Soccer Memories - Bob, the referee perspective.

This is the second installment of Bob's Soccer Memories.  This one focuses on Bob's memories from refereeing soccer.  Enjoy!

I also can offer my perspective as a soccer official.  I have had the pleasure of being an official for 7 years now, and it has been a rewarding experience.  I started officiating with Olivia when she was 11, which was a great way to bond with her.  I was able to run a line for her in her last game this past spring, a state cup game at Pacesetter.  Yes, I cried. 
I think the most rewarding aspect of officiating is working with the kids.  I try to make each game an enjoyable experience for the kids, and myself.  I enjoy the open communication the players.  I love to crack a joke or 2 at lighter moments in a game.  I’m human too, sometimes the kids forget that!  I’m there for them, not me or anyone else.  When I stop enjoying the kids, I’ll be done.
I have learned much from fellow referees about soccer over the years, as well as learning from coaches and players.  I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to work many higher level games, including a state final in 2013 with Doug Billerman.  This year I worked a State-semi final with Andy Martin.  I could not have done that without working with and learning from all the great officials in West Central Ohio.  It was a great experience that I hope some of the other officials in our association get to have someday as well.   
I’ve had my share of tough games, but I’ve had more than my share of truly enjoyable moments as an official.  It is great to show up at a game and see friends.  I love that!  Of course, some of the friends may groan when I show up too, lol.  At least they know what to expect!!   As much as I loved watching my kids play, and as much as I enjoy being an official, in the end, I am grateful for all the friendships I have been able to make through soccer over the years.  I am also grateful for the time I was able to spend with Nicole and Olivia along the way these past 17 years.  Without Nicole and Olivia, none of this would have been possible!!

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