I'm sure there's a thread like this somewhere in the past, but I need to let off some steam after my day today, and it certainly doesn't belong in the Best Story thread. On Wednesday I stopped by the adult soccer office to pick up my check and got sucked in to watch the last half-hour of the Spain-Portugal game with a guy who works at the office and another referee who was also there picking up his check. I commented that it would be an interesting experience to referee a game where there's a significant language barrier between you and the players. The guy who works there pointed out that that would be like an English speaker working games in the local Hispanic leagues. The other guy, who is Hispanic and works in a Hispanic league, asked me if I wanted to come out to do some games. Now, I've heard some pretty bad stories about the Hispanic leagues, but I thought it sounded interesting and these leagues are literally the only refereeing opportunity in the state most Sundays, so I agreed. So I showed up at the fields today for a set of four games, all as an AR. I was told to be there at 1 so I got there at 12:45. The fields were so far behind that my first game didn't get started until after 2. The first game went well. It was enjoyable and the players weren't any more difficult than a typical sanctioned adult D2 game. The two fields here were side by side with no more than five feet between the touch lines. Now, this wouldn't be a huge problem if it weren't for the fact that spectators thought it would be okay to stand in this area to watch the games. When I complained about this to the other referees, they just told me to go around the spectators. I wasn't on this touch line for the first game, but I was for the second game. The second game was not close. The red team had attackers who were pretty good at watching offside and the green team had a sweeper who was completely lazy and expected an offside call every time he stood still in the middle of the field. The red team was attacking my end in the first half. At one point about 20 minutes in, this sweeper was running toward his goal and then stopped right before the ball was played to try to pull the running attacker offside. Admittedly, I didn't get a great look at the offside decision because half of my attention was on the spectators I was trying to avoid running into, but I'm pretty sure he was even. Anyway, he was clear on goal and scored easily. Defenders surrounded me, I told them he was even, they wouldn't believe me, I asked them to go away, they didn't, and the referee did nothing about it. After a couple more times the attackers were lazy and I kept the flag down, the referee finally dealt with the dissent by having me and the other AR switch sides. Ridiculous. I continued to be verbally harassed by the green team and the referee never dealt with it either verbally or with misconduct. Also, at one point during this game I saw a guy in my way so I moved to go around him and turned my attention back on the field, but I still ended up hitting him pretty hard. My shoulder hurt for the next couple hours. On the third game, both teams showed up wearing red uniforms and they had nothing else. So we played with two red teams. The only way we could tell the difference between the teams was the color of their shorts. The referee apparently didn't mind, but it was extraordinarily frustrating to me. The fourth game was a women's game that turned out to be one of the most boring, unskilled games I've ever been involved in. About eight minutes in, the referee had himself replaced by another guy who did some strange things. For starters, he didn't seem to be aware of the word "deliberate" with respect to handling offenses. This was especially unfortunate because, as I said, these girls were absolutely terrible, unskilled soccer players. Also, at two different times he stopped play for an injury and restarted with what appeared to be a direct free kick. WTH. On the bright side, we were told to shorten halves from 40 minutes to 35 minutes because we started so late, but the girls wanted to play only 30 minute halves. We ended up playing 26 minutes in the first half and 24 minutes in the second half. So at least it got over quickly. The horror stories I'd heard were all true. I came home after eight hours with $95, a migraine, and loads of frustration. I shall not be doing this again. Anyone else care to share their bad refereeing experiences?