I was excited and busy making plans for a great Summer football season. The field play-offs already started with a last-minute mid-week AR assignment and another AR one for this weekend. On top of that, I received a last-minute futsal play-off game to ref as well. And I was invited to a company field tournament in June and was enlisted for Beach Soccer reffing again soon. Exciting!
But then suddenly, my body told me it was enough for now. Last weekend, my right knee suddenly swelled like a balloon. No pain, just stiff and impossible to bend. Well, I thought, it sure will be better tomorrow. But it stayed bad so I had to see a doctor who did some basic tests and said the swelling could be reduced with medication. If it doesn’t change, come back next week. Bit surprised, but didn’t want to argue.
Well, it is next week now, and the knee not only still looks swollen, but is also hurting now. Medication doesn’t seem to work, so I’m planning to see the doctor again, this time to ask for physio therapy. In the meantime, I had to cancel the futsal play-off game and two field play-off games. I’m slightly worried about the rest of the upcoming field play-off games. Maybe it’s season finale for me, before it even started. Maybe I pressed myself too hard to get the futsal promotion, who knows. Combination of futsal and field games getting too much?
So, it’s time to do some other things. Write another personal blog. Visit some friends. Make myself useful around the house. Limping.
In hindsight, I should have started much earlier. I reached my career ceiling since I’ve hit the 50 year age bracket. And now it’s too late. Too late for a serious career at least, but still plenty of time to have fun doing it! On grass, on sand and indoors.
I still remember a slow Saturday afternoon, some 20 years back, when I watched a local football match go wrong because the referee just stood there in the middle, mainly signalling in and out-balls and copying his assistants’ calls for off-side. That should be done better, I thought, but was too busy with my career. Years later, when we moved to another town, I decided to pick up my fav sport and first became U12 coach.
Two years later I decided to go for the Dutch ref badge and start reffing on weekends instead. Another switch was made last year after having had several tricky games with adults. I’m now working mainly U18 and U16 games. Mostly as stand-alone ref, but play-offs happen with 3 neutral refs, thank goodness. I envy the US refs who always work with a ref trio. Something I did for 4 half seasons while living in New Jersey.
This passed season 2013/14 produced one major game incident that shook my ref constitution. A collective fight out of the blue between the teams resulted in a temporarily suspended game. Reports written from various parties produced a heavy penalty on which both teams appealed and the appeal court sentenced a lower penalty because not all reports could be proven.
I’m still enthusiastic and driven to give my best and report back when things are not according to the rules of the game.