Waiting for the final assessment report this week. The one which will determine my stay or leaving the current (small) referee league. Either way, it’s out of my hands now.
My last U19 game with an assessor was last Saturday. It was a fast paced game with a strong wind blowing along the length of the pitch. First half I was in full control and spotted most of the fouls and kept a loose string. Second half started a bit wobbly with things happening around me, often outside my direct viewpoint. Players dropping on the floor and pointing to their opponent, that sort of things. “Play on” was the only thing I could shout and indicate to get up.
The away team was much better and had several technically highly skilled players. But they also could be obnoxious. Like delaying game at a restart, and when I signaled the player to speed up he talked back and asked me whether I was telling him who should take the corner. “No, smart ass, I’m not, but you should speed up”. He shrugged and left the restart for another player who also came walking slowly. When this happened again at a throw-in, I asked the same player to come and talk to me. Told him and his captain I noticed a pattern and I didn’t want it to be repeated. Next time it would be yellow.
Minutes later another away player decided to drop to the floor. Not fouled, but apparently suffering from muscle cramps. A team member pointed this out to me and told me I should stop the game. I ignored him at first and let play continue. He started shouting to me and at the next stop, I showed him yellow for dissent (and let the player be treated). He kept making noises and shook his head, still in dissent. I hesitated but decided not to be too strict and pull the card again. And then, a free kick and the cautioned player scored a beautiful Messi-like free-kick goal.
Walking off the pitch, I made contact with him again. I told him he played a great game, but would be even better without the dissent. He nodded and said he understood. Just be polite and ask questions, like I did. He just smiled and joined his cheering team members.