Today I refereed a U-14 boys soccer match. However, trouble started to brew in the second half.
Everything went well until the coaches started getting impatient that it was still level pegging (0-0). The players had incredible skill, but they wanted me to call every little thing. Considering emotions were high in this game, I maintained order and discipline. Instead of just giving free kicks I explained why I called a foul on them, some understood while others thought that I was biased and didn’t know how to ref a game.
Things go from bad to worse
The next five minutes turned into a gladiator contest, with boys flying and flailing their arms everywhere, in a vain attempt to get me to blow my whistle. Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth. I could sense something bad was going to happen, I couldn’t have been more right.
The Goalkeeper from the defensive team picks up the ball, and out of nowhere #9 from the attacking team bulldozed the keeper. I run over blowing my whistle, and ensure the keeper is ok as he banged his head. My assistant and I discussed what just happened and we both knew what had to be done: The player would receive a yellow card (caution). After I displayed the card and wrote down the information, the defensive teams coach comes storming on the field furious. I take a deep breath and explain to him what I saw, which made my stutter worse. The coach got fed up and retreated back to his line with a grumpy cat look for the rest of the game.
In the end everyone left the field showing respect, which was great to see. Despite the drama I kept a positive outlook from beginning to end. I love helping the next generation of soccer players learn the beautiful game, it reminds me of when I played soccer growing up.