Friday, November 20, 2015

What is your safety plan?

Stade de France referee had 'no idea' what was happening as attacks rocked Paris 

Referee Antonio Mateu Lahoz spoke of the ‘troubling, tough’ time in Paris after he blew the final whistle at the Stade de France.

‘We had no idea about what was going on until after the game had ended,’ the Spanish official, 38, told AS when reflecting on events unfolding around Friday’s game between France and Germany.

‘We have all been through some very difficult moments, moments of great uncertainty because, at first, we were told that we were not allowed to leave the stadium, but now things are a little calmer. This is a very troubling, tough moment and I don’t really feel like speaking right now. ...

See the whole story here, courtesy of Mail Online.

Kicking Back Comments: Working big stadiums people sometimes think that everything is "taken care of." Nothing can be further from the truth in some cases. There have been situations where the refereeing team needed to be evacuated from a venue in a hurry at the old Foxboro Stadium, and the security manager for the venue (who worked NFL games) was clearly an expert. He had a plan and we were out and escorted by State Police in less than 5 minuets ... and escorted to the highway in 15 minutes.

There have also been venues where I have asked about the safety of the refereeing team and was met with a summer intern and a blank stare. Yes, this was at a professional match as well.

Ultimately the safety of the refereeing team is up to the refereeing team. While many venues may have a comprehensive plan in place, no one can know about all scenarios.

A regular instruction for my teams was if something went really bad, like a riot with a field invasion, lose your refereeing shirt, roll down your socks, start cheering with whoever is yelling the most, and meet at location X.

You may laugh ... I used it once.

Do you have a plan next time out?

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