Referee

By , Menlo Park, CA
I ref lacrosse games for the pocket money. I am not a good ref. I let the other official do all the work. When the ball is not on my side of the field, I stick the whistle carelessly on the side of my mouth and breathe softly into it, making a slight, hollow sound small enough for no one to stop the play but loud enough so the players around me get a little confused. When the ball’s near my side of the field, I let the players kill each other off unless, on a whim, I feel like making a totally unreasonable call based on some little bias (the captain of the home team has really awesome goggles…). Coaches hate me.
I don’t like coaches that much either, for that matter. Unless they’ve got some terrific redeeming quality. Like today, that coach on the orange team: he was obnoxious but very young and very handsome.

The only reason I know this – that he was young and handsome, I mean – was because he came up at halftime to gently tell me and my other ref that we were not calling a very good game.

I always bring a book when I ref. I read at time-outs, which are about two minutes long, and halftimes, which are about five minutes long. It’s not that I can’t stand being idle for those brief recesses. It’s just that, without a book, the timekeepers try to engage me in conversation. The timekeepers do not make very scintillating conversation. My mother tells me that reading a book makes me look unprofessional.

Reffing lacrosse gives me a migraine. I forget to wear sunscreen; I tell myself I’m too cool to wear a hat. But what really gets me about being a ref is blowing that whistle. I hate how these kids, these little kids, get all caught up in the game – they’re all winded and excited and happy to be there – and then when they accidentally check an empty stick or push their opponent a bit too much, there I am, the Big Old Ref, there to stop the game and the fun, there to remind them of the rules.

I don’t want to be the ref. I want to be the player. I want to dash down the field with the ball in my stick, going so fast and spinning past so many defenders that I began to get dizzy. I want to wipe my sweat on the bottom of my jersey and spit on the field when I take out my mouth guard. I want to break the rules so blatantly that I get thisclose to being carded off the field.

I don’t want to stand there and blow my whistle.





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InsaneKitten said...
Aug. 8, 2010 at 9:36 pm
thats life for ya. It's  sux to be the big grown up 
 
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