“I decided to, whatever people say, always stick to my approach” – Rodric Leerling

“I decided to, whatever people say, always stick to my approach” – Rodric Leerling

It felt like another satisfying game last weekend. A pretty good U17 match under nice Spring weather conditions. But not everyone would agree. As usual.

Once on the pitch, the home coach shook my hand and asked me if I hadn’t reffed them before this season. I confirmed but wasn’t sure which game exactly. He suddenly seemed to realize something and took his AR apart and started a secret looking conversation. Was he telling his club AR how to support me?

Maybe he remembered my stubborn way of reffing, not blindly following the (often biased) AR signals. So what would his advice be, exactly? I didn’t want to eavesdrop, but guessed he had just two options: either be very honest especially on off-sides, and thus gaining my confidence. Or wave the flag from kick-off on anything that looked suspicious. Again, I’m just guessing, but I assume he took the first option, for at least 60 minutes, right until the away team scored the well deserved equalizer (1-1). His flag was up and I heard shouts of “hands ref!” As I hadn’t seen anything, I signaled him to drop the flag. And he should know why, as the instructions were clear: no signals from the AR for fouls, especially in the box.

The home team soon after started wiping the floor with their opponents, scoring four more goals and I decided to call it a day after the official 80 minutes and score 1-5. The away team was complimenting me with a “terrific game”. The home coach, though, walked towards me clearly hesitating whether he would shake my hand. I didn’t wait for his decision, but just reached out to him, leaving him no choice. He started to say something about fouls I missed, but I immediately ‘overruled’ him saying I thought it was a great game, despite his teaming losing big time. He shouldn’t complain. He nodded and wished me a good weekend. See you around coach!

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