Friday, 29 June 2012

Refereeing...easy money? or Passion

   Hey guys, I am the guest speaker for today on the Reckless Tackle! I don't know about you, but I have absolutely fallen in love with refereeing. When I first started, I remember my father told me I had to take a 3 day long course and I was like OMG Dad I hate my life! That three day course happened to be one of the best things that ever happened to me!

   At first all I was doing was refereeing little kids, and they kind of just shoved us out onto the field after the program and were like okay... ref. I went there refereed for however long the game was and at the end of the month got a cheque. Slowly I began to assistant referee in the men's league. I was horrible at first and did not even know how to line.Now though with all the training and hard work of Neil our young assistants are some of the best that I have seen. I now could mostly care less about how much I get paid to referee, but more that I get to referee and have the experience to grow and mature as an official.

So leave a comment about why refereeing is a passion for you! or how maybe we could help you to understand and make it a passion for all of us officials here in Kamloops.

No stats! Sorry!


Monday, 25 June 2012

That Game....

   Hey guys, I am the guest blogger for tonight! Since Neil does such a good job at this I am expecting to have zero reads, but hopefully it will reach a few souls. 

   So tonight I want to talk about something that usually us as referees never like to talk about. What happens  when something in our game goes horribly wrong? You know it, the players know it, the crowd knows it, even the blind guy on field 1 knows it! We could call it back, but its too late now we have let play continue. Our earlier call is now getting us in trouble later in the game, and problems are compounding on top of one another. Finally after about 75 minutes if yelling and complaining the final whistle goes, and you just feel relieved to be leaving the field before more people start to go after you. 

   We as referees are expected to have a very tough skin and usually can take most things, but even I once just felt overwhelmed after a game and went home and just broke down and didn't even want to ref anymore! I can't even imagine not reffing, however, this game just pushed me over the edge. 

   So in this situation we should reach out to fellow referees to discuss what happened, and how we could have managed it better or even just call Neil or someone else and just chat about it. We are referees, but most of all we work as a team on and off the pitch. 

   Basically what I am trying to get at is don't hang you head about a crappy or bad game. Use it too make you better and make it drive you to be better so that it never happens again.

Anyway, here's the game stats:

1st Half: 2.71km
2nd Half 2.24km

Kit: El Presidente

Was a U18 boys game for like last place so it was a bit of a gong show, but the game went to overtime, and also I would like to say that maybe we should consider putting in assistants for that age group next year.

I bid you a fair night with this.....

Sunday, 24 June 2012

4 in 2

Well sun came out. 

Two games yesterday and two today. 
Sigh, getting old. 

Game Summary:
Morning game went as to be expected for that level. Need to be mentally alert so glad it was a morning game.

Stat Line:
half / km / avg speed / top speed
1st / 2.46 / 3.1 / 18.7
2nd / 2.15 / 2.7 / 16

Total distance thru 90 min: 4.61 km

Stat line for the 2nd half of the 4th game in 2 days:
2.39 / 3.5 / 22.6 (40 min)

Reason I bring that up is I was feeling... slow... during that half. Turns out it wasn't bad. Thank Kelly Clarkson for gps tracking - the smile maker! See visual below.


2nd half afternoon game
2 cautions.

Liam and Scott


Off for next week.
Watch for guest blogs!

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Build It: Beep Flags!

Ok, so I want beep flags, but don't have the $800 to purchase.
I Googled "Build a beep flag". No results.
Figured I watched enough Junk Yard Wars and could build a set myself, in under an hour.

So I dug up some stuff lying around the house and... well, check it out below...

Phase 1: The Build.

Start with flag, 2 walkie talkies and scotch tape.

Tape a walkie talkie to handle of flag.

That's it. Here's me holding the flag. Pretty comfortable actually.

To signal off side, slide the thumb up to the 'call button' and press. 

Voila, the other walkie talkie (carried by the ref, signals). 

Build time, approx 10 minutes!
Phase 2 is upcoming and consists of proof of concept, then beta testing in actual game.

Couple of kinks to work out:
  • Need a third walkie talkie for the other AR;
  • These can pick up other radios on the same frequency (maybe keep volume low?);
  • Secure to the flag stick.  Though it was pretty stable and didn't move even with 3 pieces of tape.
Anyone have a walkie talkie I can use?
Who wants to test this with me?

Oh yah, did a game. Here's the stat line:

half / total km / top speed / avg speed
1st / 2.68 / 3.5 / 20
2nd 2.41 / 3.0 / 21.8

Third match at this level I've fully tracked and tonight waaaay ahead of the other 2 by a country mile.
This level has no ARs and it was a playoff so I felt I needed to be a bit closer to play than usual. 
3.5 km / hr top speed!  I'll let Iron Mike tell you how I feel about that!

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Tonight Show

What happened to Global Warming? More like Global Raining.

Nice little game tonight.
As with our local leagues, unlimited subs, and at this level teams certainly use them. 
So, got me thinking, instead of always saying 'yes' to a sub request, what are other ways to acknowledge?

Standard: "Yes"
British: "Aye"
Street: "True Dat"
World of Warcraft: "By your command"
Business: "Approved"
Spanish: "Si"
Sarcastic: "Of course you can sub"
Philosophical: "What really is a sub?"
Freudian: "You have mother envy"
Movie Critic: "2 thumbs up"
Texting: "Smiley face"
Facebook: "I Like your request"
Humor: "Knock Knock" (coach: Who's there?) "Sub" (coach: "Sub who") "Your sub may enter the game!"
Ed McMahon

Game Summary:
Somewhat one sided, as you'll see in the visuals. 

Stat Line:
half / km / avg speed / top speed
1st / 2.12 / 2.8 / 18.8
2nd / 2.24 / 2.9 / 19.4

Total distance thru 90 min: 4.36 km

Fifth complete match at this level and this game was the 2nd highest total km. Totally would not have bet that during the match, but there you go. 

Play weighted to one half but still able to get in some coverage whilst staying out of the forbidden centre circle. Seriously, I actually feel bad if I step inside, like I've violated the rules. 

1st half
2nd half

1 caution

Taya and Clayton


And now it's time where I shamelessly beg for Twitter followers. @_neil_farber  It's like the Reckless Tackle but under 140 characters, perfect for the attention deficit generation.

Or leave a comment. You can do it anonymously!

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Happy fathers day!

What a wet June!
Fortunately, ran held off during this morning's game.
So, all in all, not a bad father's day.

On a unrelated note, 6 votes for best kit in the sun poll! Looks like my 2 readers each voted 3 times!
Need to think of a new poll.
And back to the blog...

Game Summary
First game of this level I've tracked. And I remembered to wear the tracker for both halves.
Typical game for this level.
Thanks to El Diablo for excellent feedback!

Stat Line:
half / km / avg speed / top speed
1st / 1.69 / 2.4 / 18.8
2nd / 2.30 / 3.4 / 19.8
*40 min half

Total distance extrapolated thru 90 min: 4.49 km

2nd half I actually traveled a fair distance. In the 2nd I practiced sprints to goal kick restarts, so that inflated the avg speed and top speed.

"Stay out of centre circle" worked pretty well at this level. Able to anticipate play well enough and for one or two times I needed switch halves, I could sling shot around the circle.
LOL, I actually said "sling shot engaged" during one run.
Looks like the field markings in the photo are off compared to actual.


Morgan and Stephanie. Well done all around!


Saturday, 16 June 2012

Fire and Brimstone

I find it's important to be in the correct frame of mind prior to kick off.
For best results of all involved in the match (especially me) I need to be focused and mentally alert.
Motivated in other words.

In the past I've conducted pre-match instructions with my AR's, covering the usual topics including areas of responsibility (yawn), dealing with coaches (boring), and sub procedure (buzz kill). So, to get the tropics pumped up and ready to give 110% for an entire match, I'm going to start being more... dramatic! More flair! More table pounding! More face painting!
In other words, use the techniques of successful leaders and motivators throughout the ages!

Below are my inspiration of motivation speeches. Guaranteed to get you motivated and energized!

and of course, the ultimate pump up song...

What's your pump up song or speech.
Leave a comment.  Or better yet, Tweet it!

Shout out to     
Stay thirsty, my friends!

Thursday, 14 June 2012


After all the rain the sun shined for tonight's game.
Field was soggy but playable.

Game Summary:
Haven't done this level for a while. Same as I remember it.
Tracked the first half, took the arm band off at half, then forgot to grab it for the 2nd.
Sigh, getting old.

Stat line:
half / km / avg speed / top speed
1st / 2.67 / 3.3 / 21.1

Shame, cause first half wasn't bad, on track for a 5km + game. Good avg speed as well.

Training and conditioning plan must be paying dividends. Or more likely the satellites were out of synch causing abnormally high readings. 
As usual, the overlay image for Mac is out of date. So, close your eyes and pretend there's a field.

Pretty good movement and stayed out of the centre circle for the most part.
In the 2nd, I couldn't figure out what was wrong, then I realized no arm band. Then for some reason I didn't care if I went in the centre circle. Almost as if the tracker wasn't watching and I could cheat. Weird feeling.

2 cautions. One for each team, 1 minute apart. 

Steve-O and @farber94

El Presidente

It's officially summer when I stop for a flavoured frozen drink after the game. Thanks @msakaki666

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Fruit Salad

As much as I like (adore) the World Cup kits (aka Peacemaker, Adjudicator, Judgement Day and El Presidente), I think it would be neato if refs could add to them.
For example, a series of rectangular patches of varying colours signifying caution and send offs.
Like medals.

Maybe you need to achieve a certain number to earn a patch. 10 cautions = solid yellow patch (aka 'private') while 50 cautions gets you the yellow patch with a stripe (aka 'captain').
Think of the respect factor. Walk out on the pitch and players would know that 'ohhh, he's a General, better be on best behaviour'.
Earn a shoulder star for every 5 PKs awarded.
'ohh, he's a 4 star General'

Of course, then the annual refresher would be more like boot camp. (Warning, foul and abusive language).

While we're thinking about cautions and send offs, why is it that all refs seem to use the same plastic yellow and red cards? If I ever earned a FIFA referee badge, you bet your bippy my cards would be major bling bling. The yellow card has gold edging and embedded with diamonds (to better sparkle in the sun). The red card is solid platinum with a ruby in the centre. It weighs nearly 3 lbs but when I pull it out the stadium falls silent in awe. Poets weep at the beauty.

Please vote on the best kit to wear in the sun.
Follow me (@_neil_farber) on this thing called "Twitter".  No idea what it is, but the kids all talk about it.

"Fruit-salad" is also a slang term used for medals on a soldiers uniform, e.g. "Look at the fruit-salad on that colonel." The term refers to the bright colors of a high percentage of the ribbons that usually go with medals - Wikipedia

31 posts. Who knew I could write a blog this long?


So, I'm wondering why fans need to be quiet during:

  • tennis serve
  • golf swing
  • bowling approach
  • chess
But crowd noise is acceptable (encouraged even) at:
  • basketball free throw
  • soccer penalty kick
  • baseball 
  • football field goal attempt
Why the double standard?
Individual sports vs team games? Nope. A basketball free throw attempt, soccer penalty kick, baseball pitch, and football field goal attempt are all individuals attempting a singular physical activity. Just like a tennis serve or golf swing.

Fans pay money to see professional events of both types (except chess perhaps?)

Professional players are larger than the game in both. Rafael... LeBron, Tiger... Messi. Can't think of a bowling professional top of my head, but you get the idea.

Anyway, just kind weird how customs and acceptable behaviours evolve within sports.

Kinda like the customary free kick restart (aka "ref I want 10 yards"). I wonder who the first player was who was frustrated with the opponent for standing in front of his free kick. Did he (or she) politely ask the official "Yes, hello sir. Sorry to bother, but I was wondering, if it wouldn't be too much trouble, if you could politely ask my outstanding friends on the other team if they could perhaps relocate to a position a bit farther away. If you wouldn't mind."  Repeat with a British accent for additional merriment!

And from that innocent inquiry, an entire custom was born.

Just thought of a bowling legend, Ernie 'Big Ern' McCracken...

Thanks to Shake and Bake, my two readers for sticking with me through thick and thin. 

And it's not too late to join the thrill a minute that is @_neil_farber. 
Band wagon jumpers more than welcome!

Tuesday, 12 June 2012


Bit late on this post, but tbh I did get an OiA out the door.
And I've spent the past 2 hours on Bloons 5. Just read the tip about maxing out the Glue Gunners, will try that next. Thanks Anon!
I suspect I have no life. Not quite as bad as this, but close.

Another 'hobby' I have is for the past couple of years I have read every match, caution and send off report submitted through the KSRA portal. Not cause I like to lurk and creep, but to see if referees had questions or issues that need follow up. Yup, every report for all the leagues.
Over the years, I've gotten to know the writing styles of many people.
So today I thought I'd share some quips from a couple of officials I enjoy reading.

Pretty clean game, although for the most part it's kick and chase which is somewhat annoying. :/
An A-OK game. Nothing further to report, really.
Team XX did not have corner flags, according to the coach they were stolen so 2 balls wrapped in yellow pinnies were used. Weather was overcast and wet
Players and coaches of both teams were fantastic, and the parents of XX team were great, telling me i did a good job etc. the YYY team parents, not so much.

One trend I noticed last season was the use of 'careless' to describe a caution. Eg. It was a careless tackle and so I cautioned the player. 
To correct this, the KSRA highlighted the proper use of terminology at the refreshers in the KSRA pre-season information presentation. I think the message got through as I see refs using Reckless instead of careless now.

So there you go, reading close to 3000 reports and we now use correct verbiage. 

Yes, it's official, I have no life.

Sunday, 10 June 2012


So, the sun came out and of course I didn't use protection, so my arms and little sections on the front and back of the neck are red. Sigh. Fortunately, was able to get some SPF 200 on the nose and checks so glass half full.

If Peacemaker looks best in the rain, which kit looks best in the mid day sun?
Tough call.
What do you think? Adjudicator... El Presidente... Judgement Day? Or does Peacemaker look best in all weather? Leave a comment with your vote. Vote using the poll buttons to the right -->  Ideally, both my readers vote the same, if not it's a tie.

Game Summary:
Good clean game. Not sure why, but both teams were slipping and losing footing. Perhaps the grass is getting worn down?
Forgot to turn the bb tracker to silent and of course 30 min in I get an email so the email chime goes off. Sigh.
So here's a thought, instead of investing in beep flags and a communication system between ARs and the ref, why not have everyone use Instant Messenger (or similar). AR's quickly text the ref when they see something, ref sets his phone to vibrate and voila, communication system. Add this to my 100 year predictions.

Stat line:
half / km / avg speed / top speed
1st / 2.31 / 3.0 / 17.9
2nd / 2.02 / 2.6 / 18.2

Total distance thru 90 min:  4.33 km

Have tracked 3 games at this level. Total distance was right in the middle for this level. Average speed was lowest. 

I was curious if I could maintain my 'stay out of the centre circle' at this level. For the most part worked, but I found some goal kick restarts awkward and once or twice I need to cheat and run through to stay with a long kick and run. Other than that seemed to work and I find I'm getting used to the movement. 
Couple of notes about this visual:
  • Mac fields are not updated in the tracker satellite imagery, so no field boundary to reference;
  • I'm writing todays post on the MacBook and as previously stated, I don't know how to work it. So, I don't know how to screen capture an image, then basic edit it with lines and circles as I usually do. Result? I took a picture of the track using the tab, then uploaded the photo to Picassa, then cropped it, then downloaded then uploaded into here. 
  • Use your imagination and you'll kinda see the centre circle I was avoiding. However, the play was so much in one half the circle is not in the middle of the track lines, but skewed to the bottom.

1 caution.

Emi and Rei.
Or as they want to be known: Ann and Nancy Wilson of soccer officials. *


* I totally get that my (2) readers will NOT understand this reference.

Hey! follow me on "Twitter".  25 followers can't be wrong!

Friday, 8 June 2012


And the summary for yesterdays game.
As mentioned yesterday, rainy.
Many the players (both teams) were wearing undergarments (ie "hoodies" with the hood tucked under the jersey). Rain stopped, many started taking the hoodies off while on the field. Sigh. Hold the throw in while we sort this out.
10 min later, rain restarted again. Sigh again.

25 songs about rain

Game Summary:
Pretty good game actually.

Stat line:
half / km / avg speed / top speed
1st / 1.78 / 2.5 / 19.6
2nd / 1.68 / 2.3 / 20.2

Total distance thru 90 min: 3.46 km

Second game of this level I've tracked . The other game had a longer distance (3.86).
Stayed out of the centre circle, kinda getting into that groove. Have to see if I can maintain during a higher level match.

So, I've tracked the first and second halves of 13 matches. (I have several where I just did one half or the other). Below is a chart showing the distances covered by half for the matches where I tracked both halves.

Red = 1st half
Blue = 2nd half

Interestingly, I cover more ground in the first half. Could my conditioning be to blame? Laziness? 
Have to keep any eye on this to ensure my focus remains for the full 90.

Percentage of times I cover distance by half




Thursday, 7 June 2012

A Beautiful Mind

Another rainy day. Couldn't wear Peacemaker as one team had black kit, so Adjudicator it was.
Good game, I'll do the game summary tomorrow. In the meantime, had a thought during the match for a post. And since nobody reads this anyway, I thought, why not blog it?

Stuff I don't know...

  1. How my MacBook works. I can open Word, Chrome, iTunes, but don't know what the Mac equivalent of Ctrl-Alt-Del is for example. And why no Paint program?
  2. "Like this for a tbh".  huh?
  3. What's a "meme"?
  4. Music from the 90's.  Listened to 90's on 9 Sirius Channel the other day for several hours, and nope, did not recognize a single song. Did I zone out for an entire decade? Was the music that horrible? I cannot name 10 5 songs from that decade.
  5. Fashion. Why *can't* I wear socks different colour than my pants? And socks with sandals keeps the feet warm thank you very much.
  6. Google +
  7. How to finish a Bloons track on hard difficulty.
  8. The plot to Lost. Never got into that series.
  9. How to program my PVR. 
  10. The lyrics to Edge of 17. 

If someone knows an answer, please leave a comment and help me out! 

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Time wrap

What does the next 100 years bring for the beautiful game?

Follow as I step into the time machine...

Oops wrong way, let's try this one...

Anyway, here's my predictions. With any luck in a hundred years for a school project some kid will Google "soccer predictions 2012" and this will turn up. Hello future person!

Soccer prediction #1
The iPhone referee app completely replaces paper and write on cards. Law 4 mandates player jerseys have a unique bar code (registered in the central FIFA database). To record a goal, or misconduct, a referee simply scans the bar code using the standard referee app. Instant tracking. The screen changes to the appropriate misconduct colour for the referee to show. Actually, several apps already out there that change screen to yellow/red. But no bar code scanning yet.

Soccer prediction #2
Balls have implanted chip that tracks location. Pass under the crossbar, over the goal line, between the goal posts and the referee iphone app buzzes indicating goal.

Soccer prediction #3
Players wear a full length arm sleeve (transparent, super lightweight) that includes a glove portion. Ball hits any part of the arm sleeve, the micro sensor in the ball buzzes the iphone app to signal the referee the ball touched the arm. Up to the referee to determine deliberate or not, but the referee certainly knows if the ball touched the arm (or not)

Soccer prediction #4
Laser equipment hovering above the field continually sprays the field with an invisible laser field. The machine distinguishes opponents (see bar code above). The laser tracks ball movement and the 2nd to last defender, and if the opponent is ahead of the defender or not (arms are not tracked due to the arm sleeve). Voila! real time, 100% accurate off side line that buzzes the appropriate AR when a violation occurs. Still require AR's to make the final determination and raise the flag.

Soccer prediction #5
After the destruction of North America and other countries by some unknown apocalyptic event the World Cup consists of a wealthy Capitol and twelve surrounding, poorer districts under the Capitol's hegemony. 
As punishment for a previous rebellion against the Capitol in which a 13th district was destroyed, one team from each district is selected by annual lottery to participate in the World Cup. This is an event in which the teams (or "tributes") must fight in an outdoor arena controlled by the Capitol, until only one team remains.   Winning team earns food and supplies for their district.
Oops, sorry, wrong future.

Anyhoo, good luck future student on your essay. Don't forget to appropriately reference me in your bibliography.

I can only hope Glee is still on the air!

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Talladega Nights

Bit rainy. But the plus is it's the perfect excuse to break out Peacemaker. Cause as my two readers know, Peacemaker looks best in the rain!

Game Summary:
Two good teams to be begin with, however, slick surface made for a slower game. Couple of hard whistles early on then nothing for a while. 
Seriously, you're going to chirp about an off side call? Really?
Do you realize what me and AR's are wearing? Peacemaker baby. Chill.

Stat line:
half / km / avg speed / top speed
1st / 1.77 / 2.3 / 18.8
2nd / 1.93 / 2.5 / 18.6

Total distance thru 90 min: 3.70 km

Lower end of distance and speed for this league, probably due to rain. Got in some sprints, front and back. 

Visual:I tried to stay out of the centre circle both halves. Actually, in the 2nd I found myself just doing it. 

Makes for some interesting runs though. In the clip below I start in A, then move to B, finally ending up at D. I use the centre circle to sling shot around, gathering speed to catch play.


Scotty "2 Hottie" and Liam.
Liam attended pre-season training (every outdoor session I believe) and it showed. Ran the line, confident signals. Ran to the goal line. Great job Liam!

Speaking of using the sling shot to perfection...

I think I shall name my two readers Shake and Bake.

Tweet this blog for a tbh.

(I have no idea what a 'tbh' is.)

Saturday, 2 June 2012


So I'm thinking what are the best referee signals in sports?

Baseball umpire calling strikes..

Australian Rules Football goal signal...

Basketball block signal... (around 26 sec)

Matador... I think it's just cool they get to use capes.

For soccer, I like the advantage signal. Both arms sweeping plus a verbal equals fun.

That's all I've got for today.


Friday, 1 June 2012

Freaks and Geeks

Another amazing day at the AA provincials today.
What a great group!

I've fallen and I can't get up!

Want to know what's also great, more random notes! Previous

Random note #4
I think I need pens with exterior colours that make match the kits. A black shell pen for Peacemaker, a yellow shell for Adjudicator, etc  That would complete the ensemble.

Random note #5
Brainstormed with Magic Man and El Diablo ways to enhance the entertainment value of the game.
How about instead of a penalty kick taken at the mark, why not have the player start at half and dribble in going one v one with the keeper. I know like hockey, but imagine the possibilities.
Or... the keeper starts on his line, the player on the edge of the penalty area. Ref on the side and rolls the ball between the two. Dodge ball start!

*best short lived show ever*

Random note #6
Figured out the name for the cyan kit... Judgement Day.
Magic Man El Diablo and Tank wearing Judgement Day
The KSRA warmup shirt? Redemption.
The boys in Redemption.

Thanks as always to my 2 readers!