Last Saturday I got back into refereeing Youth Soccer (football), and I thought it would be pretty easy since I was the linesman and not the Center Referee. Little did I know that all three games were for an ongoing tournament and for points. Well that realization hit me in my first game. In the form of one very angry parent. 50 yards running back and forth doesn’t seem too taxing, but when you haven’t worked out in a long time your legs feel like jelly. First half went easy however with the visitors losing, their parents weren’t too happy with my offside calls, so much so they let their opinions be heard.
Mad parent number one started huffing and puffing, literally. Then Angry Parent got fed up and said, “Bah stupid AR” I ignored him as were trained to. Then he took it a step too far. Angry Parent proclaimed, “Gringo’s don’t know how to ref!” I whipped around and moved my hand in a downward motion and sternly responded staring in his eyes, “Sir, either remove yourself away from this game, or I will have you escorted” Thankfully he choose the latter 🙂
Second game was a snap nothing to report really nice kids, coaches, and parents.
Third game was like Barclays Premier League status. These kids were flying around like mini-Messi’s and Ronaldo’s. My legs felt like they were going to collapse or just rip off. Then it happened. Defender pulls the shorts of the attacking player with the ball and trips him sending him sprawling in the penalty box. I signal the call and look to my Center for confirmation, he nods and points to the spot. The uproar was like being a told Trafford during a Manchester United vs Chelsea match. I wasn’t fazed though, because its my job to make the tough calls.