Friday, December 24, 2010

What we were there NOT to see

So the other day I was at Jr.'s indoor match intently watching his, and his teams' performance. Halftime came and the young referee was standing at midfield, juggling the ball, passing the five or so minutes mandated by the facility for halftime rest.

Then it happened.

He missed a juggle, slipped over top the ball, and came crashing down on the pitch.


As he had drawn quite a crowd of spectators and players watching him, he was rewarded with a round of applause and took a bow for good measure ... no harm done.

Or was there?

Later in the match, you guess it, there was a contraversal call. There was some grumbling among parents, and one wise guy said:
Maybe you should stick to playing
I don't believe the young referee heard it, but the point was made ... albeit rudely.

This point was that we were there not to watch a referee show us how good a player he is. A referee is there just to referee the match. No more, no less.

Don't get me wrong, there are a fair number of referees out there, even at the international and professional level that have a "look at me" attitude, sometimes for the wrong reasons.

There is a time to be seen certainly, but most if the time you job is to be hidden and let the players show their skills.

It was once described to me a "getting out your invisible paint and painting yourself before a match." It was an interesting analogy, but also a very accurate one. You just don't want to be seen unless you have to.

Not juggling at midfield during halftime is a good place to start.

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