Tag: veldvoetbal

“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.

“Broken flag” – Rodric Leerling

AR signalsI guess my assistant ref didn’t have the guts to tell me in person. He managed to break my AR flag! I got it back in pieces from their coach and I wanted to ask him some questions. How did he signal me after he finished my flag and how did he snap it in the first place? I blamed his lousy team’s performance (4-0 behind in 20 mins) and droppped the case.

There simply was no time to reconstruct the story. I just accepted the 3 pieces and decided to withdraw in my locker room. But on opening the door, I was blown away by an extreme odor of  sweaty feet. The locker room was big enough to host a football squad but there were only two guys using it. My apparent colleague wasn’t present so I couldn’t ask him to remove his socks and shoes.  The only option was to keep the door open while taking my 10 minute break.

The game ended in 5-0 and I now also got my other flag back. More break-downs were about to happen though: the digital game admin system this time, and I decided to finish it at home after having received sign-offs from both coaches. That proved to be another hurdle as the Dutch FA changed the remote digital access (without telling us). I had to spend more time to find ‘rescue game docs’, fill them in, send them off by email. To be called by the FA on Monday why I didn’t fill in the digital paperwork. I told them honestly I had a severe ‘break-down-day’.

“Fanatic football referee” – Rodric Leerling

“Fanatic football referee” – Rodric Leerling

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

Rodric Leerling - Football referee
Rodric Leerling – Football referee in NL
Rodric Leerling - Football referee
Rodric Leerling – Soccer referee in USA
VolendamB1-Groningen B1 AS2 70614
Doing the lines in junior pro league game June 2014
pic RL NK 2012 Scheveningen.3
Rodric Leerling as Beach Soccer referee, Scheveningen 2013


Tags: Rodric Leerling, Rodric, Leerling, Referee, Football, Soccer Referee, Football Referee, Beach Soccer, Beach Soccer Referee,