More assigning to do at the start of week to complete the rest of the season as the quiz closed on Monday night for my referee roster. Finished that off so I won’t have to worry about much for a while.
My schedule was clean open. No games for weeks to come. But then…
It happened. A game offer came through for a line in a play-off game on Sunday. Then a few Futsal games in my league needed covering on Friday at the end of the week. I suppose it was inevitable. From no games to more games. I tried to explain it to a friend. After all, I had told him I wouldn’t have anymore games.
I have also spent the last week thinking about upgrading again. I’m unsure of what the future holds in store for me so I have until the next week to decide. It’s also made a very difficult choice between upgrading or becoming an instructor.
With a large gap in mid-week and no playing or refereeing just yet, I went for a jog with another referee. It had been a while since I had gone for a long jog like this but I was quite comfortable at the pace. It was 5km in total but I was hoping to push further. Hopefully for the next session.
The next day I took a break from work and went out to do a few training videos that I thought would be useful for referee development. After recording the videos, I practiced running a few diagonals across the field. Instead of moving corner flag to corner flag, I started at the edge of the penalty area between the penalty area line and the goal area line. The previous runs from flag to flag made my patrol path wider which has led to ultimately bad positioning when play changes so it was good to correct it. It was fun. I really want to get access to an empty football pitch again sometime soon so I can do it again some time.
Out filming the net inspection video. Not much to say there other than the fact I’m privileged to know some of the most dedicated people in the game to help me do this.
Was somehow odd looking out at an empty football pitch in subzero temperatures running referee drills. Refereeing games under the lights are always enjoyable.
After the drills, I did a few runs across the diagonal of the pitch for a bit of light running and adjusting to the patrol path. The more it’s embedded in my repertoire, the less I will need to worry about it for games.
I had to pull my Futsal boots out from under my bed for a change and they are so much more comfortable to wear than my turf Mundials. Less impact because it had rubber soles so much less issues with the feet.
My mentor and fellow new Futsal referee picked me up for the short drive down the road. He wanted to get acquainted for the new system so had come to practice and watch a few games I had in the league. He went through all the usual signs of a football referee adjusting to Futsal (the count, goalkeeper confusion). It was entertaining because I knew exactly how it felt like not so long ago!
The second was an advanced level game that he operated as the third official in and helped record score and fouls. It was an interesting game to get back into things. A rainbow trick, some simulation, missed fouls, a very very high kick by the goalkeeper at the end of the game along with some persistent infringement from a player was a bit of a wake-up call on my Futsal referee development points to work on.
Nothing referee-related. First Saturday off in six months.
I was awake at… I can’t remember. See. This is what happens when I write blog posts much later than when stuff happened. It wasn’t late but I don’t think it was particularly early as well. I was eating cereal when my mentor came to pick me up. It was only 5 minutes before arrival time but I was quite calm in getting there on time. After all, it was down the road!
It was a cool day but as usual I was dressed in short-sleeve for the warm-up. I can’t say I was fully comfortable though because it was freezing. We were soon back indoors and then back outside again. A very tight affair game with the top teams in the division battling it out. 1-0 for the away team in the first half and tied at the beginning of the second half. For the first time in my refereeing career, I was part of a match that was proceeding to 2 halves of 15 minutes of extra time. It was eventful with both coaches appealing on multiple occasions and no doubt plenty of work to do.
I remember the home coach continually questioning me about certain calls and I simply replied with a smile while focusing on play. I think it frustrated him after a certain point. Kicks from the Penalty Mark arrived. I asked the referee which goal he was choosing and if he wanted us to remain in our positions. I had always been in the centre circle in past KFPM and was curious how it would be on goal-side of things but I remained in my position in centre not wanting to be overbearing/going out of my way.
I had luckily brought out my organiser out of the dressing room and kept it on the table at halfway beside the field in case we needed quick access to something. It was a good place to tuck away a coin and the KFPM match cards I had kept handy. I was focused on the centre circle ensuring the players were inside and kickers proceeded one-by-one to the mark in a timely manner and nobody went twice. The home team ended up winning. In the end, the overall mechanics of KFPM was not properly watched which was a disappointing end to the season as I would remember it. Unfortunately I can’t elaborate further.
No more outdoor football matches for some time now.