Monday, 12 October 2009

Tales and Flags

No game to referee this week as I was undertaking a Touch Judge development course. There is bit more to it that simply raising a flag roughly where the ball goes out. There is good deal about positioning, especially as play nears the goal line. Then there is the need to be the eyes in the back of the referee’s head, spotting trouble and communicating this to him, especially if both of you are wired up and linked to the TV. The secret code used to describe foul play is revealed. If the TJ describes the illegal action as ‘unnecessary’ then he is recommending a caution, ‘reckless’ means a yellow card and ‘dangerous’ warrants a red card.
Our tutor, Old Uncle Bob, is a former top, national referee and it is clear that from the video clips used, he favours swift justice for miscreants, recommending red cards far more quickly than any of the class.
Old Uncle Bob is well stocked with tales from his years with a whistle, two favourites from yesterday included the English international referee (not current) who’s pre-match routine included a couple of G&T’s before he took the field. Sounds more fun than Gatorade. Another English international referee arrived for France v Scotland with only a white shirt, forgetting the French change of strip. His only other top was a red training shirt, ripped at the side. With the aid of some safety pins he took to the field and the game passed without incident. However, his assessor did criticise him for not raising his arm high enough.
Spectator violence is something at has hit the news lately, but one of my classmates recounted a recent London New Zealand v Hammersmith match were a floored Kiwi was receiving a pasting from his opposite number. The swiftest retribution was delivered by the victim’s 5 foot girlfriend who matched on the field to deck the assailant with a decisive right hook! Classy bird!

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