This has truly been one of the hardest things I’ve felt I’ve had to learn in the game so far. You can watch tons of videos and gameplay on fouls and misconduct to get decisions right when it comes to fouls and cards. It’s not quite the same for anticipating play.
It was a humid Middle-Eastern evening as I sat on the porch looking down at my socks. I was wearing mid-shin socks over compression socks to reduce muscle vibration. Only problem was that my toes didn’t have as much grip as I want but I wasn’t refereeing so eh. Also, the color contrast looks pretty cool too. I was wearing compression shorts as well under my Adidas refereeing shorts. The only thing left to do with old edition uniforms are to use them for training.
The week started off with celebrations that fasting had finished. I was at work late on the first day but a need-a-referee help e-mail came out in the evening and I decided to respond and go. After all, I didn’t have other plans. Another 250km trip. This was my second time going to this field so I was somewhat familiar with getting to the field. The assignor was on the line and a familiar name popped up as the other AR so I decided that this game may be interesting for the referee team involved alone.
The anticipation for the first game is always high considering there is more than six months indoors.
I planned every element of the pre-game build-up. Having arrived back in the country a little more than 48 hours before kick-off, my first priority was re-aligning sleep schedule so that I was mentally prepared. The first night I had to sleep in three shift segments. I spent the day after watching the first day’s tournament games and was out for 5 hours. This helped me stay awake for the rest of the day but I was worn out by the time I got home and was out like a light.
I didn’t have my entire kit with me for the games; just my umbro and I co-ordinated with the rest of my crew to make sure they at least matched as assistants; they wore the 2014 kits. The majority of my referee stuff was in storage or out of town. More on that in the next post.