On request of the losing team … – Rodric Leerling

On request of the losing team … – Rodric Leerling

The ref in training was given only his second game in his training program, whereas his colleague junior refs had done 6 or 7 by now. Somehow he had been dropped from the roster, but he was glad to finally be on the pitch and with another mentor. He was asking all sorts of questions and tips in the dressing room, eager to learn from me.

It was an easy game on a rainy day in the lower adult competition. The new ref was a bit unclear in his signals, just like me when I started. Indicating foul spots with one arm and with his other arm the direction of the restart. Allowing advantage but not showing it clearly.  At one moment he even had both his arms straight up in the air where maybe he wanted to signal ‘no foul, play on’ (horizontal). The typical apprentice errors.

In total, there were 4 substitutions and some small game delays. So extra time could be expected. But to my surprise, exactly at 90 minutes he blew the final whistle. We walked off the pitch and I congratulated him on a good game. He picked up the advice at half time and was faster on the spot when needed. But why end the game on the dot? Well, he said, he thought it would be best to end the game on time. The 1-5 score was pretty clear and the losing home team had enough already of it after 80 minutes. So they requested a timely ending of their game. My best advice of the day: keep your own time record and decide yourself when it’s over.

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