High school soccer


As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve started reffing high school soccer, and it’s great. I love it, and it pays more, so I can’t complain about that.

So far, it’s been pretty interesting. I worked every day last week, with two games one night.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, I had games at the same school — boys on Tuesday, then girls on Wednesday. This is a school that only pays for two refs for JV games, so I was only needed for the first game on Tuesday. After the game, which was pretty uneventful, I sat in the stands with a friend of mine who was watching her nephew play.

While we were watching and talking, one of the players on the visiting team went down. He hurt his knee so badly, the ambulance had to drive onto the field to get him out of there. We later heard his knee was turned all the way around to the side. Poor kid. He was apparently a big shot on his school’s cross country team, too.

Soccer is a violent game, and I’m a believer in calling very few fouls, but I hate to see anyone get hurt. First, because it hurts; but mostly because it keeps him or her from playing the sports that they love.

At the girls’ game the next day, it was pretty hot and muggy. Probably not super-hot, but the coaches wanted to take water breaks anyway. This is a school that has found itself in trouble for not being careful enough in the heat, so they’re extra-careful now. Fine with me. I like to be very hydrated.

At half-time in the first game, a girl got overheated and had to be rushed off the field to an ice-water bath. It made me worry because if it hadn’t been for half-time or us taking water breaks, she might have kept on playing and dropped on the field.

Heat stroke can kill you pretty fast, and I think a lot of kids don’t realize that until someone dies. Football is in the headlines the most because the players seem to be most susceptible (summer practice, helmets, etc.), but if you drink sodas all day then run around at top speed 0n a soccer field, you’re going to get yourself into trouble.

The girl was OK, and no ambulance was needed, but the coach joked with me afterward that she got an eyeful because they had to take her into the boys’ locker room and the football players were still in there.


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