No games during the week. No training either. I decided that it would be good to have a full 5 days with no intense physical activity involving the legs other than generally walking.
It was also a major transition in schedule as I moved from work to classes so it was useful to slow things down.
I’ve had plenty of reflection on match control and how it has affected certain games throughout my career that have been memorable. It will be interesting to try out some new techniques when I next have the chance.
All the action was the weekend.
Saturday was a return to action and I was raring to go and get a good run in. I got ready in everything but the suit jacket. The referee picked me up and it was another game in close proximity.
It was an evenly contested game so there was plenty to pay attention to and to be constantly alert and aware.
In the second half, the rain began to fall. It started to come down heavy. Everyone seemed to look to the skies in anguish because it would mean cold and wet. I was likely the only person with a huge grin on my face relishing the weather because it’s just like English football. You have to have the weather bad enough to be miserable but the love of the sport great enough to be out on the pitch doing what you do.
I had plenty of bench management. On a close offside call, the away team coach agreed with me having been close by but having witnessed a separate incident later in the game, I saw the attacker and defender level with each other causing an outburst that had to be dealt with. Perhaps it would have led to a dismissal on a different day but given certain circumstances, I was a little more lenient.
The weather improved towards the end of the game. It was a great atmosphere for the game overall.
At the end of the game, I looked around the changing room to see all the referees using the Refsworld organisers that I had sold them! That was definitely an interesting and proud moment.
I went straight home after the game to get back to work and get something done from what was left of the day. I also got my gamebag ready for the next day.
Check out these fair play captain’s armbands that I scored from a friend! Nice momentos.
My schedule had become busy quite fast and rather unexpectedly. I was filled with a bit of regret that I had this game on Sunday because I knew it meant nothing else would be done. The entire day dedicated to the two football matches I had.
It was no ordinary game either. I had a point to prove after my previous nightmare assessment only a month prior.
I calmed down very quickly when I chatted with my two ARs a few hours before kick-off. It was good to touch base with my team ahead of time. I had of course chatted with them before as well with respect to game details but this was more of a casual chat.
I made good progress to get to the game with the car rental. I arrived at the pitch about 35 minutes before kick-off without any hitches and was able to drive the whole way without GPS. It’s become a regular route!
The pre-game was relaxed and I was a little worried either of the teams would be short but luckily they had fielded enough by the time kick-off had come around.
At one point in the game, I felt my leg slip on the grass as I tried to stay out of the way of play. I leaned back too far and was about to fall over backwards as a result. I shifted all the pressure to my quadriceps and somehow managed to power through and stay on my feet. I was sure I would blow my muscle from the pressure I felt so I was sure not to do anything strenuous for the next few minutes. This happened so fast that I’m not sure anyone noticed.
The away team seemed to be quite willing to cause me grief and reasons to display cautions but I chose them appropriately.
The goalkeeper remonstrated with me after I signalled a corner kick. He had shown dissent by action by motioning glasses with his hands. I was thinking in my mind “Oho hooo. You did not just do that”. I had already cautioned him for dissent earlier. I delayed the restart to chat with him and clearly let him know that it would not be tolerated. This didn’t work as effectively as I wanted it to. Probably because he was two feet taller than me? Not that I’m short but I’m not tall and this guy was tall. Approaching him may not have been a good idea for this reason.
Having chatted with the assessor about this later, isolation and summoning him away from goal and a bit of the fray would have perhaps helped. A very powerful technique in what sometimes belittles players in front of the rest of the pitch.
My moment of truth came in the 25th minute of the second half. Attacker running in the penalty area parallel to the goal line slowly changing direction towards the far post. A defender was beside him in hot pursuit. The penalty area wasn’t crowded but it wasn’t empty either. The attacker was smaller in size and he fairly charged the defender causing the defender to lose balance. He was falling away and then in what seemed to be a deliberate action (didn’t really matter if it was), his legs went across the attacker in a scissor trip as he was falling away. The attacker was brought down and I blew the whistle long and hard waiting for the reaction. I circled the scenario to see if anyone wanted to approach and argue but I was sure to note the jersey number of the defender. Got it. It settled down fairly quickly. I walked around and showed the defender his caution for breaking up a promising attack. OGSO? Maybe? It just didn’t feel like it. There was another defender closer to the goal but the foul occurred almost on the penalty spot. It was close. How obvious does an OGSO need to get? Nobody really disagreed.
Reflecting on the game overall. I was pleased with how it went and the general happenings. The feedback hadn’t been majorly worrying in nature so I was quite pleased. Even more so that there was no reference to positioning on the field that I had been struggling with. I didn’t hesitate to turn my back on my AR in order to face play with the awareness that I was and that I should know when to turn and look at times in order to have the best view on play. I didn’t miss any flags luckily. I did put in a shift however because it was my all-time high in field coverage since I had almost hit 6km in one half (5.91).
There were no dismissals and the game didn’t need it ending on quite peaceful terms. A player claimed to have been fouled twice and was quite upset with it. I had missed one mid-way through the first half and one on the brink of half-time. Thankfully nothing further happened to cause any trouble.
This game was a double-header assignment that I had helped organise. It was fairly quiet. The first half had lots of offside decisions for me to make mostly resulting in no decisions. I also managed to sell a few card skins to a regular customer on the referee crew after the game.
One of the surprising incidents in the game was a player who was cautioned for dissent and accepted his card without trouble. Almost a minute later he committed a reckless challenge and the reaction reverberated around the whole field. Second yellow and the player was already on his way out without as much as a peep in what must have been the quietest red card I have witnessed.
I was worn out after both games. It had been a tiring weekend. Looking forward to the report now.