Region I Youth Championships '05

Discussion in 'Referee' started by MassachusettsRef, Jul 7, 2005.

  1. MassachusettsRef

    MassachusettsRef Moderator
    Staff Member

    Apr 30, 2001
    Washington, DC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    After my first game last Friday in Virginia Beach (CR, U19Boys, 8:00am), it hit me: The Bill F. from New Jersey in my crew was the "billf" from bigsoccer.com. And, with that, Bill and I constituted what I think is the first bigsoccer.com interstate crew--certainly the first at the regional level. And since we worked together for four matches, we thought it might be fun to give a synopsis of our week.

    First, without question, besides the occassional FIFA or MLS AR who has run my line (I think I can count 3 ever), Bill is the best AR that I've ever had the pleasure of working with. He's fit, dedicated, focused, has an incredible read and understanding of the game, and he doesn't hesitate to call what needs to be called. He also has the important ability of knowing what not to call from the touch as well. Within 10 minutes of our first kickoff, I trusted him like I had known him for 10 years. Both on and off the field, it was great to get to know him and some of the other NJ refs (we shared a dorm at Virginia Wesleyan College), and I hope they'll except the invite to attend our Memorial Day tournament next Spring in Needham.

    So, the first game we worked on was a typical 7-1 blowout in favor of Delco. The only slightly tough part came in the 25th minute when a Bayside player, with his team already down 4-0, committed an atrocious tackle in front of the Delco bench. As the Delco player passed the ball up the touch with his left foot, the Bayside player connected late with his right plant leg, hitting him above the ankle with his studs. The red card I had to show was not only the first red, but the first card of the entire week. For those that I've been to a tournament like this, it's not exactly the way you want to start your experience with. Luckily, the powers that be saw the incident (as well as the national assessor on my game) and were happy with what I did. Besides one caution in the 81st minute, the rest of the match was smooth sailing.

    The 3:00pm kickoff was difficult for all of us (I believe it was 107 degrees on the field with high humidity), but I felt especially bad for Bill in the middle (I had SAR). He got through the match like a champ, though. It was Reston (VA) vs. a West Virginia team. Normally, you'd expect a blowout, but West Virginia hung with them the entire way, eventually losing by a respectable score of 3-0 (Virginia was the eventualy regional champs). The first goal was off a great penalty call by Bill (shirt pull where the attacker never went down), and in general, on a very hot day, he used his cautions judiciously. He'll remember the exact stats, but I think he had 5 yellows, all of which were necessary. Unfortunately, West Virginia, probably feeling the disappointment of coming so close to pulling an upset, got testy at the end, and Bill had to send two of them off. The first was easy--a violent strike into the groin in retaliation of a tactical foul (Bill got the caution to the VA player, too). The second was slightly stranger, as a WVA player dissented and protested a simple midfield foul call by kicking the ball hard directly at Bill. He kept his cool, though, and just showed him the red. No real complaints on either call from the WVA coach, who I have to say was a class act.

    After two days on separate crews in the other preliminary matches, I was very pleased to see Bill as my SAR for the U18Boys Semifinal that I was assigned. The crew was very experienced, with a solid up-an-coming Grade 7 from ENY as JAR, and a Grade 5 from Delaware who's already been to Nationals as my 4th. And none of them put up any complaints when I asked them to put on long sleeved black in the 85 degree heat. Plus, halfway through my pre-game, when I was describing what to do when I miss misconduct, I said "Since we don't have beeper flags...", only to be interrupted by Bill, who pointed out that he had them in his bag. So, I had the added bonus of being able to use the electronic flags (which did come in handy on two occassions) on such an important match.

    The game--Rochester Rhinos vs. Beadling--was played mostly in the midfield and ended 0-0 after 90 minutes, with only one caution in the 79th for a tactical foul. We were all feeling great, but the 30 minutes of extra time (no golden goal) absolutely exploded. First I gave Rhinos a penalty in the 97th minute, which was controversial (defender got a touch of the ball with his first leg, but as the attacker jumped over him to follow up, he lifted his trail leg to bring him down). Then, after the goal was converted, Beadling committed two hard late fouls in succession which needed cautions in the 98th and 100th minutes. So we got to the extra time break at 105 minutes with a 1-0 game in favor of the Rhinos. Then, in the 108th minute, came the strangest call of my life, which Bill was an integral part of.

    The Rhinos keeper had been gaming me and my crew the whole match. Basically, he would initiate contact after he took a ball of an attacker's head (he was tall, probably 6'5" or so), and then complain to me and try to bait the attacker into retaliating. So, in the 108th minute, after he collected a headed corner kick and went to ground about 2 yards off his goal line, he simulated a foul. As an attacker came close to him in order to follow up a possible rebound, the goalkeeper acted like he had been kicked in the head. From my angle (I was at the 18, looking in from about a 30 degree angle on the left), I saw at least 2 feet of separation between the attacker and goalkeeper. I quickly looked to Bill, (who hadn't beeped me) and saw him giving me the thumbs up and shaking his head "no". Both of us, trying to prevent escalation, immediately began yelling "nothing!" and "get up!". Unfortunately, the goalkeeper was intent on wasting time and/or getting the Beadling player sent off. So, he then did the unthinkable: he released the ball inside his own goal area and began rolling around, clutching his head. Beadling players (who hard retreated outside the 18) began to rush on to the ball, about to put it into an open net. Knowing that, if I allowed Beadling to score: A) I'd have a riot on my hands and B) The Rhinos goalkeeper would be sure to leave in a stretcher, making me looking like an idiot, I quickly blew my whistle. As I diffused the mass confrontation (from both sides), I walked over to Bill, where we briefly (and visually) consulted. As I left him, I said, "you know we're going to have a nightmare of a time selling this" he responded with "I know, but it's the right call to make". So, I walked up to the keeper, who was just now getting up, and showed him the caution. To my amazement, not one of the Rhinos players protested. Even a Rhinos parent who was near that goal line yelled, "that was a hell of a good call". Good? I suppose. But absolutely the strangest and most intense that I've ever had to make in a big match.

    Beadling didn't convert the indirect kick, but, since this game had everything, they did get a penalty in added time. Added time, I might point out, that would have never happened if the Rhinos goalkeeper hadn't taken a dive in his own goal area. The penalty, quite frankly, was a gift to me from above. There wasn't a word of protest, it was just a clumsly foul tackle made by a defender who was dead tired from 120+ minutes of play. So, after the goal was scored at 1:22:45, I played 30 more seconds and we went to PKs. For those keeping score at home, Beadling won but lost in the Finals.

    Anyway, that's the report. I'm sure Bill might have some to add, but I just want to repeat how great of a time I had and how solid of an official Bill is. I can't wait to work with him again come next May.
     
  2. billf

    billf Member+

    May 22, 2001
    Club:
    Philadelphia Union
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Let me preface this by saying that I am completely humbled by the comments I just read. This was the third time I had been to regions in four years and despite my having a baby at home this year who I missed dearly and was staying in dorm rooms that resembled a Turkish prision, this was the best experience there I ever had. I became a referee in the fall of 2000 because I wanted to make some extra money so I could buy a house. I never imagined that I work games or meet people like I did last week. In light of having a family, I even considered giving up the whistle for a little while eventhough I worked so hard to become a state referee and advanced fairly fast. Because of my experience last week, I realize how much I love doing this and I know I can't stop. Last week made me finally feel like I was a good referee.

    There really isn't much to add about the games because Mass did a great job of putting it all out there. He's one of the best referees I have worked with. I'd work any game anywhere with him for sure. I feel lucky to have had the opportunity to work with him. I will say that MassRef is practically a clairvoyant. Before the first match, he predicted a player from Rhode Island would get frustrated and do something silly. He got that and it lead to a send off. At halftime he predicted one more caution and he was correct. During the semi final before he predicted the game would end on a penalty. He got two in clean pks in extra time. It was like he had the script and read it the night before.

    That was the kind of game you dream of participating in. It had everything you could want, the whole tournament did really and I am very glad I had the chance to meet MassRef. I'm happy for the success I had and that of everyone I met there. I also think we all should congratulate MassRef because he got one of the precious few tickets to visit Mickey Mouse in a few weeks. I wish you all the best and I'm sure you'll make all of us very proud. You were a great and selfless teammate last week. I have no doubt that we'll see you on TV in a much more important game sometime soon. Just try not to forget those of us who knew you when. :)

    Mass is a terrific referee and a great guy too. I look forward to coming up in May. If you go down to WAGS, maybe I'll even see you sooner.
     
  3. Claymore

    Claymore Member

    Jul 9, 2000
    Montgomery Vlg, MD
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Well done, guys (and congrats for getting to Nationals, MassRef!).

    With any luck, I'll be at Regionals next year.
     
  4. pasoccerdave

    pasoccerdave Member

    Mar 30, 2004
    SE Michigan
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Great report. It's fun to read such excellent commentary and understand better the match from the middle.
     
  5. brhsoccer14

    brhsoccer14 New Member

    Nov 18, 2004
    Baton Rouge, LA, USA
    Excellent guys! I'm glad that you didn't fall for the keeper's tricks and you are right that a riot would have incurred had you allowed the goal.

    Good luck at Nationals Mass!

    All those predictions of yours Mass Ref sounded like you planned them? :) :)
     
  6. MassachusettsRef

    MassachusettsRef Moderator
    Staff Member

    Apr 30, 2001
    Washington, DC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Not really, I just knew how skilled the Delco team was and how potentially petulant a U19 Rhode Island team, that just drove 14 hours for their final tournament ever, might be after giving up a pile of early goals at 8am. I honestly didn't expect a red card foul. I had told Bill and my other AR that the first 20 minutes would be easy, we just needed to get the first hard foul with a caution to show Delco we'd protect them and to show the RI team we wouldn't put up with their crap. Unfortunately, the tackle was too ugly to let slide with a yellow. As for my second half prediction, it just felt as though the game had really settled down after the red (Delco was barely attacking and was content with a 5-0 lead) and that, if anything, we might have one more hard foul in the game that could necessitate a caution. It happened to occur in the 81st minute.

    As for the semifinal, I just had a feeling that, as the two teams tired, a clumsy challenge in the area would result in a PK, for as the game went on, scoring chances had increased. Bill can give me credit for predicting that, but I didn't--and never would have--predicted that there would be a PK for each side.
     
  7. billf

    billf Member+

    May 22, 2001
    Club:
    Philadelphia Union
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I think the more familiar you are with that sort of tournament, the easier is to pedict what will happen. There are predictable mismatches and there are clubs with a reputation for certain types of play. As the games progress and teams either get on a role or falter, you cane get a handle on where things are going. That's just having a good feel for the game. With the regional leagues and numerous showcase type tournaments these days, you will have seen most of the teams before at some point, particularly if you are from a state like Mass or NJ that has a lot of soccer.
     
  8. brhsoccer14

    brhsoccer14 New Member

    Nov 18, 2004
    Baton Rouge, LA, USA
    Oh, I was just kidding about you planning them, that was the reson for smiles at the end of the question.

    That just goes to show you that even if the match is a blow out, the ref must still be concentrating on the match as much as he would for a 1-1 final in the 85th minute.
    Sounds like you did a great job, which I expect nothing less of you :), in order to get to go to Nationals.

    It must have been pretty fun to have an accidental meet-up at Regionals. I bet when you realized that Bill F. was billf from here you were probably were in disbelief.
    I can't wait to go to Regionals... whenever that may be.
     
  9. billf

    billf Member+

    May 22, 2001
    Club:
    Philadelphia Union
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I know you were kidding. :)

    It actually was really cool to accidently meet up like that. It made complete sense though because we got along so well and seemed to be on the same page from the second we shook hands to start the day.
     
  10. blech

    blech Member+

    Jun 24, 2002
    California
    very cool thread. i enjoyed reading the thought process on the various plays. not sure i would have thought so quickly to even consider blowing the whistle for the indirect on the goalie. interesting decision.

    one of the keys to becoming a good referee in my opinion is to have thought out scenarios in advance, difficult as it might be given the infinite number of permutations that could arise, as you are then able to process them quickly enough to make that kind of decision. obviously, it is much easier if you've been presented with a similar situation before, but reading about these kinds of situations and how they were handled is the next best thing. thanks.
     
  11. gildarkevin

    gildarkevin Member

    Aug 26, 2002
    Washington, DC
    To reference another thread, I'm sure that there was also a great pregame...
     
  12. MidwestRef

    MidwestRef New Member

    Feb 8, 2004
    Iowa
    Great stories, but what's up with the black long-sleeve in 85-degree heat? Does MassRef have a death wish or something? :)

    (Only kidding - you replied to one of my posts about wearing long-sleeves in hot weather one time, and it actually seemed to make some sense. I might try long sleeves in my tournament tomorrow for a game when it's pushing 90, but it sure won't be a black long-sleeve!)
     
  13. brhsoccer14

    brhsoccer14 New Member

    Nov 18, 2004
    Baton Rouge, LA, USA
    Can I ask why since I am not as informed as you are? :)
     
  14. MassachusettsRef

    MassachusettsRef Moderator
    Staff Member

    Apr 30, 2001
    Washington, DC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Rochester was in yellow/black/white, Beadling was in red/blue/blue. Black was our only option. The long sleeves, as many in Region I know, is a tradition on semifinal and final cup matches that has been passed down through the years in Massachusetts. It originally comes from our FIFA refs in the 1980s like Mauro and Bratsis.

    Honestly, after working three game sets in 100+ degrees the previous days, one match in 85 degrees was nothing. Had it been hotter or more humid, I would have never even considered it.

    Since Bill and I didn't realize who each other were until after my first match, he's welcome to comment on what was my "blind" (eg., don't know anyone in my crew) pregame if he likes.
     
  15. engine643

    engine643 New Member

    Jul 8, 2005
    Pa
    There is no way I would have done that match in long sleeves. I worked with a Mass. ref in Kirkwood Delaware one year when it was 90 plus outside who wanted long sleeves and I told him that I would not wear them. I said if you can find someone else I would be glad to step aside. The long sleeves might work up in the great Northeast but not here in the humidity capital of the world.
     
  16. brhsoccer14

    brhsoccer14 New Member

    Nov 18, 2004
    Baton Rouge, LA, USA
    Thanks Mass Ref.
     

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