification but both quite experienced.
I experimented with positioning a lot in this game despite it being a higher level than I was used to. I gave my ARs more room to make decisions and really stretched the width of the pitch. Unfortunately this looked terrible because it appeared as though I had drawn a line from corner flag to corner flag and didn’t deviate from a spectator standpoint. Might have partially been due to the training I did last week. Will have to re-do that training and adjust my diagonal.
My top three take-aways:
- Signalling mechanics after a foul. Give the direction.
- Waiting the appropriate time for a delayed whistle after an advantage
- Don’t turn back to AR, get more curve in the diagonal and don’t go as close to the touchline
Two important decisions was a goal line decision. I was behind two players and an apparent deflection off a defender was missed. I read the body language of the attacker who seemed to claim her possession of the ball after it had rolled out but I quickly interjected and awarded a goal kick causing some shouting from the stands/spectators. The second was an 85th minute incident where a defender following the ball from a few yards towards her own penalty area didn’t realise another attacker arriving from his opposite shoulder and she stepped across to charge her off the ball in what was a semi-trip/charge that didn’t seem fair. The communication didn’t work well for some reason as the penalty kick didn’t seem to be an obvious decision for some reason. It was converted to 2-1 as the match ended with the same score. I knew it would be discussed at length later so I put it out of my mind immediately after.
My ARs helped me on several occasions by using the beep system. I hadn’t anticipated the ball going out on the touchline once and did look over my shoulder a few times to catch a few flags (luckily on time). I was surprised to see the audience watching the game and there was an extended post-game debrief.
With the football season passed halfway and nearing a close, futsal is slowly coming up again including a lot of push on what might be happening this winter. Being away from the centre of it all doesn’t mean I’m not involved. Quite the opposite!
After putting up last week’s post on Tuesday, I had a chat with a fellow official. It was a difficult conversation but one I needed to have on some hard truths to reflect on and even more insight. I feel the most development happens in refereeing when there is plenty of time to think about a game and how to change officiating style/mechanics. I didn’t get much sleep that night despite trying to sleep early. A co-worker the next morning said I looked exhausted. I was.
My next game was a Thursday double-header. The referee in the middle for the first game was part of the instructing team at my Entry Level clinic. He had a tough game because there were some players that simply weren’t in the mood to behave and it resulted in several cautions. My game went smoothly. There was a no-foul call that upset a player. He had reached back to kick the ball and was too slow and ended up kicking his opponent and hurting himself. I prevented both players from getting close to one another physically and quelled their anger a bit. The game did the rest. No cards in my game and the players seemed satisfied with how my officiating turned out.
Given the gaffe I had two weeks ago, I’ve put in another game in for assessment to prove it was just a slip-up. Game day Sunday should be fun.