This past Tuesday I had the opportunity to center a U16 girls champions division game and it was an enjoyable experience.  I had a state referee (and my assignor) Steve as one of my ARs and he was able to observe me and give me some good feedback regarding my strengths and weaknesses and how to better manage these higher level matches.

Overall, the match was fairly balanced.  At halftime the score was 0-0 with no real incidents or anything too exciting.  Plenty of opportunities to score but neither team was quite able to finish.  After halftime, one of the teams really stepped up and was playing into space a lot, making some great outside runs and connecting on fairly long balls.  It eventually wore down the opposing team and they were able to put a couple in the back of the net.  The game ended 3-0.

Afterwards there was no real complaint from any of the players or coaches and everyone seemed accepting of the result and my effort.  The feedback was pretty good and there was no real issues to speak of.

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Tonight was a fun reminder of a largely misunderstood rule as was clearly demonstrated by the parents yelling about the “incorrect” decision.

The good old offside rule.  In this case the attacking team had a player in the penalty area just inside the 18.  She was running in towards the goal as her teammate took a shot from outside the 18.  The player running in was in an offside position when the shot was taken, the shot goes to the keeper and the keeper stops it, but gives up the rebound to the attacking player that was in the offside position.

I raise my flag to indicate to the center and he makes the call.

Enter parents: “But the ball was in the air.  C’mon ref, the ball was in the air! What’re ya’ doin’?”  Pretty sure the third person was from Canada…

After the game I was joking with the center, I really need to remember to look up the offside rule and re-read the clause on how “the ball is in the air”.  Must have missed that one in training.

Oh, wait.  It seems to not exist.