Thursday, June 6, 2013

Soccer referees are people too.

Last night something happened that I am appreciating more as time passes.

We were at my son's game out of town.  It was a decent back and forth affair and my son's team was down 2-0 early in the second half, but pressing.

In this particular moment, a ball was played into the midfield to our centre midfield player.  His options ahead were ready and we had their team outnumbered.  He had room to run and press forward.

The referee found himself in the middle of the traffic and collided with our player before he got to the ball.   The ball rolled all by its lonesome, looking for somebody to take ownership of it.  Their player took it, had room to run, one pass and it
was in our net.  Our defenders were frozen for a few seconds seeing what happened in the midfield and were caught off guard.  The referee didn't even see the play as he was making sure our boy was alright.  Our player is a big boy and the collision was big. My personal opinion is the collision was nobody's fault.

"... an unintentional collision between two people in an amateur soccer game that will not change anybody's life."
I am a proponent of players looking around to know where everybody is, including the official.  I've been taught to never blame referees for a loss.  But that's another story.

After the goal, I was expecting all heck to break loose with yelling and screaming.  The referee knew that collision was a game changer.  All 22 players knew.  The two shook hands and made sure the other was fine.  Our coaches knew it was a total accident and said nothing.  Our parents knew and said nothing.  Their parents knew and cheered sheepishly.  The game carried on as if nothing happened.

What could have been a bad few minutes was just left alone to be what it really was: an unintentional collision between two people in an amateur soccer game that will not change anybody's life.   Nobody was hurt and the game continued.  Thirty U14 soccer players successfully completed one of the many games that took place in Ontario that night.

I look forward to the rematch.

P.S.  I think I may have lost some readers with the very sentence "Soccer referees are people too" .  :)