Wednesday, August 12, 2009

A quarter million steps

I wear a pedometer while refereeing soccer. Today while I ARed the U16 final, I passed 250,000 total steps as a referee. I always wondered how my steps compared to actual distance, so at last weeks tournament for the younger players, I also wore my GPS to measure and then compare to the pedometer. Works out to about 1666 steps per kilometer, so as a referee, I've run a total of 150km over two seasons. My first thought was "Wow, 150km!" but then I thought it doesn't seem like very much when spread out over games and 2 years. No doubt there are runners who do 150km a month. I know on the cross Canada bike trip years ago, I'd do that in a day.

I drew rough approximations of fields on the GPS track. This is three games before the battery died. Big rectangle was my field. I had no linesmen, so not exactly picture perfect diagonal system. Leaf and the boys came to visit at one point, the side tracks to the small rectangles are playing with Mars when he had to kick a ball in every net on the tiny fields. Curvy bit to the bottom leads to snack bar, playground and washrooms.

U16 final today was brilliant, a very exciting and close game. I was an AR (linesman) for the first time, and Center wasn't used to having ARs. Red team was undefeated all season. Blue team scored early to go up one nil, then should have had a PK but for confusion between referee and myself. I didn't raise the flag because he was five feet from play and I thought it should be his decision, but his angle was blocked so he looked to me. I should have done a better job discussing signals before the match. Anyway Red scored an equalizer, then the go ahead goal with seconds left in the first half. Blue with a equalizer in the second half. 2-2. Red coach calls a time-out! Ah, the delicious irony... For non-soccer fanatics, there are no time-outs in soccer. Delicious irony because it happened to be the only coach I've ever had to expel from the field of play. Earlier in the season, he disputed an offside call (it is not an offence to be in an offside position, coach!), then went on a ten minute profanity laced tirade at a U12 game. Anyway, a big part of his ranting was about the rules and how he understands all of them and tries to teach his players the rules but alas the stupid fucking referee doesn't know the rules, blah blah fucking blah. Nice knowledge of the Laws, Mr. Timeout!

Game ends up going to extra time, Blue scores the golden goal to win the championship. I feel bad for red! I coached them the last three years and had the same thing happen the first year - undefeated regular season, then a first and only loss in the final. Heartbreaking. Only one more game as a ref for me this summer, the Geriatrics Final (17 and older) on Monday. Then a break for 6 weeks until high school season starts up.

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