Ten Things From Football Officiating Yesterday
The crew had two varsity scrimmages yesterday, which is very rare. One started at 9am, the other started at 4pm. Scrimmages usually go two hours.
1. The two scrimmages were fairly close to one another
About a 20 minute drive. So, we had about four hours to kill. For me, it would have been wasteful to drive home then back again, and wouldn't have had enough time home to make it worth it.
2. First scrimmage
Controlled scrimmage, four teams on two ends of the field. No kick plays. Varsity teams got ten plays on offense, ten on defense, and five and five for the JV teams.
3. Referee Overslept
He got there as we started. Two teams got there late, so it wasn't an issue with us.
4. Diner Visit
After the first scrimmage, four of us went to the Tick Tock diner for a late breakfast. Two went home, one to nap because he works overnights and came to the first scrimmage right from work. Went with the pork roll, egg, and cheese sandwich myself, unsweetened iced tea. Afterwards, two more went home before going to the second scrimmage.
5. Parking As A Motivator
The second scrimmage was at the historic Schools Stadium- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Newark_Schools_Stadium. Love the facility, but there is no parking except street parking, in a residential area. So, our referee and I decided to get there early... way early. About 12:30pm, when we needed to be there by 3:30pm
6. Talking about life
After getting there and getting great parking by the entrance to the stadium, our referee and I hung out in his SUV with the windows open (it was a very comfortable 75 degrees with a nice breeze). Shot the sh*t about football, families, and life. The time went quick.
It was something that, as a crew has been together for quite a few years, we don't get to do too often.
We get to the games and need to get ready, then go home afterwards. The post-game crew meal has fallen by the wayside - maybe once a season.
So having such time is special.
7. More about parking
The other guys... one got a parking spot about four car lengths behind us. Another got a spot on the other side of the street. Two of our crew ended up having to park a couple of blocks away.
8. One of us got sick
Early in the first quarter, our line judge started vomiting. So, we told him to go home. Called him afterwards, and he was doing better. Probably from a pill he had started taking and not the diner lunch.
9. Change of mechanics
"Mechanics" is the term we use for "who does what" on the field. When you lose a crew member (from 6 to 5) responsibilities change. I moved to the Back Judge position, which is in the middle of the field, 25 yards from the line of scrimmage, on the defense's side. Our keys (who we start the play focusing on) change, and I'm the only one on our crew who has worked Back Judge for any meaningful amount of time, so I took the position, and we rolled on.
10. Early End
The second scrimmage was under game conditions, except no kicking game. The varsity played the first half, with no issues. The JV teams had a scuffle (pushing, not punching - so no ejections), which we calmed down. Until two plays later with a late tackle out of bounds. Both coaches ended the game there. Got home before 6:30pm when I expected to be home at 7:30. Gained an hour!!!
11. Bonus Thoughts
While I am sore, and had a sore hip all day, got through both games with no issues.
Crew was on point, especially with breaking up the scuffle. Some really good calls.
We start our season next Friday, and should be fine.
We also get to work the first high school football game at the newly rebuild Hinchliffe Stadium - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hinchliffe_Stadium