Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Far West Regionals Day 3

Day 3, Wednesday

It is becoming clear why there is a water shortage in Las Vegas....Not only is there construction everywhere for the zillions of people who have moved here in the last few years, each person here probably uses a gallon of it every hour to stay hydrated!

We had lost 14 Referees to the heat by the start of the 7pm evening session last night. Those of you scheduled to attend this same tournament in your region, listen when the administrators are telling you to take good care of yourselves by eating properly and more than you normally would, drinking enough fluid to nourish and rehydrate and keep reapplying the sunscreen throughout the day. The Referees here are doing such a great job of covering for one another that we are all impressed with them on and off the field.

The matches today began at 7am as normal for this tournament. Some of today's matches have been more difficult as many of the teams are fighting for enough points to stay in the tournament in the quarterfinals which will begin on Friday. The morning matches gave many Referees, AR's and 4th Officials a chance to practice their team work and man management skills we have been working on so far this week on the increasingly more difficult matches.

Our afternoon Instruction had something very special for all of those in attendance. A panel of National Referees and a FIFA AR introduced themselves, answered questions from those assembled and provided a glimpse of what awaits all those who attempt to reach the highest levels of officiating. The panel included National Referees Frank Anderson, Marlene Duffy, Ali Hacock, Alejandro Mariscal, Mark Oliver, Peter Stilling and FIFA AR, Corey Rockwell. Questions posed to them included the topics; 'What are the most important things to work on to become a National Referee?' Answers included; 'Finding an experienced Mentor,' 'Fitness,' 'Humility,' 'Working on hard games,' 'Learning more about the game,' 'Experience.'

These National Referees have provided excellent examples all week and are giving back to the game in service to both the Referees and the players by working games and mentoring fellow officials. We have certainly appreciated their presence.

Tomorrow will be a day off until the official Referee dinner which is being held at a beautiful, local golf club Hosted by the Nevada Association for all the tournament Referees. Everyone is really looking forward to a day of rest and restoration before the quarterfinals begin on Friday.

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