A few months ago, I got the chance to be a referee in my brother’s soccer game. It was a great experience, and I then went through the process to become a certified referee. Today was my first official day as a certified referee.
I arrived at the game 30 minutes early, as advised by Quincy Youth Soccer, and checked the players in – i.e. check that they have the right equipment to play (shin guards, cleats) and don’t have dangerous objects with them, such as jewelry and others. I met the coaches, did the coin toss with the captains and started the game. It was a lot of running as you need to always be in the general area of play to make the correct calls. I also had to be wary of everything going on around me. After the game, I recorded the final scores and notified the officials as per process.
I think getting to be a referee is very good opportunity for so many reasons. For example, as a player, the referee is often ridiculed for making calls that seem absurd, and for favoring the opposition as it always seems. However, now that I am a referee, it is easier to understand the referee’s calls and what they must have been thinking when they made the call. This job needs instantaneous decision making, observation and conviction. Having experienced this will help make me a better player and give me added credibility among my teammates, as I can explain the rules more clearly to them, and tell them why the referee made a certain call.
It was a great start, and I hope that things only get better from here. More importantly, it is my first job and my first day at work!