Some of you may not know this about me, but I sometimes have a temper and, especially when it comes to my kids, I don't like to put up with people's crap (Sorry, Taylor! She doesn't like that word but it is very appropriate.) Like today at Taylor's soccer game, for instance. We had to put up with a boat load of it from the Referee.
The first thing that annoyed me was how he came marching onto the field giving orders in a big loud voice and then he handed the LJ flag to a 5-year old boy telling him to watch for balls to go out and offsides. Seriously? But that was just annoying. It wasn't until the girls were up 8-1 that he really started getting to me. He came up to our coaches and started yelling at them, "This is too much. Tell your girls to back off." Totally inappropriate. Even if he wanted to spare the other team, he should have handled it differently.
And, excuse me, but what is the point of playing a soccer game if you don't try to score. Just call the game if that is the case. But, hey, I was still pretty chill, after all, they told us the same thing all last year too. I was hoping this year the girls would actually get to play though, but....nothing Mama Bear worthy yet.
The final straw was after the game. Taylor came up to me crying saying how the Ref had yelled at her, saying something like, "Do you want to be referee? I've been putting up with your *** all day." Now, I'm okay with a Referee calling a girl on disrespectful behavior. If Taylor was mouthing off, then take her to the coach, tell them that his decisions are final, yellow card her, or something. But don't talk trash to children. When I heard the story from Taylor, I took her over to the Ref. I wanted to hear his side of the story. I was angry but I was also being a mature adult. I told him what Taylor told me and asked him what happened. He kind of went off on me, saying that Taylor was telling him that he was calling plays wrong and that he had given her two warnings and it's within his rights to do that.
I agreed that he has the right to warn players, but there was no need to hurt feelings and make children cry. AYSO is supposed to be about learning sportsmanship and having fun. He called her a liar and was super defensive. I told him I'd be filing a complaint with the league about the whole thing, and he said, "Go ahead. There's the lady right there."
She had been standing behind us the whole time, listening. I said, "You bet I will." And went to her while he marched off to his truck. I asked her if she could see my point: He shouldn't have the right to abuse his authority over these girls by being disrespectful, especially if he wants to command any respect from them in return. It's supposed to be fun and build girls' confidence! She told me she'd heard the whole conversation and she'd take it to the Head Official. I thanked her and started heading back to the field, when this Ref came marching back over saying how he'd make it easy for everyone, since "they don't pay me enough to deal with all this **** ****! I quit!" And he slammed his clipboard down and was still ranting when I was out of earshot. What a great guy!
We had just finished packing up our gear and were headed back to the car when the lady I spoke with and another official, the Head Official I assumed, came up to us and apologized for the creepy refs behavior. I told them I didn't mean to make a big scene but I was upset with how he handled the whole thing. They agreed that he behaved inappropriately. We've played with AYSO for 4 years now and have never had such an experience. Usually the refs are great and they help the girls learn how to be better players, which is what they are meant to do. I hope he really is gone for good! I will feel like I've done my parental duty for the day! Nobody messes with my kids! Grrr.