Monthly Archives: February 2012

Locomotion Monday

Locomotion 2012 wrapped up, for me, with my 9:30 a.m. arrival.

I was scheduled to be a standby for 10 a.m., and then work championship games at 12 and 2 p.m.

Well, there actually was enough referees to cover all the games at 10 a.m. so I ended up goofing off with Patrick Weidhase, the sophomore captain of the frosh soccer team at Riverside King. He had to retrieve several of my errant passes.

11 a.m. rolled around and it became time to get ready for my first game, a Girls U14 championship between Chino Hills and Corona at noon.

I was Francisco Davila’s senior assistant, and worked the opposite sideline from Pablo Sanchez.

Davila insisted that we wear pink jerseys for the game. So much so that he brought jerseys for everyone. I now own a pink referee jersey. It’s actually very nice.

The game was competitive, more than the final scoreline indicated. Chino Hills won, 4-0, but not after taking Corona’s best shot.

I was then tasked to referee the a Boys U10 championship at 2 p.m. This game was going to be contentious (all U10 games are) and I knew it was going to be a headache before I even looked at either team.

Surprisingly, the action was great until I called for a dangerous play infraction against a Palos Verdes team that was already winning 3-0 10-plus minutes into the second half.

On the play, the boys are on their butts with the ball between one’s legs. There’s no dangerous contact happening and the players quickly resolve and resume playing while one voice on PV’s sideline screams for a call.

“It’s gotta go both ways referee!”

“So that wasn’t dangerous?”

“What were you looking at?”

I stopped the game. Look at the coach and tell him there was no infraction. He tells me  the same three things he just said. I tell him that if I have to stop the game again to talk to him, there’ll be consequences.

That’s when a rather large Hispanic male says, “You need to be doing a better job.”

“Are you a coach?” I ask him. No response. “Keep it to yourself then.”

Palos Verdes won the game easily, 4-1, and the coach thanked me after the game and told me I did a great job. Sometimes that actually happens.

Fun stuff. And I got a pair of L.A. Galaxy tickets to the MLS opener for doing it.


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Filed under AYSO, Los Angeles Galaxy, MLS, Referee, Soccer

Locomotion Sunday

A little sore, but imminently ready, I refereed two more games on Sunday, Feb. 19, 2012.

And I have to say, I’m really having fun at this year’s Locomotion tournament. The games have been great, and I haven’t had to show a single card through five games. Oh, and I’m getting the opportunity to work with some tremendous referees.

The two games I worked on Sunday, a U12 girls and a U14 girls, were both extremely competitive contests with spots in the championship round on the line.

I was specially assigned to the first game, Corona vs. Chino Hills, because of sideline issues stemming from CH’s previous game. Apparently, CH’s coach had to be sent off after their sideline was warned numerous times. I was told this going in, and was given the intruction to to levee punishment if I deemed in necessary. Fortunately, I didn’t have to take such action, and after Corona scored a couple of early goals, Chino Hills stormed back to tie the game, and then scored the only two goals of the second half to come away with 4-2 victory.

The second game was mine to officiate, and it pitted Beverly Hills (a team I refereed on Saturday) against Palmdale. The two teams played to a scoreless halftime, and if not for a sramble in the goal area that led to the first goal, the game probably would have ended in a scoreless draw. As it was, Palmdale was able to find the back of the net, and Beverly Hills was not, and so went their championship fortunes.

Among the referees I’ve worked with include Riverside’s Pablo Sanchez. A local middle school principal, Sanchez is among the funniest, most willing-to-laugh referees I’ve ever met. Hardly a serious moment has been had while we work together, which makes even the most intense game extremely enjoyable, and teaming with him has definitely made this weekend more fun than it probably should be.

Also, the burritos today were fan-freaking-tastic. So there’s that.

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Filed under AYSO, Referee, Soccer

Locomotion Saturday

Now in its 18th season, Locomotion is the largest AYSO tournament in Southern California. It’s hosted by AYSO Region 47 (Riverside) and is held annually during President’s Day weekend.

This is my third Locomotion, and this year is a little different. Instead of being a “floating” referee, or working which ever games are open, I’ve been assigned to a three-man team representing one of our region’s Boys U14 teams.

So… I refereed three games on Saturday, Feb. 19, 2012, including a high-intensity Boys U14 game that was played under the lights with start time of 6 p.m.

Having recently passed one of two Advanced referee assessments, I was placed in charge, with veteran referees Pablo Sanchez and Michael Orr as my assistants.

The game pitted Corona (in blue) vs. Palos Verdes (in red), with first place in their pool on the line heading into their final pool-play game on Sunday.

The match was even until Corona #15 headed in a centering pass from his teammate on the wing. On the play, #15, standing outside the goal are, headed a high-arching shot that eluded Palos Verdes’ goalkeeper and dipped under the cross bar.

Seemingly awakened, Palos Verdes equalized in the 24th minute when #4 tapped in a loose ball in front goal. PV may have celebrated a bit too much because Corona, undeterred, score just one minute later as #9 scored after some great combination in the attacking third.

Corona led 2-1 at halftime, but looked a little flat coming out of the break. It wasn’t until a Corona player shouted, “They’ve picked their energy up!” that his teammates responded, fought for loose balls and scored a pair of back-breaking goals in the 41st and 42nd minutes (the teams play 25 min. halves).

Corona, smelling blood, made a goalkeeper switch and placed their hulking 6-foot, 190-pound backstop at forward. Palos Verdes would take advantage, however, and after a disputed hand-ball in the box by Corona, PV’s #22 finished off the play by finding the back of the net.

If the ball had not been in the “mixer” as it were, and had PV not taken advantage, I think I would have called for a penalty. As it was, PV scored anyway, negating the effect of the non-call.

With time winding down, PV began to take a lot of chances and almost paid dearly. With less than 30 seconds remaining, I whistled for a foul against PV in PV’s goal area (two players went up to head a ball, a PV player lunging akwardly and making contact). Alas, the horn sounded to end the game and rather than inflict more punishment upon PV, I decided to blow the final whistle.

With players all around wondering what had happened, and coaches on both sides about to blow their lids, I said, “Nah. Not tonight.”

Game over. Problem solved.

Now it’s time to hydrate, ice, and prepare for tomorrow.

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Filed under AYSO, Referee

Getting Squashed In My Debut

I started in central defense in my first game with Inland Football Club, and I’ll never forget it.

I signed with IFC, an Over-30 Men’s team in the Third Division of the Riverside Adult Soccer League, a little over two weeks ago.

We played a friendly against Juventus, a First Division side, on Sunday, Feb. 5, 2012.

Both teams were slow to get going, but Juventus finally broke through in the 10th minute with a low shot from inside the area that beat our keeper to his left.

We managed to equalize a few minutes later when our striker, a player who spent time in Stuttgart’s youth system, beat a Juventus defender and slotted a goal into top left corner, shooting the ball across the face of the goalkeeper to score with incredible style.

It was to be our only goal, however, as we then allowed a second, and then a third before halftime.

Juventus, a team with loads of experience, was keen to attack, and our team, with seven new players, simply wasn’t organized enough to defend.

The score, in the end, was something like 7-1 or 8-1. I sort of lost count after about 6-1.

We switched keepers to start the second half, and we possessed the ball better, but Juventus’ tall, rangy forwards we able to capitalize upon miscues.

Our scorelines should improve once our regular season begins on Feb. 12. We’ll be playing against teams from our division, and the mismatches might not be so glaring.

Hopefully, the experience of playing a team from the top division will buoy our efforts from here on out. In fact, I’m counting on it.

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Coyotes Slam Azusa To Open 2012

Wouldn’t you know it?

I’ve latched onto a new gig, as part-time stat keeper for the Cal State San Bernardino athletics department.

I’ll be working for an awesome guy, doing awesome things and all of it for minimal pay! (With a few notable exceptions, it’s pretty much the story of my working life.)

This time, I’m working for former co-worker turned boss-man Mark Reinhiller, a man with the great vision to hire a great visionary (me) while I’m still working for peanuts. Only great visionaries do something they love and get paid what they want for it. And now you you can see why I got a job where I’ll be spending a lot of time at a ballpark — ballpark, peanuts — get it?

Anyway, I’ll be stat-keepin’ this season for the Coyotes (1-0 overall), who defeated Azusa Pacific 12-0 behind some big hits and a huge double play.

Edwin Mendoza had the biggest hit, smacking a towering three-run homer in his second at-bat that hit the top of the left-field foul pole. Paul Eshleman and Matt Winn also had big hits, but Mendoza’s mammoth homer could be the stuff of legend.

Then, with the bases loaded with one out in the seventh, winded starter Casey McCarthy got out of the inning when 2B Curtis Cassisse, SS Mike Newell and 1B Brandon Day turned a tight double play, prompting applause from those in the press box.

And there should be plenty of applause this season. The Coyotes have a deep and talented roster filled with scads of locals, including more than a few who played at four-time state JUCO champ Riverside City College. Factor in that CSUSB has had a number of players taken in the MLB Draft in recent years, and this could be a big year for Coach Don Parnell’s team.

It should be a good time for me, and needless to say, I’m looking forward to spending some time at the yard.

This yard, Fiscalini Field at Perris Hill Park in San Bernardino, is a venerable space with decent grounds and reasonable ammenities. Make no mistake — it’s a throwback to when the Pittsburgh Pirates and St. Louis Browns (BROWNS!) used it as a spring training site — but it’s serviceable.

And the Coyotes clearly mash there. They slammed Azusa to open the 2012 season.

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