Part 2: Reflection on my first weekend of games as a Junior Referee
In the second series of this featured blog from Junior referee Lewis Neale, he reflects on his first set of games officiating at Lancashire Central Venue for the Mid Lancs Colts League, for the Under 8’s and Under 9’s age ranges.
Firstly, I had to arrive at 8:15am at a Central Venue to help set up goals, corner flags and get an overall explanation on some of the rules. I was greeted by the County Referee Officer who assigned me a mentor, who taught me how to set up the goals and gave me instruction on what to do. In addition, my mentor would also watch one of my 3 games and give me feedback on how well I did and areas to improve.
My first game kicked off at 9:30am and it was Bamber Bridge u7 Blue and Euxton villa u7 Black. I felt very nervous for this match as it was my first match. In the end, it wasn’t the hardest game to referee but I felt I may have made some ‘off decisions’. The parents were fine but at times the players were unresponsive and wouldn’t listen.
Now my second game was an hour later at 10:30 and it was Leyland Albion u8 Red vs Cadley u8 white. This match I felt was easier, as I had confidence from the last and the parents weren’t bad nor were the kids so it was quite a good game to ref. I thought I did quite well and there was a tough decision in which I disallowed a goal for a foul on the keeper but I think I made the correct decision. Once my nerves settled down, I really began to enjoy being in thick off it, in a close and competitive game.
My final game was at 11:30am and it was Lancon u7 red girls vs Brinscall u8 girls. This match wasn’t as aggressive and as fast paced as the others so it was quite relaxed in comparison. The parents and coaches were very supportive and positive which was good to see as well as the players being so kind and considerate towards each other.
Overall, I believe my first 3 games as a junior referee went pretty well and I am excited for the games in the future. Coming into it I was really nervous and didn’t think I would enjoy it but I was quite surprised as it was quite enjoyable. The rush of adrenaline is brilliant, even though it is just an amateur u7s game.
Watch this space for my next update….