Thursday, 31 May 2012

Donut hole

Seems like forever since I had a game. Ask the players and they'll probably say I wasn't away long enough.

Game summary:
So, I couldn't find a shin sleeve that would work as an arm band, so I took an old sock and cut off the foot part and use the shin part as the sleeve to hold the gps. Worked alright, but I should have washed it first. I've written so much about this silly gps arm band that it should have it's own blog.  hmm
Standard women's game, good sportsmanship all around.

Stat line:
Total km stats on par with games of this calibre. Avg speeds are fairly high though. Probably because in the first half I practiced sprints to goal kick restarts. In the 2nd, I did the sprints backwards. Also in the 2nd I tried something different (wait for it).

half / km / avg speed / top speed
1st / 2.48 / 3.0 / 18.3
2nd / 2.35 / 3.1 / 20.7
Total distance thru 90 min: 4.83

In the 2nd half I tried to stay out of the centre circle and for the most part was successful. Created the donut hole track I was trying for. Couple of observations.
1) Interestingly, this resulted in a very rectangular path.
2) I found I had to sprint more when moving from one half in the other because I had to detour around the center circle, which is a longer than than a straight line. So, to get into position I had to sprint around the circle. Good for conditioning though.

First half track... traditional diagonal.

On the other hand, avoiding the centre circle in the 2nd half resulted in a track that mirrors the field boundary.

Not sure if this means anything. I'll have to try this a couple more times.

1 caution.

Clayton and Josh.
Very professional, good team all around.

El Presidente !

hmmm, donuts!


Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Bling Bling

No game today.
Almost left for the field thinking I did have one. Turns out it's for Thur.
Should have gone and checked out Mac Island fields, maybe captured some video. Been a while since the last OiA (not that anyone reads it).
Hopefully will capture some OiA at the AA provincials this week.

Getting good response for the upcoming girls only ref / AR training session, nearly 20 registered.
Here's a link to more information. To register email me at

Have not received any feedback from coaches recently re: jewelry. Was a flurry at the start of the season - either refs have stopped enforcing or players got the message and are removing it. Must say though, the emails I did receive from coaches were all polite and respectful. Much appreciated coaches!

Thanks to my two readers!

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Fighting Chicken

Gosh darn that turf gets hot.
Sunday noon ko and sun was certainly out.
Being the good son I protected with sun screen, thought I got all the exposed skin. Nope. The back of the hands are red.  Sigh.
On a plus note, tracked the game (more on that later).

Game summary:
Still can't find the the arm band, but Nathan provided a shin sleeve which I used on the arm. Actually, worked better than the arm band as no irritating velcro. I think I have something around the house I can use. Had a thought during the game, what if the sweat soaked the battery, could I get a shock?
Two teams wanted to play, not a lot of fouls. Did I mention the heat?

Stat line:
Kinda weird in that Max speed was fairly high (2nd half was #2 overall), but total distance were not top 5. So, I run fast, but not for long?

half / km / avg speed / top speed
1st / 2.35 / 2.7 / 21
2nd / 2.46 / 2.8 / 22.1
Total distance thru 90 min: 4.81 km

Pretty standard.

2 cautions.

Brook and Trevor. Nathan as 4th.
Or as they like to be called:
The Tank, Magic Man and El Diablo.


Thanks as always to my two loyal readers!

By-the-way... follow me on Twitter:  _neil_farber
140 character observations read by nobody.

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Make my day

Bit lopsided game, but good sportsmanship on both sides.
The brief rain squall kinda put a damper on things.  On days like this I wish I had a long sleeve jersey.
But the crowd wants to see the gun show, so short sleeves it is.

Game summary
Stats consistent with games of this level. I'm gonna blame it on the rain that was fallin, fallin.

Couldn't find the %&$ arm band, so I stuck the gps in my back pocket. Surprisingly, worked not bad. Didn't bounce around like I thought it might. I think the armband looks better (read: cooler) so I need to find it. When I'm at centre setting it up I have the feeling people think I'm checking email.

Stat line:
40 min half.
half / km / avg speed / top speed
1st / 1.52 / 2.1 / 16.3
2nd / 1.74 / 2.3 / 20.6
Total distance extrapolated thru 90 min: 3.67 km

Nothing to see here folks, move along.




It's settled. In the rain, Peacemaker looks fantastic.

p.s. I would like to do a mail bag blog - me answering actual reader questions. So, my two readers, email me a question and it might make it in. (who am I kidding, I'll be glad to simply *receive* an email).

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Gurl Power

I'm working with a couple of senior officials to have Kamloops host a girls only ref/AR training session. The KSRA is fortunate to have a strong contingent of female officials and we want to provide support and development opportunities. 
The clinic is tentatively planned for June 9.
More details to come, we're in the early planning stages.

With any luck one of my two readers is female and can start spreading the word.
Contact me for information or to register.

Speaking of development, Kamloops is hosting some high level events in the next couple of months. End of this month, Sahali hosts the high school girls AA Provincial Championships. In July, the Rep A provincials are held in River City. 

We have five officials attending the BC Summer Games in July. We'll also be sending some officials to the B Cup Provincials.

Lots of opportunities for motivated referees!

Some popular all girl groups...

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Rock Paper Scissors Lizard Spock

First game after the KYSA Slurpee Cup. Back in the saddle so to speak.
Have some random thoughts to share, but first game summary.

Stat line:
Didn't track as forgot armband at home. Sad face all around.

This was a lopsided game, one team (vastly) controlled play so this probably was an average or so game from total distance pov. Only a couple of sprints required and there seemed to be long periods of time with little or no movement so the avg km and top km (I felt) are low in this game.

To increase the fun factor, I conducted a couple of sprints to restart positions but then I thought blah why bother. Then I thought, well, I need the conditioning, so I did a couple more.  I really need to get a heart rate monitor that uploads and syncs, the one I have only records max and min with no uploading. Old technology.

No visual cause I stupidly left the armband on the counter.

4 cautions.

Fritz and Tucker. Fine performance from Fritz and a great effort from Tucker - lots of eye contact, good o/s calls. Also a darn fine buddy cop movie title.

Random note #1
I misplaced my favourite coin Sat night so Sun I used a backup. Didn't feel right, the weight was all wrong. Fortunately, found the coin and all is right again. Got me thinking, why use a coin at all? Imagine the entertainment value generated by a rousing best of 3 game of Rock Paper Scissors Lizard Spock! Team captains would not be the best player or leader, but the kid with quick twitch hands. And don't get me started on strategy.

Random note #2
So I've tracked 21 halves for distance. Chart below plots time (half length on the vertical axis) and distance covered (in km along the bottom). Generally, in a 45 min half I cover between 2.5 1.8 to nearly 3 km.
Results are pretty linear. Which means I'm consistent. Looks like I've found a comfort zone. For the next 20 or so games, I'm going to work on 1) increasing distance which means I need to get a bit deeper and wider on positioning, and 2) avg speed which means a bit more running when needed. Assuming I remember to bring the arm band.

Random note #3
Fun fact #578 about me. I have 3 complete sets of World Cup jerseys. 9 jerseys, 3 shorts and 3 pairs of socks. Commonly referred to as Black, Yellow, Red.
So I'm thinking of naming them.

Black is now the Peacemaker.
Yellow is the Adjudicator.
Red is El Presidente.

Did this just up the coolness by 100, or what?

Ref... What should we wear this match? Adjudicator?
AR1... Let's go Peacemaker.
(crowd applauds widely)

Lots of love to my two readers.

Monday, 21 May 2012

Long weekend Monday!
KYSA Slurpee Cup recovery day, for sure.
Thanks to all the officials who made this tournament happen. Special thanks to the out of town refs.
Extra Thank you to those on the outlying fields - sometimes it can get lonely out there - I really appreciate your efforts!

Some thoughts, bullet form:

  • That's a lot of games in two days!
  • I was on the Island and tried to visit the fields in between games - I saw  officials working hard to keep games on time (literally running between fields), crews working together, really good mechanics (more on that in the up-coming Super Sized Officials in Action (tm), and camaraderie all around.
  • pictures  (Thanks Andy for the Kay Bingham pix)
  • Edmonton - Calgary u18 boys final. Well, that was an experience. (ask me about it sometime).
  • Turns out sunscreen was only needed Saturday. Sunday, a coat would have been nice.
  • I vote Norkam for 'best field marking job' award.
  • We tend to allocate younger, newer refs for u12 - but really, IMHO those games are the most intense as proven by Bohl in 1936: 
    • [(Sideline packed with parents + smaller field) x lots of non-stop action / players of vastly different abilities and physical development] x pi = intense
  • Must say, I am partial to the WC kit, however, what's to stop the KSRA from creating our own kit? In that vein, the good hair crew had some thoughts. This will be it's own future post, but for now think... underarmour (black), fur lined collar.  Nuff said!
  • Thanks Stephen and Holly for conducting the training session Friday. Short notice but still had 7 or 9 join.

  • Finally, thank Kelly Clarkson for compression socks. Picked up a pair from Runners Sole pre-season. Best. Decision. Ever.  (as opposed to the following)

Warning, Profanity.

As always, thank you to my two loyal readers!

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Day 1 of KYSA Slurpee Cup is done.
Great weather, good level of play.
Personally, 6 games. Don't feel too bad considering. But I am tired, so I'll just post some pics for now.

Friday, 18 May 2012

T'was the night before the tourney, when all though the KYSA house
all manner of coach and ref were stirring and snacking like a mouse.

The coaches were planning and strategizing with care,
In hopes that the goals would soon be there.

The referees were nestled in their FIFA restart positions,
While visions of reckless tackles danced in their heads.

And AR's with their flags, and I in my World Cup kit,
Had just settled our brains for a long tourney stint.

When out on the pitch there arose such a clatter,
I sprinted to the spot to see what was the matter.

Away to the foul I flew like a flash,
Ripped out my wallet and threw up a yellow sash.

The sun on the breast of the freshly cut yard
Gave the lustre of gold to the newly flashed card.

When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a defensive wall, with eight tinny... defendeer.

sigh, that's all I've got.

First pictures from the 2012 KYSA Slurpee Cup...

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Well, tonight was interesting.
Smaller field so the stats were low. Looking forward to getting Mac fields back in rotation, though it's nice they have a chance to rehab and recover. Also good to get in a run in prior to the madness (in a good way) that is the KYSA Slurpee Cup.
Decent game, missed an opportunity to man manage late in the game. Nothing arose out of it, but potential there. I need to anticipate this better next time.

Stat line:
Half / Total km / avg speed / max speed
1st / 2.07 / 2.4 / 17.5
2nd / 2.12 / 2.8 / 20.1

Total distance was low (for men's comp overall), barely cracking the top 10 (#8 & #10).

I did a couple of sprints to restart positions in the second, these probably skewed the 2nd half stats more a bit.

First half track shows how the smaller field condensed my positioning.

1 caution.

Scott and Jeremy. Jeremy made some good o/s calls, but needs to move a bit more laterally. Scott was his usual hot stuff this evening.

RIP Donna Summer

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

(updated with working Steve Austin action figure pictures)

Mens game tonight. Nice weather unlike the other day when the hurricane hit. Felt I was moving pretty good. GPS backs it up... Halves of 2.56km and 2.77km. New top avg speed, I hit 3.1km / hr. Much better stats than my first mens game, maybe some conditioning is kicking in? Cue the bionic man music.
Curtis and Darrin did great work. Lots of eye contact and we worked as a team.
Glad Emmi did the 7 steps to wall mgt presentation last week. Wall management can be a crucial part of a match. Had a situation which I felt I managed correctly. Coach had a different opinion but replaying it over (several times) I'm good with how I handled it (and the outcome).

And yes, I actually owned a Steve Austin action figure!

Peel away forearm skin to reveal his electronic sinews!

And for boys of a certain age, if I said name one bionic man episode, I bet 99 / 100 say it's the sasquatch one.

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Ported over the blog to an actual blog site.
Now I can track more accurately my *two* readers!

On a side note, getting ready for KYSA Slurpee Cup - 350 games on 18 fields, two days. Yup, it's gonna be tight for officials. Fingers crossed no injuries or sickness.

First really hot (temperature wise) game IMHO. Specially so since on TRU turf with zero wind. And wearing the dark kit. 
PCSL Womens competitive.
Was there an impact due to the heat and fact both coaches liberally substituted in the 2nd? Yes, yes there was. After the match I commented to the ARs that it didn't feel that I was moving as much in the 2nd and the stats back that up.
1st half 2.84 km, avg speed 3.2 and max speed 20.5.
2nd half 2.58, avg speed 2.8, max speed 16.8.

Nearly a 1/3 of km less travel, slower avg speed and max sprint was far below half 1.
Also, the 2nd half track is definitely shifted towards the bench touchline. I wonder if my positioning was impacted by the subs (I would grab the sub slip at the half line if I was closer that the AR) - perhaps I wasn't getting back deep enough into the field when I restarted play? Have to keep an eye on that - don't want to get caught out of position due to restarting play too early and not where I should be.
1st half
2nd half
Trevor and Nathan did a great job Assisting (as usual). 

One of the tools the KSRA implemented this season was a small side match incident report form, a way for officials to report incidents or concerns in small side games. Already in this young season it's been used more than I would like (which is zero usage). My gratitude to the officials who take the time to report their concerns.
I can't believe it took me 3 years to put this tool into place.
I'm so sorry to all the small side referees who endured a bad game due to a coach or parents, or maybe had a question but didn't know who or where to ask it. 
I wonder how many good young officials we've lost over the years because they had a bad experience and felt they had no support so they simply quit. 
Small side officials are learning and will sometimes make mistakes, I'm the first to admit it. But these are kids and how we treat them will impact the type of people they will grow up to be. Do we want tolerant and accepting, or angry and belittling?
If we don't all learn a bit more respect we won't have a game at all.


Spoiler alert!
So I'm getting in the final minutes of Glee before I have to leave for the game. What an ending. Rachel as prom queen?! I admit, I teared up. 
On to the game...
Womens Open game. Km by half: 1.83km & 1.84km, for a total of 3.67 which is slightly below what I've been tracking. Couple of reasons for this. 1) Smaller field. Kinda narrow and as a result I kept finding myself in the middle of the play, and 2) the wind really affected play. A strong south/north wind kept the play in one half.
The 1st half gps track:
Oh, got to work with a new AR, Rachelle. Her second game as AR and she did really well.
Peace out!
Well, another tournament in the books!
And what awesome weather it was. The soccer tan is in fine form. 
I have two wrist watch tans. I look like I've been wearing thick handcuffs.

Just a thought about routine. I think it's important that officials develop a pre game routine. Maybe I'm a bit OCD but I tend to put on the ref kit the same way every game. I wear a certain badge ( I have 3), when I warm up I try and stick to a basic routine. I find this pre game routine... comforting. It puts me in a positive frame of mind and mentally focuses me for the task ahead. 

Had the pleasure of working with Emmi twice today. Always looking to improve, she is. Asks questions, she does and is intensely curious about correctly handling situations. A hallmark of a young jedi a great referee.
First mens game tracked. Total km = 4.97, avg speed = 2.9 km / hr.
Unfortunately the google earth overlay is out of date so I can't see the track relative to the field. I suppose I could take a screen shot of the track and overlay on google earth myself (keeping the scale correct), but yah, kinda tired, and nobody reads this anyway.
I think I could have man managed one situation better. I'll try and learn from it. 
Gosh, it's going to be tough to fill all the games this season. Kudos to Fahrudin and Ali for the work they put into it!
Below are the gps results of games last week (minus Ice Breaker). 
I'm thinking I need to pick up a heart rate monitor and ideally sync heart rate to gps them I could chart/track fitness (improvement?) over the season.

Mens rec game, 35 min half, no ARs. This is my track for the 2nd half. 1.85 total km, avg speed of 3.0 (!) km/hr. Notice the track boundaries (red outline) mirrors the field.
April 27, Womens league. 35 min half, with ARs. I tracked the 1st half. Total km=1.74km, avg speed = 2.3km/hr.
More diagonal track for sure.
Finally, April 28. U15 girls with 35min halves and no ARs. Here's the 2nd half. No ortho overlay as the Google Earth map is out of date to the current field configuration.  The line chart at the bottom is speed. Not many (or any) speed bursts, rather more an overall simmer. Total km = 1.19 km, avg speed of 2.9km / hr.

See you on the pitch my 2 loyal readers!
The first tournament of the season - the Ice Breaker - is in the books. Great weather for sure.
I was able to work with many different officials. Good to see brand new refs and long time vets working together. Was able to capture some pictures, see them here
Just a quick thought about feedback. As an official we can hear many different feedback during the game (from players, coaches, spectators). It's important that we as officials are able to give and receive feedback from each other in positive, constructive ways. Refs, take some time after a game to debrief with your team - how did the game from everyone's perspective, was there a game situation the team needs to discuss? Athletics cool down after a workout and officials should do a game 'cool down' as well. 
I know I give feedback ad nauseam  - my goal is to see every official have the tools they need to succeed - and yes, I like to receive it as well. After my game today I received some very good feedback, I really appreciate the comments and definitely helps me see the game better.

As always, thanks to my 2 readers out there!

First day of Ice Breaker is done. 4 games. Body feels surprisingly not bad after dinner and lots of hydrating.
I didn't track gps (I know sad face), but I have last week's games tracked and I'll post those shortly. 
Took pictures which I'll post shortly. Great to see some many officials in one place!

I thought I'd start a blog since nobody actually *reads* my emails or posts. People say they do, but then I ask hey what did you think about that 4 page essay on angle of view I posted at midnight? umm, yah, looked great!
Since I'm not creative enough (nor have the time) to come up an insightful, witty post daily (unlike this guy
I thought I would post some gps stats on games I've officiated.  

(I'm calling this "The Reckless Tackle" - comes from an email I sent a couple of years ago in which I opined that if I ever open a pub I would call it The Reckless Tackle.  Or 'The Flag and Whistle')

I downloaded a free app(lication) that tracks your gps, speed, altitude etc from  Attach the blackberry with a sport armband and voila, I have a free electronic tracker.

Below are the first 3 games using this technology.

First game I used this was a Women's Tier 1. ARs and 35 min halves. The field markings are (barely) visible, but it appears I used a not bad diagonal. 1.74 km avg speed = 2.3 km/hr. (Forgot to turn it off until I reached the car).

Game #2 was with no AR's, 40 min halves. See the difference on my movement, I covered more of the field. First thing I noticed was how much deeper I went into the penalty areas compared to game #1 with AR's
And yes, that's me heading to the washroom. 3.99 total km, 2.5 km / hr avg speed.
Final game of the week was u15 girls rep, 40 min halves, with AR's.  Only recorded second half: 2.01 km and 2.6 avg speed.
Take a look at the speed chart (green line). Notice the sprints throughout the half.  Something to keep in mind for training - working on acceleration and the cardio for a full 90.

That's it for post #1. 
Thanks to my 2 readers out there!