“Penalty Shoot-Out” – Rodric Leerling

A freezing game this weekend, scheduled late at 5pm, was supposed to produce a winner. The 1/8 cup finale was between two teams from different youth leagues.

As a winner was required, pk’s were my last resort in case of a draw after 90 minutes. I was betting for a regular winner around 7pm. Cooling down while standing still at zero Celsius is no fun I can tell you.

But it still happened, and even in the dying seconds of the game. The home team playing a lower league managed to correct the early 0-1 score into a 2-1 lead in 2nd half. But they had to allow the equalizer due to a defender error.

We tossed who would start and which five players would take the pk’s. I checked the 11meter spot distance just for the record. The astro turf penalty spot was marked clearly as a big white dot. But it wasn’t at 11. I only measured 10m so I decided to measure it again, taking big strides towards the goal line: 10 meters.

What to do? I decided not to make a big fuss about it and told each player to take the pk from just behind the white dot. The away team won after all, 20 minutes later.

I made a comment to the club contact person and advised him to check it himself the next day. He said he would. I was the first ref to have made them aware of this signage error. Somebody got to do it. It happened to be me. Typical.

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