One interaction I had in my gap year that stood out was the first day I refereed. I have done it many years and I always find that the first day is the most entertaining. A lot of kids are brand new and so are the other refs that were assigned to me. So instead of just having to organize the kids on offense, I had to organize the offense, defense and the referees who were new and didn’t know what to do. In this league the refs act as the coaches. My little cousin is actually one of the new refs under me so at least he was a little more comfortable knowing I was there. Nonetheless, it was very difficult having to balance the game and the referees. It was not overwhelming though. I find it difficult but also easy to do. The difficult part is just the amount of work you have to put in, but the job itself is pretty straightforward.
In the first game, I had to really take charge and organize everyone. I don’t really like having the spotlight where the kids and parents are all staring right at me the whole time but it had to be done. The new referees were very passive and wouldn’t even blow their whistles when the ball went out of bounds. At half-time I had to call them over and really explain everything they need to change and do. After that, they did pick up a little and the game went smoother. It is a little frustrating when the boss assigns two new people to a difficult age group but it does pass the time faster somehow.
The second game went a lot smoother. The only thing notable from that was when a few parents at the end of the game kept bothering me. The game had already gone on for over an hour and their team was winning by 13. The other team got ball first and ended up getting the ball last. These parents were furious for some reason even though their team won and their kids scored. I’m not sure why seeing as the game had already gone on over the usual time and everybody had plenty of chances. Angry people is just part of the job somehow, even in flag football. After doing it for so long it doesn’t really bother me. It’s just annoying getting yelled at. I don’t know why people forget about human decency when it comes to sporting events. Other than that, it was a normal first day of refereeing and I’ll be back at it next week.