The youth hockey season is almost over, and there aren’t a lot of games to go around. With 150+ referees in the West Michigan area, you would think that I wouldn’t be working very much. I swear I was offered to referee 12 games this weekend. As it turns out, I reffed 7 and felt like I had done my part. Back about 20 years ago, I probably would have enjoyed doing 10+ games in a weekend (if I was reffing back then). Today, it is more quality than quantity. I don’t ref for the money exclusively. I ref because I enjoy it. If I am doing 10 games in a weekend, I am not enjoying it by the end of the weekend. Case in point, I reffed 10+ games in a tournament last year, and by the end of the weekend, I was happy to not ref for 2 weeks after that. When you reach the point of burnout, its easy to just put things on hold and walk away.
This is why it is great to not exhaust yourself when you referee. Being a good ref requires you to be fresh and clear minded. Many refs do it for the money. I do it because I love it. There is a definite need for more referees that have a passion for refereeing and the game itself rather than the paycheck that comes along with it. Maybe if I am still reffing in another 15 years then I can start lecturing to refs about this. Until then, I am going to be low man on the totem pole, and not regarded as an expert. Ah well…..
So far I have nothing to ref this weekend and part of me is happy to have the extra time. I probably will take any games that are given to me because the end of the season is close at hand. Once the youth hockey season is over, absence is what will make the heart grow fonder. I will then wish I had games to referee come June/July (when I am done reffing lacrosse).
I am really looking forward to playing goal this week. I have 4 games on the schedule, and I am sure to get a workout in all of them.