They are biased, can’t see and can’t count – and that’s just the professional refs! (ahem…allegedly)
At grassroots level, they turn up each week alongside parents, coaches and players to do what most of us wouldn’t even contemplate. They range from the minimum age allowed (14) to what appears to be somewhere around 65. They are male and female, are different shapes and sizes and have their own styles and tolerances. Yes, they are human just like the rest of us.
But why do it? Why turn up on a freezing cold Saturday at 8:30am? Why take on the task of single handedly judging throw-ins, free kicks and off sides with anxious coaches and parents watching your every move? Why?
Is it for some, the dream of becoming a professional Premier League referee? Is it power? Service? Duty? For the love of the beautiful game?
I really do not know and I have limited personal experience to draw upon. I know from refereeing a few school football matches in the late ’90s that it demands great concentration and patience (with parents and coaches). The kids are not usually the problem it is the shouting from ‘adults’ that makes it difficult and the reported rise in physical assaults makes it highly undesirable in my eyes.
If any grassroots refs are reading this out there, we thank-you. No ref, no game; it’s that simple. Many of us do understand this and keep quiet when our precious darlings get hacked down and your eyesight fails you (note: ironic dig at less well informed spectators).
Maybe you can tell us what motivates you, why you do it. We know you’re not in it for the money – could it really be ‘for the love of the beautiful game?’
This Tiger Tale was written by Tiger’s parent and club chairman, John Taylor. His two children train and play with the Tigers.
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