Dear, Mr. Referee: Thank You
We've all done it before.
Everything is going our way. We might be playing great or coaching great. Our team is in complete control of the game and we feel almost invincible. How could anything possibly stop us?
And then, in one pivotal moment, the referee makes a call that goes against us.
Now, we are absolutely convinced that the call was wrong. After all, we were doing so well, and hey, we've seen our fair share of soccer over the years. We know the difference between a good call and a bad call.
This particular referee's call? It was bad. Just so bad.
So, since we are 100% sure that the referee made the wrong decision, we decide to tell him about it. Whispering it in his ear would do no good, right? Or maybe simply walking up to him during a stoppage in the action and politely asking about the call in question. No, those aren't good enough.
Instead, we let loose of all of our emotions at the same time. There could be screaming, there could be yelling, or there could be an angry fit of rage that makes us forget about the rest of the action that is taking place on the pitch.
This scene is not pretty.
The Life of a Referee
Unlike Team A and Team B that are on the pitch, referees don't have the ability to actually win a game.
Even if Team A is less talented than Team B, there's still a chance that Team A could win the game. For referees, though, the chances of winning a match are zero. Zilch. Nada.
But more often than not, referees lose.
Sure, they aren't technically given a loss in any type of standings, but referees are typically the ones that come out looking the worst at the end of most games. And why exactly is that?
Ask yourself how many times you've seen a referee complimented for his performance during a game. Then, turn it around and ask yourself how many times you've seen a referee yelled and screamed at during a game.
There's a bit of a difference between those two isn't there?
Even when referees are at their best, they still don't get the credit that they deserve. Not every referee is made the same, and more often than not, they will make mistakes. But what about when they are doing a fantastic job? Do we give them the praise that they rightfully deserve?
Not at all. So,why would anyone want such a job?
Giving Back to the Game
Believe it or not, referees are actually in it for the same reason that you are: They want to be a part of the most beautiful game on the planet.
Has every referee in youth games around the world been a past superstar of the game? Of course not. However, they have chosen to work as a referee because of their love for the sport. They want you, the player, the coach, the fan, to have the best experience possible so that you can truly enjoy the game.
How can anyone possibly enjoy the game if all we hear are people yelling and screaming at every referee decision that goes against their team?
We so often forget that referees are human beings. Yes, just like us. They haven't been created in a laboratory somewhere with all the scientific ingredients to make them the perfect phyiscal specimen.
They will make mistakes, just like you and I. They aren't perfect, but we aren't perfect either.
The referee may not always make the correct call, but remember, he's there for you. He wants to give you the chance to be involved in the game that you love by keeping the rules of the game as fair as possible.
In the heat of the game, it's easy to forget that.
A Simple Reminder
The next time you find yourself angry or upset about a referee's call, or you believe that the referee cost your team the game, remember this video:
So to that, we say thanks, Mr. Referee. We wouldn't have the opportunity to play and coach such an awesome game without you.