Guest Blog: Route R-6, Part 4

Assessments, assessments, assessments… They are what all referees want to know about. I left this topic until now for a reason, though. Successful assessments are a result of everything mentioned above. They happen because you DID the preparation, training, study, networking, listening, and hard work BEFORE the assessment. Not to say they will all be successful, or even passing, but your chances increase with your amount of preparation. I should know. I was officially assessed 21 times in 2012 alone!

Eight of the twenty-one assessments were at the Region 3 Championships in South Carolina. I had eight games over the course of eight days consisting of one center, one 4th official, and six lines. These were more developmental assessments in nature, but several of them had an assessor assessing an assessor. I received double assessments on four of my eight matches at Regionals. I left there a better referee from the experience of working with the best referees our twelve state region has to offer. I am still honored to have been selected to represent Georgia. In fact, I mentally made the “shift” to a state referee in South Carolina.

Prior to the tournament, I had three non-competitive center assessments on men’s amateur games. Non-competitive became a theme.On my overall twelfth assessment attempt, I passed my line assessment on a NPSL match. I caught quite a bit of grief for doing my line assessment before passing my center assessments, but I took advantage of a quality match. One down, two to go, but surgery interrupted the momentum I had carried from Regionals.

As I was recovering my form, I passed another couple of line assessments on a friend’s maintenance assessment and on a college match. Number 15 was the gem of the bunch. I passed my first center assessment on a Developmental Academy match. Everything fell into place – great game, great weather, and great crew. As an aside, whenever you have an assessment game, get higher-grade ARs for your game! I was now one out of four on center assessments. Unfortunately, that quickly became one out of six.

Non-competitive numbers four and five occurred on men’s amateur games. I worked other games in the same league unassessed that would not have counted either, so I decided to try my luck at finding a competitive match in a Huntsville, Alabama amateur league. Another referee friend and I made the day trip for a sterling double header of my sixth non-competitive and his abandoned match, thanks to a fight and a team not having enough players to continue. That game was the most interesting of the twenty-one, despite only lasting 30 minutes. Numbers 19 and 20 were passing line assessment on friends’ maintenances.

I was running out of time and options, as the men’s amateur league only had a few weeks left in 2012. I got a plumb assignment, though, between the first division’s top two teams at the time. Come to find out, they did not care for one another too much. I worked harder on lucky number 21 than I had on any other assessment game. It was non-stop for 95 minutes. I managed players the entire match and kept several cards in my pocket as a result. I finally had my second passing center on my seventh try.

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