Protected: Game Log 12/30/11: Oh, shit!

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Protected: Game Log 12/28/11: Out of it

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Protected: Game Log 12/27/11: Leader on the boys’ side, too

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Protected: Game Log 12/22/11: Smooth and easy boys’ freshman game

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From the “What Would You Do If…” file

Here’s an  interesting link.

It’s worth watching the entire video.

A couple of clicks reveal that Dutch soccer in general and Ajax in particular has a pretty severe fan problem.  Goalkeeper Esteban Alvarado was unhurt, fortunately.  And yes, he probably could have walked away from the fan.  However, pacifist that I am, if you’re going to run onto the field or court to attack a dude, he should get to fight back.  The last kick was a little much, but if I were the ref, would I have sent him off?  I really, really don’t think so.

The response of the Dutch soccer association has been interestingly non-committal.

The soccer association rescinded the red card Thursday, saying Alvarado’s reaction was triggered by the unprovoked attack on him. But the federation added referee Bas Nijhuis was acting according to the rules when he sent the goalkeeper off.

The federation said Alvarado’s reaction “will not result in a ban.”

The federation said Thursday it will decide soon whether Wednesday’s match should be replayed, resumed, or have Ajax declared the winner.

OK.  That’s strange.  He was acting according to the rules, and yet the card was rescinded?  I don’t think the association can have it both ways.

That said, declaring Ajax the winner would be a terrible decision.  It would essentially reward this drunken hoodlum by having his team win 84 minutes early.

I guess if some idiot kid ran onto the floor to attack a player in one of my high school games, and the player fought back, I’d have to keep him/her in the game.  I would also likely halt the game.  What would y’all do?


Back at camp this year, at the urging of a clinician, I decided that the most important area for me to improve in was that of leadership. Of course, nobody really says much about what that means, so I’ve been trying to figure that out of the fly.

My assignor certainly helps out by assigning me almost exclusively as crew chief these days.  I imagine that, if this year is similar to last year, he’ll begin putting me on bigger girls’ games as a U1 or U2 later on, but I nevertheless think that seeing all the R on my schedule means that I’m trusted.  And this year, for the first time, I feel worthy of that trust.  I’m trying to tease out why, and the result will be this post.

As best as I can tell, the main reason that I feel more comfortable as a leader this year is that I simply feel more comfortable as a leader.  In past years, I’ve always felt rather like a poseur as crew chief, and was rather deferential.  For whatever reason, I just don’t feel that way this year.  Every time I’ve gone into a locker room to start a pre-game, I’ve felt deserving of that.  I’m not a generalissimo in the locker room or holier-than-thou, but I am team leader, and I take that seriously.  Thus far, so have my partners, who have given me very high marks in my partner evaluations.  It is as if I have become team leader merely by believing I am capable of it.  Part of me wishes that I could have just had this mindset last year when I started getting assignments as the R, but I doubt it would have made any difference.  I think I had to go through feeling like a poseur in order to gain confidence.  The same is true in most jobs with a leadership component (I know it from teaching, and I imagine many of you have had similar moments in your day jobs as well).

Thing is, I don’t throw my weight around and act bossy (at least I don’t think I do) as many of my more senior colleagues do (often without knowing it).  I don’t see it as my job to change the personalities or even the tendencies of my team members until there’s a problem. I just see it as working with people well.  I’m starting to get comments like “Well, now that I’m getting a regular slate of varsity games, it’s my job to learn from people like you.”  And while I don’t feel more worthy than many of my colleagues for a comment like that, down in the world of mercy-rule girls’ games, I’m serving a key purpose…and I’m obviously trusted there, since I did get playoff assignments last year (and I have no reason to think they won’t happen this year either). Still, there’s something to be said for leading a team (like Picard) vs. leading through bossiness (like Kirk).

The next step, as I see it, is getting onto our association board.  The baby/toddler combination in my house means I won’t run this year, but I’ll run next year.  I think I’d make a good teacher and a good Rules Guy, and I’m hoping to have each of those roles within a few years.

It’s all a part of leadership, and leadership capacity is changing in me rapidly this year.


A friend of mine, Jack Bogdanski, does an annual Buck-A-Hit day for charity.  It’s today.  If you click on the link below, he’ll give a dollar to charity, up to $5K, with some matching donations that could take the day up over $10K.  So I figured I’d send my two or three readers that way.

Here’s the link.  Go there.  He’s a good guy–he hasn’t whined about sports officiating in at least a year and a half now (a new record)!  Plus you get to help out some charities.