“Don’t try an elevator pitch when the doors are opening” – Rodric Leerling

My game developed as an almost perfect ref match. A lousy game for the two teams, but I felt myself in full control. At least I thought.

Two U19 teams were not playing their best game. Especially the guest goalkeeper messed up regularly. But they still managed to score first. The guests would counter score fast during 2nd half.

I created some confusion at the toss after quickly telling the captains I would not grant goalkeepers the ‘right’ to build a wall. The fouled party should indicate to me whether a wall should be put at 10 yards distance. If not, they could start at their own decision. The fouling party has no right to slow down the restart any further.

“So we can’t build a wall ref?” Sure, but if the fouled team wants to take it, I won’t stop them because you want to build a wall. Ah, a new rule insight!

And then it became dark and it started to rain. Many things started to run through my mind. The home club AR made a mess of his job and I decided to ignore him instead of replacing him. I had to start using my cards. And within 20 mins the same guest player was booked with yellow. But somehow I didn’t notice it on my scorecard. I allowed the free kick to be taken and saw the booked player taking off his shirt and walking off the pitch. Huh? I heard players yelling it was his second yellow an I stopped the game. Looked at my hard to read scorecard and almost swore to myself. Searched for the red card and showed him off, just after he thought I would not notice my omission.

But where were we? The free kick had ended at the other team’s goal. The home coach went ballistic. “Ref! What’s going on?” I ignored him for now and allowed the game play on, despite restarting at the wrong spot. No time to rewind the film and take the gamble.

Minutes later I blew the final whistle and got many handshakes. The furious coach asked for an explanation, which I honestly gave him. He calmed down once he heard he was right but just too loud at the time. We shook hands and he made sure they really won 5-4. Narrow escape indeed.

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