It was hot. Welcome to the new referee blog and the official home of understatements! After a long summer of couch surfing, this 40 something definitely felt the heat. "Why didn't I start excising like I said I would?" was the question that came to mind at every glance of the watch.
That being said we had a great opening day. Our plans to recruit more in the off season paid us huge dividends with a great turn out of new volunteers. I cannot express my gratitude for everyone, new and returning, for stepping up in the heat that always plagues us the first weeks of the season.
I want to use this blog space to record our observations and lessons learned throughout the season. Never be discouraged by mistakes you read here. We'll never achieve perfection, we leave that to the coaches who all would be undefeated if it wasn't for the referee! :) I have been doing this for almost twenty years and I can tell you one thing, you are doing it correctly 99.9% of the time. Just that fact that you are out there with us puts you so far ahead of the rest the field, binoculars would not help them find you.
I don't EVER name names when it comes to jotting down tips and reminders for next time. That being said let me tell you that this first note was my own.
This seasoned referee thinks he can just walk through the warm ups and check equipment reminding the kids to remove the bracelets, wedding rings, etc. Well, we found out that doesn't always work. As pointed out to me by my young Assistant Referee, I had one necklace, a bracelet, and something else trying to take the field on three separate players. Maybe I should have lined them up and done a proper equipment check.
Let me finish up with a few other reminders.
1. Sunscreen, use it.
2. Wear a hat, especially if you are follicly-challenged like yours truly. :) If you need a ball cap let me know, I think we have some upstairs. A good tip to keep the peace is to keep the cap neutral if possible. Nothing says "let's give the ref heck" like wearing the Bama cap on a field full of Auburn fans.
3. We have lot of team uniforms that are similar in jersey colors. Focus on the socks, especially when it comes to plays going out of touch.
4. Use your whistle, the louder the better especially with the U-Littles. You probably noticed it was futile Saturday, but they'll lean to stop when they hear it.
5. Follow the whistle with your voice, again sometimes you need to be a little loud. Saying "green throw", "goal kick", etc. should get them moving in the right direction.
Finally, U8 - Defending team fouls attacker near their goal (inside the penalty area). Bring the ball to the top of the area (line parallel to the goal line). Move defending team 6 yards back and restart play with your whistle.
You are probably as tired of reading as I'm tired of typing, so I'm done for now. Thanks again for all you do for the kids.
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I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!