Chas Denonno - A Referee's Journey

barthez4

Senior Squad
after reading this, i think i might go get a license and take the course... its good money (20-35 per game as my Rochester buddy said) and its good to keep in shape, and it should be fun.
 
one of the worse reff i had last season actually was a ref for one of the Rhinos game, he called offsides on every ball to our forawrds, it was ridicilous.
 

NottsSupporter

Sgt. Pseudo Dane
good read mate, I did some reffing for 3-4 years, got bored of it.

I was an assistant ref in the swedish 7th division for one game, wasd bloody awful, got tons and tons of abuse from players who obviously thought they were a lot better than they actually were.

Other than that I usually reffed youth games, U15 and so on. Got my local clubs "ref of the year award" one year as well :p
 

Psyatika

Reserve Team
Thanks a lot for the feedback everyone!

I'll put up a full update sometime tonight or tomorrow, but for now i'll tell you that Monday was the first night of the Rutgers University Intramurals, and i'm refereeing every match! It's 8 teams, 7 games per team, and a playoff between the top three teams and the fair play award winning team for the championship. Today is matchday 2, so i won't be able to update until after that. I made a website for this league at www.refplanet.com, it should be obvious which section to click on. (EDIT: Intramural information is now at www.refplanet.com/rut-main.html)

This month and next are going to extremely hectic, as i have 3-4 matches every Saturday, 3 matches every Monday, and 3 matches every Wednesday. Hopefully i can survive (not to mention keep up with my 18 credits at Uni!)


-Chas
 

Psyatika

Reserve Team
To be perfectly honest, i remember **** all about my matches on 22 Jan, 29 Jan, and 5 Feb, except that there were three of them each day, except for one where i had 4. I guess they were rather uneventful.

Now, starting on 7 February i've had the pleasure of refereeing in the Rutgers University Intramural League. It's been a pretty good experience so far, as i wasn't really used to having to deal with gamesmanship, hard fouls, players arguing...you know, the good stuff :).

I kept my card in my pocket for the first game, still refereeing the way i would referee a Girls U19 match, which tends to be reasonably clean and trouble-free. On the 9th, however, i had to give a couple for dissent because the players were getting absolutely ridiculous.

Tonight i made personal history, as for the first time ever, i sent a player off. It was a straight red with 4 minutes to go in the match for, as we refs like to call it, "OFFINABUS" (OFFensive, INsulting, or ABUSive language). According to the FIFA rules (it is stated twice, in Law V and in Law XII), a referee "may send off any player who uses offensive, insulting, or abusive language" during a match. If anyone here has played youth footy in England (or really anywhere), you know that referees are known to send off players for using any swear word, even if it's directed at no one. Now, this is the United States, and in the four major sports here, using swear words is accepted (unless they are part of dissent, in which case it isn't accepted). I tend to follow that train of thought when i officiate: i doubt players realise that they can be sent off for cursing in general, so i let it slide but warn them that they shouldn't curse during games.

Today, in my third match of the night, i had to draw the line, as a player not only was cursing, but was cursing directly at me about what he thought was a questionable non-call (a 50-50 ball that two opposing players went for, both of whom failed to get the ball and ran into each other. I let play go on because it would have been harsh to give a penalty in favour of the offence on a 50-50 challenge (the incident occured in one team's penalty area), and the ball ended up at the feet of a defending player, so there was no reason to call a foul in favour of the defence). The player just wouldn't stop his tirade though, and when he started the cursing, i blew the whistle (the ball was going out of play but i blew before it went out) and sent him off (remembering to give an indirect free kick to the non-offending team at the spot of the ball when i stopped play :)).

What a way to get my 30th cap in the centre!

Apprearances:
Referee: 31
Assistant: 17
 

Psyatika

Reserve Team
A whole ton of matches in the last month, roughly 9 per week, including my 50th cap in the middle in my first morning match on 5 Mar (which i celebrated by watching the replay of the Palace-Man Utd match :) ), and my 75th cap overall in my last match on 9 March!

Tonight i have some pretty big matches...at least the biggest matches i've ever been involved in. Tonight are the semifinals AND the Championship match for the Rutgers University Intramural League. The top two seeds are clearly the best teams in the league, but the three and four seeds will be looking for an upset after a 12 day break from competition. The Top seed's only loss this season was against the number two seed, so if they both advance, it should be an interesting final. I honestly don't give a **** who wins, as long as no one gets hurt.

As it turns out, the four playoff teams happen to be the 4 top Fair Play teams as well (although only two of them actually had respectable scores, the top seed having a perfect score...the third through seventh teams were just about identically unfair, and the last team...i'd rather not comment).

Well, it should be fun, and be sure that i'll post about it soon! Three hours until Semifinal I gets started, so i need to have my pasta and start my preparations!


Apprearances:
Referee: 58
Assistant: 17
 

Psyatika

Reserve Team
21 Mar 2005
Playoff time at Rutgers University. Semifinal II was my 60th
cap in the middle. The games were played with a ton of commitment, evidenced by the 5 yellow and 1 red card issued in the three matches (well, "evidenced" is the wrong word, but you know what i mean). The #3 and #4 seeds knocked off #1 and #2 in the semis, and faced off in the final, which was won by the #3 seed. They therefore succeed my former team as Rutgers Champions. A player called me biased in the last minute of the finals, after a bunch of other incidents where he would scream and curse at me, so i finally sent him off for insulting language, to which he responded by giving me the middle finger. Obviously he understood why he was being sent off, as any player who behaves like that shouldn't be on the field. Rather than try to restore order and get play restarted so the last ten seconds of the game could be run off, i just terminated the match. The competition rules allow for the result and the goals to stand, so it was no big deal to end the match ten seconds early.

I'm very excited about the rule changes taking effect in July, most notably the new rule allowinf referees to issue cautions and red cards after the final whistle. The threat of getting a suspension due to a card received after the final whistle should help prevent players from surrounding the official at the end of a match (*ahem* Man United).

Anyway, about two weeks off until AYSO's Spring season kicks off. I'm still committed to the Girls U13 division in NYC, so i'll be back to my roots for the Spring.

Apprearances:
Referee: 61
Assistant: 17
 

Psyatika

Reserve Team
3 Apr 2005
First weekend of the Spring AYSO season...

..now i know what England feels like.

It was sooooo ******* cold and rainy! My new turf boots (Lotto Serie A) are too rigid at the top and cut into my ankles, so i couldn't run as quickly as i wanted. I'll be wearing my new Fila molded boots next week. I ended up doing one Boys match, and will do one more next week as well. My Girls match in the middle was terrible, weather-wise. The rain was falling sideways because of the ridiculous wind. I ended up spending a bunch of the match talking with one of the team's strikers (and assorted other players), mostly about how cold it is. The match as an Assistant was even worse because i wasn't able to move around as much. Fortunately this new facility has a fitness centre with an stationary bike, or i would've been frozen solid. I still had fun though. I was surprised that so many of the players remembered me from the fall. Hopefully the weather will improve for next week.

I found out that i should be eligible at this point to be promoted to "Intermediate Referee" by American Youth Soccer Organisation. I'll have to pass a written and physical exam, and sit in on a course. I can post more about it when i get more information.

Apprearances:
Referee: 63
Assistant: 18
 

Adz GK1

Club Supporter
If anyone here has played youth footy in England (or really anywhere), you know that referees are known to send off players for using any swear word, even if it's directed at no one. Now, this is the United States, and in the four major sports here, using swear words is accepted (unless they are part of dissent, in which case it isn't accepted). I tend to follow that train of thought when i officiate

It's about time there's a ref out there that's not to fussy about swearing. You can't even swear amongst your team in my league (UK). Well done. Good read too
 

Psyatika

Reserve Team
10 Apr 2005
Today, i learned two things:
1) Don't stay up all night working on a website, and then go straight to your refereeing assignments in the morning. Especially when you have four games to referee.
2) That insane intramural league has hardened me more than i thought.

So, i was so excited about getting my new website up and running after 7 months of development (www.refplanet.com, by the way), that i stayed up all night tweaking the php scripts and perfecting the categories for the resource listings (and starting my crawl through the Internet searching for new entries). Before i knew it, it was 530AM, and my alarm was set for 600! So i made my pasta and stayed up, and went to my first game, which was an U14 boys game at 910.

The game went well, but at one point i created the most deafening silence possibly in AYSO history.

Alright, so it's Blue v. Red. The ball is rolling deep in Red's defending end, towards the corner. Blue touched it last. A Blue player sprints to the ball, and, just before it goes over the line, saves it, but just ends up kicking it over the goal line anyway, for a goal kick. I signal the goal kick (for Red), and the Red coach starts yelling that it's a throw in (for Red). Why he wanted a throw in instead of the goal kick is beyond me, as the goal kick is in a better position than a deep throw. I continue to verbally alert to the players that it is a goal kick, and the coach gets louder about the throw in. His players are starting to get confused about whom they should listen to.

Finally, i find a quick way to resolve the situation: as loudly as i could, i say "HEY!" directly at the coach. When he looks, i put my finger to my mouth for two seconds, and then tell the players that it is a goal kick. The coach turned white, the parents were silent, and the players were...well...they looked relieved, because the coach was geniunely confusing them. I could honestly say that this is something i would never have done before February with those insane Uni students in the Rutgers Intramural League.

In my other game in the middle (i had two games in the centre and two as an AR, 20th overall AR cap), a Girls U14 match, i had to silence another coach, who was arguing that his player was not the last to kick the ball before it went into touch. He was right; his player was not the last the kick it. It was kicked off of her shin, and then it went into touch. It does not matter who kicked it last, just whom the ball touches last. This coach was a bit more embarrassed about the matter, and came to me at halftime to apologise, so i told him not to worry about it. I don't take things personally, but i like the game to run smoothly for the players, and coaches yelling things that are contradictory to my decisions are confusing for young players.

I think my "hardening" will benefit me in the long run, because it taught me a lot about player/coach management, and it helped me to be a bit more fearless when it comes to dealing with unruly players.

Brooklyn AYSO has offered to keep me on their roster for the Spring Season, but i was not told which division they expect me to officiate. If i do it, it would be an extra trip into New York every week, and matches on both weekends. Depends on the division, i suppose.

Appearances:
-Referee: 65
-Assistant: 20


-Chas
 

Klobb

Starting XI
Hah, HEY! Sounds like a great thing to see :)

Rutgers Intramural League?Sounds like fun to watch, buncha college kids playing soccer(I'm sure a few playful fights broke out every game) :rockman:
 

Psyatika

Reserve Team
Klobb said:
Hah, HEY! Sounds like a great thing to see :)

Rutgers Intramural League?Sounds like fun to watch, buncha college kids playing soccer(I'm sure a few playful fights broke out every game) :rockman:
Playful? I wish :(
 

Psyatika

Reserve Team
1 May 2005
Was scheduled for two games as an AR, but ended up having an additional game in the centre as one of the referees is sidelined with a knee injury (i'm also picking up his game next week).

And it's a good thing i took his place, as this game was END TO END! One team would make a brilliant run, the other would quickly counter attack, and then another brilliant breakaway, just back and forth. The only other time i've had to run this much was my first game without ARs! The match ended 5-3, with one player getting a second half hat trick. It was a shame erally, as in the first half the team who scored three scored a great goal in the top left corner from the right, about 25 yards out (this is a 13 year old girl, keep in mind).

I think i have something like 4 games next week, one boys, one girls, and one or two as an AR. I've discovered Powerade, so i should be alright.

Career Appearances:
Referee: 66
Assistant: 22
 

Psyatika

Reserve Team
Wow, i just noticed that i never bothered to update this at the end of the Spring season.

Well, Considering i didn't, and considering i can't remember much from the end of last season, i'm guessing the matchdays went over well. I did three games at AR and one in the centre on 8 May, same schedule on 15 May, three matches as AR on 22 May, and two ARs and a centre on the 29th. Throw in two boys' matches on the 8th and 22nd. I was off for the final two weeks of the season.

I decided to take the summer off, as i have reached enough caps to qualify for promotion to USSF. I can't actually be promoted until the fall, so rather than risk injury, i spent the summer doing schoolwork. Yesterday was the start of my pre-season, with some jogs and sprints. I need to read about the rule changes when AYSO posts them. I also need to start thinking about where i should go if ir eceive the USSF badge. At that point, i would be eligible to be paid for matches, but AYSO is a volunteer organisation and the two branches with which i've been involved, West Side Soccer League and Brooklyn AYSO, have been very good to me (aside from WSSL sticking me with AR assignments all the time :wink: ). I am fairly certain that i will stick with Brooklyn AYSO again this winter, and i'll have to decide what i do after that at another time.

Fall season is nearly upon us, and my first promotion awaits...but will it be the last?


Career Appearances:
Referee: 71
Assistant: 33
 

Psyatika

Reserve Team
Well, i took the last of the sit-down bits of the "Intermediate" referee course.

AYSO has four levels of referees:
-Regional, or "Basic" Referee, which is attainable by just about anyone with decent knowledge of the laws.
-Area, or "Intermediate" Referee, which is for actual serious referees. Only 20% of AYSO referees make Intermediate.
-Section, or "Advanced" Referee, which is for the best of the serious referees in AYSO. Only 4% of AYSO referees make Advanced.
-National Referee, which is for the few elite officials of AYSO. VERY few referees attempt to reach National.

I needed a 90% on the final exam...and i got a 92%!!! (well, 91.5 technically). I'm not officially promoted yet though, as i still need to be assessed. It's not as serious as the assessments for moving up to Advanced or National, and i've been told that i should have no problems passing assessment. Once i'm promoted to Intermediate in AYSO, i can cross-register for Grade 8 in USSF (saving me a bunch of money in fact).

My first matches are this Saturday, one in the centre, followed by two as an AR.
 


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