Tourney fun

Last weekend, I finally got to referee again. It was for a large recreational sports tournament put on in my state.  The tournament has everything from basketball to cornhole, so soccer is just one part of the overall tourney.

The event lasts two weekends, but I was unable to attend the first weekend because I was out of town. So, in the second weekend, I reffed junior varsity boys high school games.

I was exposed to all sorts of types. There were crazy coaches, crazy kids and even some awesome on both sides.

The first day was pretty normal. I had four games, all of them uneventful. Most of the refs there seemed to know each other, so I kind of just kept quiet while they chatted. They were all friendly, but I was too worn out to join the conversatons. One thing I didn’t like is that the information for the teams and parents was in the same tent that was meant for referees to rest. That meant that coaches and parents who were upset about games came over to us to complain. Usually, the referees are separate from the rest of the people in the tourney.

One parent came over to complain about a referee and he had to be told to go away. Apparently, the ref had sent off a coach (in high school games, you can give red and yellow cards to coaches and the bench.) So the parent started running his mouth at the tent and the refs had to tell him to go away. He said, “It’s a damn shame when a referee ruins a good game!” Just another one of those guys who has to have the last word.

My Sunday morning game was a semi-final, and both teams played hard. They were pretty evenly matched and both were very aggressive. The center ref handed out lots of yellow cards, and she almost had to send off a coach who couldn’t keep his mouth shut. He even got snippy with me once. I hate guys like that. Seriously, it’s JV ball. Get over yourself! The funniest part is that earlier in the game, I heard one coach say to the assistant coach, “You know, these are pretty good referees.” That lasted only until we made a call against his team.

Later that day, the center ref and I both worked that team’s bronze medal game. Before the game, one of the kids asked who was centering. I said, “She is.” There was groaning. They knew she would card the hell out of them.

One coach, however, I loved. I wanted to take him home with me (not in a creepy way). I was on the coaches’ side of the field, and the coach of this one Catholic school was so nice. I’ll call him Good Coach. Before the game, I overheard the ref talking to the coaches. The coach for the other team said, “This is only my second time coaching a game ever.” I ran up and said, “You’re a new coach?” he said yes. I said, “I have some very important advice — never, ever disagree with the refs.” They all laughed and Good Coach said, “Even if you do, it doesn’t matter anyway because you won’t win!”

During the game, the Good Coach had nothing but nice things to say to his players. He cheered them on, said, “Great job!” to all of them and never once complained. He even had a player on the sidelines keeping time so he wouldn’t have to bother me for it. At one point, he was screaming something positive to his players, cheering for his team, and he turned to me and said, “Oh, sorry for all the yelling.” What a dream! I told him, “If it’s positive, you can yell all you want to.”

And his team was good. They won that game, and you could see how much these boys loved their coach. Other coaches could take a lesson from that guy. The guy whose second game it was didn’t bother us either. I think Good Coach’s niceness rubbed off on everyone.

The parents never gave me any trouble. They were laid back and  cool. Most of them even joked with me on the sidelines.

Today I finished my test to be a high school referee. I passed with an 85 percent. I was shocked at how different high school soccer is from USSF soccer, but I’ll blog more on that later.


2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Newref :) on August 4, 2009 at 2:18 pm

    Just found your site. Pretty interesting stuff ya got goin on and seems like you’re really moving up. I’m a “born-again” ref here in central KY. I was a ref when I was 13 and now that Im 30 I decided to get back into it. I feel you when you say you’re just ready for the season to start. All my “new” equipment is just sitting at home ready to be used and it can’t get here soon enough! Good luck with your high school games as I’m sure you’ll do fine!


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