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TOPIC: Do you remember your first game?

Do you remember your first game? 2 years 11 months ago #24727

My first experience was horrible.

My father was the CR, I was doing line on an adult division "whatever".

You'd think that after being exposed to refereeing since I wore diapers I'd have a clue, huh?

I was so awful it wasn't even funny (now it is lol). I was mixing directions on throw-ins and all other signals.

The "best" moment came in when a deciding goal was scored against the home team from an offside. I started putting the flag up, but dropped it from my hand lol, my father (CR) looked at me and...I froze - I did not put that flag back up for some reason.

Ahh, let's just say the trip home was rather a quiet one LOL.

Something happened 2 months later and I was suddenly able to do higher level men game with relegation on the line and I aced it. My father said before the game (that he assigned himself) - "If you screw it up, forget about refereeing. If you do well, I will help you".


There was an interesting moment during the game - counter went on to the other PA and I was trailing by 40-50 yards. Foul (pull) and...my AR (this time my father) shows nothing. Couple seconds pass and I call it on my own. I run up to the spot and actually indicate PK, thinking what in the world my AR is doing.

Turns out he wanted to see if I had the guts to call the obvious without his help.

If I didn't do that I guess reefing would have never happened.

Good times...


What was your first game like?
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Do you remember your first game? 2 years 11 months ago #24731

Oh my, yes! Middle of winter and my daughter's premier team (U13) was hosting a 3 team round robin indoor in a bubble that was opened up to full field size so they could play 11 v 11. Bad snow storm that day so the ref who was assigned didn't show up but all the teams did. Daughter's coach turns to me and says, "I hear you're a ref, we need you to take this over." Never done a game and now doing a CR by myself, with premier teams. I was dressed in jeans and heavy shirt. They found me some gross shorts and the tee shirt and a whistle. My daughter didn't speak to me for a week she was so embarrassed. I guess it went OK, but talk about trial by fire...ouch!
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Do you remember your first game? 2 years 11 months ago #24735

  • Brendan Mitchell
  • Brendan Mitchell's Avatar
Definitely. I had an Under 10 D grade match, it was the first ever game for both of my ARs (we'd done the course together, but they were only 15). I was nervous as hell. Kept whistling for throw in's for some strange reason, made a number of mistakes, but I remember being told by the assessor at half time to just relax and enjoy the game more...and stop whistling for throw ins!
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Do you remember your first game? 2 years 11 months ago #24741

Not really. Did the ref course one weekend and did 8 games the next Saturday at a tournament (did I ever mention Colorado is short of referees?) It was about 100 degrees and I just survived. Must have done OK (or they were desperate) because I had 6 the next day. I do remember being sore still the next weekend.
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Do you remember your first game? 2 years 11 months ago #24762

I'm not sure. There was one game I did, I think before taking the course, as a favour to a friend. I don't remember much about it, apart from around 5-10 minutes from the end when I sent someone off for threatening to beat the crap out of one of the other team!
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Do you remember your first game? 2 years 11 months ago #24779

Absolutely never forget that one.

Took the Entry Level course the weekend before (glad I was taught by Dave Gantar, now FIFA), had a blast at the course and was just eager to get going.

The weekend after the course I get assigned to do the middle in a Masters Major League game (locally the highest level for players over 35 years old). I get there and I have...no AR.

Game was alright (of course, nervous as hell), a couple of cautions for each team and only one time where I raised my voice to overcome a jackass yelling at me...

But I still remember being very edgy for the rest of the day....
**Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming "Wow! What a ride!" (Hunter S. Thompson)***
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Do you remember your first game? 2 years 11 months ago #24808

It was a youth recreation game, probably a U-10 game. I was on the line and my dad, who was the league's director of officiating was running behind me helping me out. The calls I made were mine, he didn't influence those but was behind me to provide "mentoring." My brother was the center referee. I was maybe 13 at the time.
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Do you remember your first game? 2 years 11 months ago #24818

  • Spencer Hantula
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    • Referee since 2005 in Southern California. AYSO Advanced and USSF Grade 8.
Just out of curiosity, how old were you guys when you first started?

I started when I was 11, in AYSO. At the time, the home team was required to provide the ARs for the game before theirs. My dad had done it for my team when I was in U-littles and for my brother as well, but then he "convinced" me to do it for my sisters team. I remember going to take the introductory course, and getting 29 out of 30 on the test (I was so upset about that). I don't even remember anything else about the course HAH! :huh: My first match was 2 weekends later(BU9).

I remember not really understanding the "offsides rule", except I remembered something about "deflection off the crossbar" and "the goalkeeper takes loner than 6 seconds controlling the ball". First half goes by, I had gotten the hang of which direction to point the flag, GK, CK, and that's about it.
Second half is where it all went to hell in a hand basket. I didn't realize that when the teams switched sides, so did your signal for a throw-in... The parents behind me were irate to say the least, when I signaled for blue throw-in, when it was clearly white throw-in :lol: 5 minutes into the 2nd half, blue had a break-away, 2 attackers with the ball and only the keeper to beat. Attacker 1 shot the ball and it deflected off the crossbar rebounded to attacker 2, who kicked the ball into the goal. Should have been a goal, but little ol' me remembered "rebounded off the crossbar" in the "offsides rule", so I flagged for offside (several parents on the opposite touchline were ejected for yelling things across the field at me, things that I didn't really understand what they meant, being so young :ohmy: ).
Then 5 minutes later, the keeper gained control of the ball, and I immediately began counting to 6 in my head. I got to 6 in my head while the keeper was in mid-punt of the ball...so being the study-hard, gung-ho little referee I was, I waved my flag for a foul. The worst part was that the referee awarded a penalty kick for it :silly: :blink: . I was like "ok, I guess it should be a penalty kick".
Game ends.
Walk back to where our referee bags were, and the referee says "Wow. That was pretty eventful for my first match. How do you think I did?" :S I said, "It was my first match too. No one died, so I think we're alright"
The other AR looked mortified that it was the first match for both of us. He had a long talk with us about things we had done right and wrong. :whistle:

But I haven't looked back since then. I was definitely bitten by the referee bug and averaged 80 games a year for the next 6 years (30 in the Fall, 30 in the Spring, roughly 20 in tournaments in winter and summer). I've loved refereeing so much, that if I could make a career out of it, I would in a heartbeat.
It takes a special skill to be the most hated person on the pitch and not let it affect your judgement.
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Do you remember your first game? 2 years 11 months ago #24819

Spencer your game reminds me of mine lol. People really have no idea how hard it really is.
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Do you remember your first game? 2 years 11 months ago #24820

  • Spencer Hantula
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    • Referee since 2005 in Southern California. AYSO Advanced and USSF Grade 8.
Rafal Wlazlo wrote:
Spencer your game reminds me of mine lol. People really have no idea how hard it really is.

It is extremely confusing your first few games! Especially when you're not even a teenager and don't understand the technical aspects of the game. I whole-heartedly agree with Earl Sweeney's blog about "Refereeing not being for the faint of heart". As a result of my experiences, I have tremendous respect for officials of any sport.

That's partially the reason behind the quote as my signature. Even when we do our jobs perfectly, we can only please 50% of the people :unsure:
It takes a special skill to be the most hated person on the pitch and not let it affect your judgement.
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Do you remember your first game? 2 years 11 months ago #24832

Spencer Hantula wrote:
Just out of curiosity, how old were you guys when you first started?

I was 35 when I actually started with a badge here in Canada. Without a badge (just for friends games and in Italy), since I was 20.
**Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming "Wow! What a ride!" (Hunter S. Thompson)***
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Do you remember your first game? 2 years 11 months ago #24835

Emilio Mundula wrote:
Spencer Hantula wrote:
Just out of curiosity, how old were you guys when you first started?

I was 35 when I actually started with a badge here in Canada. Without a badge (just for friends games and in Italy), since I was 20.

17
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Do you remember your first game? 2 years 11 months ago #24840

Spencer Hantula wrote:
Just out of curiosity, how old were you guys when you first started?

I was 43. Had been laid-off and searching for a job. My thought was to go get any job while I looked for the right job but working anywhere would mess-up unemployment and result in less income. When I realized that referee's were paid by the individual organizations they are refereeing for, I figured I could do it, get pay from 10-20 different organizations so none would show as employment. Worked well. After I found my next good job, figured with refereeing someone was paying me to go get some exercise doing something I normally enjoy so I stuck with it since.

However, starting at 43 there is no real chance of moving to the more advanced levels.
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Do you remember your first game? 2 years 11 months ago #24844

  • Brendan Mitchell
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26 when I first started.
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Do you remember your first game? 2 years 11 months ago #24852

Started at 17 then took a break at 20 till I was 23 and started up again. At 25 still young enough to hopefully move up the ranks.
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Do you remember your first game? 2 years 11 months ago #24899

My first game was an AYSO U-10 girls match (7v7) when I was 43. Missed an obvious offside that resulted in a goal. :oops:

What can I say? I was working solo and had no idea how to position myself. The basic referee course (in AYSO, intended for working U-8, U-10, and possibly U-12 - as solo CR in small-sided games) really didn't cover the DSC or positioning at all, just the basic LOTG.

The opposing coach complained a bit, and the referee administrator who was observing me talked to him (he might have tried to cover for me a little bit but I wasn't standing close enough to hear). It's a very laid-back rec region, so it wasn't the end of the world, since they rarely have enough refs to cover the U-10 games (U-8 gets treated like red-headed step children when it comes to getting refs). But that's more of an indictment of the current referee administrator than anything else IMO.
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Do you remember your first game? 2 years 11 months ago #25280

I was 37 when I took the Grade 9 intro course and Grade 8 brigde course in one weekend in February. April came around and I was doing a u-10 in house game with another adult who had just certified and a teenager. We flipped a coin as to who would go first and he got the lucky draw of doing center first. I don't remember much of the games, but after running the line for one game I felt pretty comfortable at that level. We survived the day and I keep trying to get better each time I go out there. I was nervous as could be that first day.
Grade 7 - PA West
Call it if you see it.
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Do you remember your first game? 2 years 11 months ago #25853

Man, reading all of your posts I feel like the odd man out haha. I started when I was 12 (21 now) doing AR's on low devision U10/11 games. My first game was actually my sisters U10 game. My biggest call of the game was calling an offside off of a throw-in (I wasn't paying attention) whoops...
Utah - Grade 6
Let's Enjoy
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Do you remember your first game? 2 years 11 months ago #25869

I began as a referee at 47 years old, after about 35 years of association with the game (player, coach, manager, etc.).

My instructor was also an assignor, and I got my first game as AR2 for a U18 Region 1 game, with the kickoff about 3 hours after I got certified. My first action was an obvious offside call approximately 10 minutes into the game. The referee didn't see my flag up. After about 20 seconds, I got nervous, panicked actually, dropped my flag at the point of the offside, and ran to catch up with the play. The coaches teased me quite a bit at halftime.

However, as soon as I got home from the game, I called my town's "head" referee, a guy who had worked at least a dozen of my daughter's games over the years, and I apologized for every comment I ever made to him. I had to admit that at game speed, focusing on 22 players and not just a few, was A LOT harder than I thought.
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