Just a few things this morning from the past couple of weeks.
Men’s college spring game between two teams that are traditional rivals. It is 2-0 Green over Blue with 20 minutes left and the game is, in my mind, going swimmingly. The fouls are reasonably honest fouls, the challenges are strong but fair, and I had gotten good feedback from an informal assessor at half time on selling a penalty kick.
Thirty yards from goal Green #12 receives a pass. He begins an out-cut to take the ball to the corner. Blue #13 is coming from Green’s 2 o’clock at full speed with eyes on the body and not the ball. Blue #28 is coming at full speed at Green’s 9 o’clock. Again, his eyes are on the shoulders/head region and not his hips or the ball. I am cringing as I see Blue is planning to smash him and the game is going to go to shit.
Green, dips his shoulder, squirts, forward so #13 misses him, and then he spins off the contact from #28 and sends a bit of a hip to hip contact so #28 flies over him and into the other Blue defender. #12 takes another two steps forward, plays a perfect ball across the top of the box to an teammate running onto it who then pikes a shot.
What should you do to the two knuckleheads who tried to crush #12?
This is at a U-16/U-17 identification and college scouting tournament. You’re having your lunch between two fields. The tournament finally listened to ref feedback and got us good lunches this year. Your feet are up and you’re relaxing as you watch a very good U-17 girls game. All of a sudden you hear the following conversation:
“I like my 16 year olds with little butts and busty up top”
“I rather have them have some junk in the trunk and needing only a training bra…”
What the hell are you listening to? Is this a precursor to a mandatory reporting incident.
U-16 women’s game at the same tournament. The game has just been a choppy, chippy, low skill game. The best players on the field might become bench players for decent D-3 programs. White #3 had picked up a caution in the 71st minute for being a general douchebag by kicking the ball into the stands after she had been called for a simple foul. It is now the 88th minute and White #3 goes in for a high and late challenge. It is not a red card foul as she is going in fairly slow but it is a foul that needs to be addressed. A yellow card which leads to a red card is completely justifiable. Can anything else work?
Scenario A was a massive sigh of relief as soon as Green #12 squirted out of the collision with the ball at his feet and his head on his shoulders. He was justifiably pissed at being targeted. I spoke to the two Blue players and told them that if I saw a bad throw-in, I’m cautioning them. They got lucky on missing #12. The rest of the ref crew, as well as the assessor and the crew that had the next game talked about how to manage the situation. A few of us thought cautions were justifiable even if the Blue players missed the collision for attempting to trip. The logic is that a thrown punch is a red card even if the punch never lands.
Scenario B is not a mandatory reporting incident. It was a pair of D-2 college coaches talking to each other about their preferences for recruits. One coach would rather have lower floor but higher ceiling players. The little butts and busty tops means the girl with a significant commitment to the weight room could add a whole lot of weight to her thighs, butt and hips while dropping a significant amount body fat. The other coach wanted players who had already invested a lot of time in the weight room and had gotten to the baseline of strength needed to play college ball.
Scenario C is interesting. A red card via a second caution is 100% defensible. It is the book answer. However as referees continue to advance in their skills, we are repeatedly told that we need to know the rule book very well in order to be able to bend it when the game calls for it to be bent. The question that the referee asked herself was “does the game need a red card with 3 minutes left?”
The game’s entire point was to showcase these players to college coaches. The score was irrelevant as it would not impact any post-season seedings. The referee decided to take a risk. She gave #3 a choice. She could either tell the referee that she had a serious head injury and would need to sit for the rest of the game OR she could take a yellow card and thus get a red card and sit for the tournament. All of a sudden, #3 is jogging off the field, and the referee tells her “hold your head, you’re hurt”. The opposing coach smiled and laughed as he realized what the ref was doing. I’m looking at the center referee trying to get a clue and then it dawns on me what she just did so I explain to the coach why #3 owes the center a very big favor at some point as she just did her a solid.