I felt quite stiff for most of the week. Both body and muscles stiff so I didn’t do anything very physically active.
I had my assignor responsibilities for the Futsal league to tend to and development strategies for referee education. That’s about to pick up.
I was also busy a lot during the week with conference calls with a few referees I hadn’t chatted with elsewhere for a long-time. It was a good time to catch up. The ref family and the number of connections become so large and widespread that it’s hard to stay in touch with everyone often.
The only games I had scheduled was during the weekend and the top item I had to tend to was cleaning my flags. They had become smelly. Luckily the b&d flags could be taken apart and I gave everything a good wash and disinfecting.I was pleased to find match highlights for my surprise game last week online and kept it aside as a memento. Not to mention ample analysis on what appeared to include 10 seconds of footage with me in it. I was also quite busy during the week with selling referee equipment. All of a sudden, everyone had become interested in gearing up so I was busy sorting out inventory, arranging meetings and looking up price lists. With the off-season slowly approaching, this will likely become a separate focus for me to look into.
It was a scorcher weekend because the sun was out and I literally got baked. I may have got my sun tan for the entire season in on these two days with AR appointments facing the sun (both blinded and cooked).
The first game, my mentor gave me a ride since it was out of public transit distance. It was also an assessment game so I was looking forward to it. We went out for lunch and “drinks” after. It was a relaxing day after.
A local Mens competitive league quarterfinal the next day. I didn’t have much to do for the first few minutes but it soon got busy. Only two offside decisions to make but the ball went out of play plenty of times on my touchline. I was relieved when some cloud cover made it much easier to keep an eye on the field without straining my eyesight.
Both goals in the game came from the home team and one decided to test me. A pass to the goalkeeper from a defender was played hard and mis-timed. The goalkeeper had to sprint back to prevent it from entering the net. I had an extra bit of ground to cover to get a good angle. A goal-line decision was coming… I wasn’t sure I was going to get there in time… The goalkeeper dove and a centimetre of the ball must have still been on the line aaaaaaand no. The ball was stopped but when scooping it, it was accidentally flung into the net. Own-goal. I looked over to the referee to see I needed to raise the flag (probably not but you never know) and then did a hard sprint down the touchline to signal the goal.
The game ended up in a tie and I was managing the centre circle for KFPM. I had only dealt with these once before so the emotions and nervousness of the players could be felt. A KFPM victory is always one that leaves both teams feeling that it ended on a fair note. As a result, it is without much controversy from the referees usually so everyone was pleased.
It was a fun ride back from the field chatting with the senior refs and assignors of the league. A busy weekend.
Adjusting refereeing to different levels can be immensely hard and this was a lesson I learnt this year. It’s almost a complete change in how the game is officiated. Or at least it feels like with an adjusted foul threshold. I realise I had been struggling with this last year without knowing but something I am much more cognisant of now. It has been especially hard to work as an AR when this happens since I can’t quite figure out where the line is drawn.
Something to think on.