Tag: U16

“How it feels to be rotation ref again” – Rodric Leerling

classic footballTo my own surprise I was assigned as AR1 to one more final play-off football game. A real final in which the winner would earn promotion to a higher U16 league. An appointment that doesn’t happen too often.

For the last four weeks, we worked as trio consisting of two 50+ and one 65+ ref. The first two had their turn as CR so the senior (in age) gets the final. Logical. Or?
Well, the oldest ref is acting in a lower ref league than his two assistants and didn’t show much power during his AR roles so far. Quitting warming-ups and not supporting the CR a lot during the two previous games. I was getting a little worried and took a daring step: I consulted the FA. They confirmed he got the CR role as part of being in rotation and it also was based on his performance during the past season. Nothing they could do about it.

I decided to behave like a pro and colleague, and not judge him prematurely just on his AR roles so far. He might have been hiding so far and just perform like a FIFA ref in this final.

He and his wife arrived late. They decided to take the bus for the last 35 km to do some sightseeing. My eyes went big but I refrained from any comments. Focus on the game. Lots of things went wrong from the start. One goal net had a whole in the back. The score board didn’t work properly and changed to 9:9 during first half. I had to shut it down at the start of the second half. But that was not the main thing. The CR just performed lousy. Let fouls go unpunished, had a terrible pace and followed most of the action on distance. No eye-contact with AR’s and basically ran the show on his own. And no fair self-reflection afterwards.

And who was receiving the scorn? Right, this AR1 walking the line with two sets of angry team coaches and bleachers full of parents. They got angrier during 2nd half when some heavy fouls were not even noted or just waved off. Both AR’s were losing it and lost concentration, just praying a finishing goal would end this 80 mins of torture. To our relief, the winning goal was scored 10 mins before regular time and we walked off the pitch as colleagues. Scorned by supporters from losing side, not being thanked by the losing coaches or players. And I even found a tweet later commenting our ‘lousy trio performance’ which included the Dutch FA.

Well, I don’t feel guilty, but it took me two days and a blog to get rid of the bad aftertaste. I had imagined this Season Finale totally different.

“Phantom coach” – Rodric Leerling

Ferguson debating with refIt probably was our last play-off game as trio. I was assigned AS1 and performed my duties on the admin, checked the pitch and we chatted with  both team coaches. Or, at least, what we assumed they were.

The game, which was not of high quality, had many fouls on both sides. The CR did a great job keeping the players on short leash. At half time, the away coach wanted to comment on one particular foul but didn’t have the courtesy to tell it straight to the CR’s face. So he was summoned to approach us and have a proper conversation but didn’t comply and kept walking away from us. As a proper penalty the CR told him he was to stay behind the fence for dissent for the rest of the game.

During the second half he would continue to scoul us and still coach his team. He even challenged us by sitting on the fence and was once again told to stop being obnoxious or we would abandon the game.
The away team lost by one goal and had a player sent off with straight red after punching an opponent. After concluding the game the away coach only shook hands with the ARs but blatantly ignored the CR. We decided to ignore him too but he decided to play his own game. He started talking again. Why we treated him like this. Stupid decisions etc etc. Even inside the stadium he ranted on and wanted to get into a personal fight with the CR. We told him he would hear back from the FA and should fear for his job. But then one of the other coaches intervened and shared their little secret: he wasn’t officially their coach. So you will find no name on the roster. Not an official FA member and therefore not licensed to coach. We were stupefied. With all that screaming for attention? I would have hidden away, hoping the refs would not report the sending off (we would if he had kept quiet in 2nd half).

Even during the finishing admin work, his colleague decided not to reveal his real name and leave it to the FA to find out. Well, that is another stupid decision because the penalty will become even steeper.¬†They now run the risk of being taken out of the play-off competition completely by using plain fraud. A quick report to the FA and we can sleep again. Not the away coach, I’m afraid.

“The losers dilemma” – Rodric Leerling

splashing water in faceI had my doubts when the U16 game was assigned to me. Home team safe, away team relegated last week. And this was their last game of the season. Plus temperatures of 25C expected.

It started with the away team not showing up on time. I saw some players arriving but their coach only started his admin 30mins before kick-off.

At half-time it was 6-0 already and their coach approached me with a dilemma: some of his players were about to give up and abandom the game. Can we stop now without being fined?
I told him we couldn’t stop at half-time but I had an idea. Why not arrange a drink stop after 15 minutes, take a bit longer to talk and play another 15 mins (U16 plays a total of 40 each half)?
Both coaches agreed and so it happened. I signalled ‘T’ at 55mins, score 9-0. And played another 15mins in which the away team scored 10-1. To call it a day after a penalty and 13-1.

A serious dilemma solved. Both teams behaved, played a good sporting game and there were no cards. I’m ready for some more serious play-off games!

“Street soccer on gras” – Rodric Leerling

straatvoetbalThe 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.