Not Fun Anymore

Posted by: Unbiased Reporter on 2013-04-07 17:54:41
This league has always had challenges with getting decent referees, and even the best referees will be challenged to cover an entire playing field alone. When I first started playing we used to offset this by playing the game fairly and acknowledging the appropriate call. Somewhere along the way that perspective has changed. The new viewpoint is that if the referee doesn't make the call then anything is allowed. When and where did we as a group lose perspective on why we get together on Sunday afternoons?

We used to get together for the opportunity to be outside, to feel young again, to compete - but compete fairly. Now it seems to be to win games without regard for anything else.

In the game I played in today, I watched one team cry out to the ref for a handball call to which the referee blew the whistle about three seconds after the incident and told the teams, "I agree." That same team, however, committed a handball infraction themselves with less than two minutes to go in the game right in front of the box which resulted shortly thereafter in the go ahead score. It appears that the team is more interested in winning than in playing fair.

I personally witnessed a player from that same team whose method of playing is to get close to the opponent and then firmly grab the opponents wrist out of view of the referee. Not just once, but repeatedly throughout the game. That isn't someone who is interested in the fun of the game, that is bluntly a dirty player who has no business in a Sunday afternoon league.

I watched the referee walk off the distance for a free kick, and then while the referee was setting the rest of the field I watched that same player intentionally pull his team forward in violation of the referees positioning. Yes, he got caught and received a yellow card, but why?

Why is it more wrong to call someone out as an unsportsmanlike player than it is to be an unsportsmanlike player?

I watched another player who willfully took a throw in 20 feet from the proper position and got away with it because the ref did not make a call, then joked about about. Sure, that kind of thing is funny when it is pickup game or when the score is 8-2, but not when the game is close. Does making a joke of intentionally playing unfairly make it right?

After the first week of games I wrote somewhat humorously about the poor refereeing - which was pretty bad. It probably wouldn't have made a difference in the game, but a post was made in the comments that one cannot blame the other team for taking advantage of poor officiating. How many members of this league feel the same way? Get away with what you can, when you can? Frankly, I get enough of that attitude in business or when driving on the road that I don't really want to voluntarily spend my time in that type environment. I'd rather walk away with my integrity than to celebrate an unjust victory.


Well said

Guest @ 2013-04-07 18:07:58

you are absolutely making justification for your loss with integrity as a camouflage.
that ref today was one of the most vigilant and fair that ever reffed in that league.
your team captain would and will take advantage of no calls by refs any time. and why wouldn't he?, even Maradona did. thats soccer for you!!!

Guest @ 2013-04-07 19:21:32

Sounds like the author of the 2nd comment is using the win as justification for poor reffing and poor sportsmanship. Bad calls are part of the game but there should be a limit. Unfortunately, we don\'t have a big pool of good refs. Some are just much much much better refs than others. That\'s the hand we are dealt if we want to play. There are also some players in our league that have less integrity than others. Another hand we are dealt. I personally appreciate it when a player is honest about a play and doesn\'t take unfair advantage for the sake of a win. Win while playing fair is still possible and much more rewarding. We could all benefit from being better losers when we lose and better winners when we win.

Guest @ 2013-04-07 20:18:53

You, anonymous coward, have illustrated my point more clearly than I could ever have hoped to do. Statements about what someone will do rather than what someone has done directly reflect on your own character. Does the statement "He would have robbed the bank so I did it first" in any way justify a transgression? You either have integrity or you do not, and clearly you do not. This article isn't about justifying a win or a loss, it is about the ethos of our entire community of players. Had we won by 10 points or lost by 10 points, the situation remains the same: certain players abide by the rules for the sake of not getting a penalty rather than because they have honest principals. If you don't feel that it is worthwhile to follow the rules of a game in the hopes of being awarded a medal at the end of 13 weeks then that is probably a good indicator of the direction your moral compass points.

Moreover, there is nothing in this article that contradicts your statement "that ref today was one of the most vigilant and fair that ever reffed in that league." The overarching theme of the above article is that all of us owe it to ourselves and each other to play the game fairly. You, apparently, have exactly the opposite perspective, overlaying your own belief system on expectations of what others will do even when they have not. You question "why wouldn't he?" I'll tell you again: neither he, nor you, nor I, nor anyone else should because it is wrong. And, you, poster, are what is wrong with our league and the changes that I have personally witnessed.

Try this exercise: stand in front of mirror and say to yourself: why shouldn't I break every rule, law, and norm of society today that I can get away with? If you can do that and agree with the statement, then you are a sociopath. If you cannot, then perhaps you will get a glimmer of what I am saying. Wrong is wrong, and you can't justify it by telling yourself that some else may do it some day in the future.

Web Site Admin @ 2013-04-07 20:43:39

for the original writer of this article and with all respect, I don't think you a have a clue!
for the record, White never lost because of a bad call, the incidences you mentioned had absolutely no effect on the game whatsoever. if you disagree, then I am more certain that you are clueless.
it is OK to take advantage of a bad ref call, it happens all over the sports world, and again if you disagree, you probably better off spending your afternoon somewhere else.
stop all the whining man and don't give this more than its worth.
no one agrees with rough play or intentional harm, but come on, if a ref doesn't call a handball then I bet you only a few, if any, would stop the game and insist they should be penalized for it.
hope you get my point

Guest @ 2013-04-07 21:05:00

you either go with the calls the ref makes or you insist on the the correct call. if you whine about a handball one way, then be honest about it the other way, or keep your fucking trap shut. we know who the winers in this really are. and yuo stupid sob a handball in the box that directly led to a score did change the game. nobody said white lost because bad calls, jsut that players were not playing fair do you even know how to read

Guest @ 2013-04-07 21:24:51

guys, this board here is supposed to be about fun and joking around, let\'s keep it that way.


Guest @ 2013-04-07 21:49:15

What the hell guys !!!!

I don\'t show up one weekend and all hell breaks loose.

Don\'t worry. I will be back next week to bring the fun back. Not sure if I will be playing but I will be there.

Kevin M. (Magic Muslim)

Guest @ 2013-04-07 21:52:34

Ha Ha, my buddy magic couldn't help but chime in. I love it. Couple things to remember my friends:
1. As bad as we perceive the refs to be, it can be MUCH worse. Ask any of the guys that played in the Hispanic league before converting to MGASL.
2. The league will always have some bush-league clowns. No getting around that. We have to rise above their antics. Besides, who would we have to call out at the post game circle?
3. Always draft a Bass to counteract poor sport players on the opposing team.

Guest @ 2013-04-07 22:22:11

To the original writer: a common move in soccer is for the wall to creep forward. You don't have to like it but it is hardly grounds for a sermon (or quitting the league). As for the throw in from the wrong position, how much difference do you think that made? I only did that because Gregor was yapping from the bench. Get a grip.
You make it sound like this was a game of angels against demons. Hardly. Both times played to win. Players on both teams played rough and dirty. I got fouled plenty of times when there was no call. It is soccer.
Answer this: If your team had scored from an advantageous but unintentional handball in the box, would you have protested to the ref to erase your goal?
You are right about the reffing. To that I say go to ref class and become a better ref. I know we all would appreciate your good reffing.
My only real complaint about the match was the screamed cusswords while my 11 yr old daughter was on the sideline. The loud F bombs need to stop.
Still having fun,
Chris Reeves

Guest @ 2013-04-08 09:52:03

To get bent out of shape on a throw-in and compare it a deliberate take down of a player or to the hand ball in the box is a mistake. These are entirely different levels of "gamesmanship". A Sunday afternoon league has no need for intentional dirty play or intentional rule bending.

Complaining about what did or did not get called is part of the Sunday game as well. However, you cannot have it both ways. Either it is a competitive league where we play to what is being called that day (Any trip being called. Shoulders ignored. All arm pushes called. Minor hand balls ignored. Throw-ins unmonitored), or you have what amounts to a pickup game that is unrefereed. There really isn't a lot of middle ground. You (as a player) can try to be fair. You can try not to engage in reckless or dangerous challenges. But, we are also trying to win. Tempers will flare. I cannot count the number of times I've been held, pushed, or tripped. Some of them fully intentional. It's part of soccer.

If you'd like to get specific about the White/Gold game, we can do that. White consistently engaged in over physical play that was called throughout the game. White never bothered to change their style of play to the way the game was being called. Instead, they just got frustrated. There were several incidents instigated that could have gotten out of hand. To be blunt, they were mostly by white. Gold was not immune, however.

The uncalled game winner was out of my view, but I will trust that it was a miscall. Unfortunate that the game was changed by that. But, that part is soccer. Happens all the time. Gold was the beneficiary.

I don't see this game as being anything out of the ordinary for MGASL soccer. Nor is it indicative of any moral lapses by its players. It was just soccer in an unevenly ref'd game.

Guest @ 2013-04-08 10:11:16

Refs suck point. Blank. Period....they're making it not as fun anymor...honestly there's not one ref here at mgsa makes a call and at least sounds like he's sure of what he's saying. We love this game to death and we pay to play, so there's nothings wrong with this post we want to play as close as to the real thing as possible but most of the these refs just half ass it.

Guest @ 2013-04-08 12:05:30

I was in the game in question and saw some blatant stuff. Also witnessed the ref inside the six during play (just bad form) chest trap a cleared ball directly in front of an opposing player to shoot it in for the win.

Was it bad reffing? Yes.

Did it have a direct impact on the outcome of the game? Yes.

Should the ref be inside the goal box mid-play? No.

The guy didn\'t seem to have any malice, but missed several blatant calls that should be made if you are watching the area of the field where the ball is in play. No ref should be inside the 6 during play. Just the way it is.


Guest @ 2013-04-08 12:14:22

he was inside the penalty area but definitely not close to the 6 yard line

Guest @ 2013-04-08 12:36:37


Guest @ 2013-04-08 14:03:23

Can't we all just get along.... lol. I love soccer and really enjoy playing on Sunday afternoons even if the reffing is sub-par. The heat of the moment can get to anyone but hopefully can be left on the field. I agree we should all watch our language since children are around. I personally believe most who throw out an F-bomb or similar words regret it pretty soon after doing it. None of us are perfect.

Guest @ 2013-04-08 16:50:20

Actually when I was 15 Chris Reeves told me to promptly fuck off he has no room to talk.

Guest @ 2013-04-13 19:35:19

leave the league for a couple of seasons to referee high school and club and this is what happens.....


Guest @ 2013-04-19 17:01:22

And to think I was going to talk to somonee in person about this.

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