Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Six things I have learned reffing soccer games...

  1. Very few people understand the "offsides" rule: I honestly think there is a better chance of parents and coaches learning advanced physics than understanding offsides. I think everyone should have to sit through a 30 min session explaining this rule before they are allowed to coach or attend the games of their children.
  2. "Hey ref, call it both ways" is a stupid thing to yell... you see, this implies that there is some unwritten rule that both teams will foul at the same rate during the game. The truth is that some teams are coached to play more aggressively and some players are wired that way. I know that it can appear to be a one-sided affair at times, but this is what happens when one team fouls more than another. It is not my responsibility to make sure that calls are even at the end of the game.
  3. Refs need tough skin- The very fact that I am in the middle of the field means that there is conflict that cannot be self-policed. The result is that I will be an "idiot" in the eyes of someone at some point in the game. I have to know this going in and be willing to laugh it off.
  4. Refs need short memories- I have found that reffing is a lot like playing a sport. I have to let stuff go and not let it linger around in my head. I am done once I pack my bag, put away the watch, the cards, the whistle, the flags, the coin, and the patch. Sometimes I need to forget a bad or missed call and sometimes I need to forget something a coach, parent, or player said to me during the game. I leave the tough situations on the field and remind myself that I have already been paid... :)
  5. Every game is a new game- Many times I will see the same teams on several occasions in the course of a season. I have to hit a mental "reset" button before the game if the previous game had conflict. I have even talked to coaches before a game, acknowledging previous conflict and requesting that we start with a clean slate.
  6. Isolating a player or coach is always best- if a coach is yelling at me, the worst thing I can do is yell back across the field. I have found that blowing the whistle, and asking the coach to move away from the bench (away from parents and players) and talking quietly and respectfully works best. The same goes with a player that needs a warning. Most of the time, the situation gets better and if it not it is time to let the cards make an appearance.

No comments: