Keep in mind the F word please

I was watching one of my young charges on a parks game – he was doing okay to very good and I was thinking I needed a more dynamic performance.

Towards the end of the match I was standing behind the club lino (of the winning side) watching the referee (and I mean simply watching –no notebook or iPad to record the match) when the lino shouted to his keeper “I think the referee is the best one we’ve had this season!”

Now this could have been shouted for my ears but the keeper shouted back “I think he’s the best we’ve ever had!”

Throughout the match both sides had been on his shoulders with the normal stuff.

Normal stuff?

Referee he’s pushing me; referee he’s pushing my mate; referee that’s our throw; referee that’s offside; referee, that’s never offside.

Normal stuff!

As I said I wanted my man to be more dynamic, get out wider at goal kicks and also get out of the middle of the park and boss the throw-ins without becoming officious but I didn’t think he was the best referee they’d ever seen.

Of course, I’ve haven’t seen every game they’ve ever had so I couldn’t comment about him being the best.

So I asked the lino what made my man the best they had this year. He said: “he didn’t stop for each little push, he let the game flow!”

So there we have it – the club lino using the F word.

The top boys definitely want it and so do the teams down on the local leagues it seems.

A game that flows, they didn’t want the referee to stop for every single little foul, although they moaned about them!

Unlike the top boys they were not looking for a numerical advantage or a moving game so they could expose the opposition’s poor organisation they simply wanted a game that was allowed to breathe.

I can promise you the lino’s side were not winning because they’d kicked their way to that position – the referee had been consistent to both sides and they both appreciated it.

He’d allowed the game to flow in his own little way. He’d ignored the little pushes and the tiny ankle taps caused by a lack of skill. He’d allowed both sides to play with a bit of physicality and both sides appreciated it.

How can I say both sides?

At the end of the game both sides queued up to shake his hand and also when the lino and his goalkeeper was exchanging views no one from the opposition took umbrage and disagreed with the sentiments!

So on the basis of two games I’ve witnessed on the parks I would ask the question of you: are you foul spotting every little push or ankle tap and is it ruining the enjoyment of the teams?

If you listen to the comments of the sides you will hear whether your performance is being appreciated or tolerated.

To answer the unasked question you may have: our colleague did give fouls to both sides and did caution for a robust challenge after 30 minutes – so he wasn’t being alternative in his application of Law.

Which then leads me to repeat the question: are you simply foul spotting, taking no risks and blowing your whistle?

If so, try to use the F word more in your games please.

The teams will appreciate it.

But if the village idiots in the games don’t want to allow a game breathe then I’m afraid you’re foul spotting! Thankfully, those idiots are few and far between.

Category: The Renegade

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