Wednesday, June 30, 2010

"You two are going to Top Gun ..."

"On March 3, 1969 the United States Navy established an elite school for the top one percent of its pilots. Its purpose was to teach the lost art of aerial combat and to insure that the handful of men who graduated were the best fighter pilots in the world. They succeeded. Today, the Navy calls it Fighter Weapons School. The flyers call it: TOP GUN."

Does anyone remember this, or am I really showing my age? Wait a second, please don't answer that ...

So here we are on the cusp of the 2010 Regional I tournament beginning. I found that in my experience as a referee, the tournament took on a heightened flavor when the World Cup was being played. This is based in my experience of 1994 when I was at regionals and watched the USA v. BRA match (match report) with a group of referees that had just worked really hard all week long ... anyone remember the bicycle kick that just missed the post from Balboa? Here we are again, a World Cup, a Regional Tournament, and I am going ... this time as an assessor.

It got me thinking about being selected for such a tournament and the emotions that went into it for me. It is very stirring, exciting and scary all at the same time. Maybe like Maverick and Goose going to Top Gun. Well, maybe like Goose going to Top Gun ...

Now you may have been thinking I was speaking purely about this from a refereeing perspective. I was not. I feel that way today as an assessor. Like referees, assessors are chosen for a variety of reasons, but among them, I would opine, is ability as an assessor to help guide referees.

This is a pretty awesome responsibility when I sit down and think about it. There are a great many lessons learned from the pitch as a referee. Many that I personally carry forward to this day off of my life. To offer such guidance to these developing referees takes some careful thought.

Over the next (6) days we will have a bit of a mini-series in things I learned from tournament play as well as some reporting on the goings on of the tournament itself. These posts are not "do as I do", but to provoke thought about what may make sense in a multi-day tournament context. Each reader is on their own to figure out how to use the information, and I offer it in that vein.

So sit back, relax, and come with me on a 6 day voyage to one of the premier youth soccer tournaments in the United States today, and all it has to offer.

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