I’m reading more and more unfortunate reports of molested refs these days. Being hit by players or spectators who didn’t agree with their ruling. But behold, a new generation of refs is about to step in…. and has done so during the last couple of years. Continue reading “Boring new referees – Rodric Leerling”
Tag: jeugd scheidsrechter
Another young and ambitious ref to mentor last weekend. And this time a slightly difficult match. Mostly due to the home coach criticizing the ref all the time. I was positioned behind his dug-out, so registered everything in detail. Continue reading “Critizing the referee doesn’t help, especially with an FA rep reporting – Rodric Leerling”
To my surprise and excitement, I was assigned to another pro U16 game this season.
Only disappointment was the different game location. Due to some Christmas event it wasn’t in a real football stadium this time, but just at the neighboring amateur football club.
I can hear you think: hey, it’s the game, stupid. I know, but at 3pm with fog, in mid December and darkness closing in fast, you need good lights. Unfortunately that was not the case at this club with just basic training flood lights, leaving the middle parts of the pitch in twilight. Especially the goal areas were tricky at times.
But there was no way back, despite comments from the away coach (a former pro player) complaining he at times couldn’t see where the ball was. Glad I spotted most fouls though and had pretty good AR’s working the lines.
Everyone happy the game finished in a good manner despite the poor conditions. Especially the home team, who won and beat the table leaders for once.
The rookie ref asigned to me as his coach had a slow start. Due to heavy traffic he arrived late. Slightly nervous he started the game admin, not after first dropping his bag in his locker room. Gone for 5 minutes.
He checked the player passes on the computer and we walked to his locker room. Agreed to meet again to inspect the pitch and do his warming-up. He knew the team jerseys so would go in black.I waited for 20 minutes but no ref. 5 mins for game kick-off he showed up. Done his warming up elsewhere as his pitch was still occupied. Missed that part of his game preps. Got a little grumpy and the game hadn’t started yet.
He did the player pass check before the game and both teams entered the pitch. Suddenly, he was gone again, leaving players and coaches looking around trying to find their ref. Including myself. Turned out he had to change his ref jersey as one of the goalkepers appeared in black and not red as was agreed. Another 5 minutes lost.
Luckily he compensated his slow start with good game management. I could tick most of boxes and could give high scores. Only the typical last 10 minutes proved to be hard. He had just issued a yellow for tripping and few minutes later the same player he thought told him off, resulting in 2nd yellow and red, exit. I didn’t hear it and both coaches immediately tried to correct rhe ref telling him it wasn’t directed to him but another player, but he insisted.
I think it was over-concentration and hyper sensitivity towards the end. We walked back to his locker room and briefly talked about the incident. I suggested to take a shower and reflect on the last minutes of the game. Bad idea! It took him 40 minutes to return, leaving both coaches and me waiting for the admin to be handled. And he hadn’t changed his mind! My prime advice to the rookie ref: a little more pace before and after the game. Sustain your current game management and you might in fact become a pretty good ref.
The Surinam team from Amsterdam had mainly skilled football players. That they didn’t score goals this game didn’t bother me as referee. It was a genuine pleasure watching these U16 players act like pros, trick their opponent and play the ball with precision.
Still, you have to stay alert at this kind of games. The opponent might get frustrated and try to conquer the ball and hit the opponent instead. Foul play is always around the corner. But to my surprise it wasn’t the less skilled and lower player home team that made the errors. I heard the away-coach shout more than once “this isn’t a street game boys!” I would find out myself why he warned them.
A free-kick was awarded to the guests and I indicated the spot for the re-start. The player put the ball on the ground and ‘scarved’ it with his foot twice. to pass it to another team member. I realized what he did and immediately blew the whistle and awarded the free-kick to the other team. Leaving the amazed player with his hands in the air. I quickly told him you can’t play the free-kick ball twice without another player touching it.
Later in the game I had to make another correction when the a guest player did a throw-in with one of his legs high up in the air. Oops. Bad throw-in, and not very professional, his coach would tell him. A last warning from the dug-out: “Guys, we have a ref who takes his role serious, don’t act like pupils!” I couldn’t have said that any better.
The Dutch FA is increasingly adding info bits to the referee assignment platform. Every time a report is submitted, you now get an email, while in the old days you had to guess when an assessor had visited your game and wrote a report on your performance.
To my surprise (and slight worry) a new report appeared on my last weekend’s game, reffing U16 boys at a Dutch professional football club. The weather predictions were slightly better for PM so I gambled on using specs instead of lenses. Bad mistake. We were hit by rain and hailstorm during 1st half. But no comment from the assessor about it. I changed to lenses in 2nd half and it staid dry. Typical.
In the 3-4 reports per season we are awarded points in 11 categories with letters A-E, A being highest, E lowest. My score this time: 10xA and 1xB is an exceptional good score. I will keep my promotion aspirations alive but know also I’m competing against former pro refs winding down their career and awarded games in the Pro Youth League. I’m serving as their stand-in. Two of these games per season compensate however for sometimes lousy and difficult games in lower leagues.
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.
Fanatic football referee – Rodric Leerling
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