Ok all you loud mouthed, beer swilling, arm chair experts – which one of you wants to be a referee? Come on, step forward – who wants to take on the challenge?
Ah, it’s not for you is it? You’d rather go out to a game whether it is MLS or kiddies game on a Sunday morning and lambaste the unfortunate person in the middle with the whistle.
You’d rather stand there on the line and scream out your very biased opinion as to which decision the referee should give and sometimes advise him or her as to where he/she can stick his/her whistle.
I know your type. I’ve experienced your wrath. I’ve suffered mentally and physically from soccer thugs, and even received death threats, but thankfully I’ve had the strength to continue.
You don’t become a referee overnight. You don’t wake up one morning and decide “I’d like to become a referee.”
It’s in your blood. It takes many years of experience to get to the top of the tree. Included in that experience are countless hours and days of training, seminars, and actual on the field refereeing.
First of all you join your local refereeing association. They will then take you through the various courses and assign you to games where your knowledge and experience can be tested.
Generally you start off in schoolboy games and you then move on to a higher level or age group games.
All the time you are being inspected as to your fitness, level of control, and knowledge and interpretation of the Laws of the Game (LOTG).
You work your way up the ladder. You are inspected/assessed by former referees and your assessments are passed on to the refereeing body’s appointments committee who will decide whether you are moved to the next level or not.
It takes guts to be able to withstand the sometimes constant barrage from the sidelines (as seen in the video below):
It takes testicular fortitude to be able to shrug off the verbal diarrhea poured out from “responsible” parents who will constantly call your “parentage” into question. A fine example to their kids.
Sadly, these same children, some as young as 6-years-old, will replicate in the future what mammy and daddy are doing. This has to be some sort of child abuse.
There is no doubt that referees have been under the spotlight in recent days and weeks for all the wrong reasons and that’s not what we really want.
For the most part the recent incident involving Referee Mark Halsey is self inflicted. He brought it on himself and has, in my opinion, brought shame on the entire refereeing community.
So now, where was I, oh yes, hands up – who wants to be a referee???