Favourite Ever Game


Well-Known Member
Level 7 Referee
I may just be 36 games in compared to your 600s, so this may be easier for me than it is for you guys, but what is your favourite ever game.

I got this idea after looking through my post from last year when updating it today, where I reflected on all my fixtures. I realised it was a shame I stopped doing that, so I did a bit of reflection on the games I hadn’t done, trying to remember as much as possible. Then I began ranking my fav routine matches, and then thought I would ask everybody what they’re favourite match was and why. Here’s mine

For youth football, U12s has been a problem age group for me. I thought U17s and U18s would be hard, but it wasn’t really. U12s are a nightmare. In terms of players, probs not, but coaches and parents seem to be worse at this age group. Granted, an U6 tournament is my least favourite experience ever refereeing but I’ve had a few consistent problems at U12s. This game, my favourite one, was no different.

Away team assistant manager was my CAR, and whilst he was pretty good at that in the first half (after the customary 75th reminder that he’s only calling ins, outs and directions of those, not fouls and offsides), he appealed for every decision. I don’t have a problem with appealing but it was for every decision, even some ridiculously obvious ones. No dissent and there was no real arguing once I explained it, just constant appeals. Just annoying. It was 2-2 and a close good albeit feisty game (was a local Derby I believe and I’ve played at U12s, those games mean the world.)

Half time, home coach asked for a word with me. He asked me if I was comfortable with the away CAR and I said whilst I found him annoying with the appeals he wasn’t overstepping a line. I trust the home coach, they dealt well with the abusive CAR I’ve mentioned on here before (this team attract nightmare away CARS I stg) but for me he was being fine, albeit annoying.

Second half however started off horribly. The away team constant little fouls on the same player, a particularly skilful player of the home team, caused the away team to start feeling aggrieved. A 50-50 foul went to the home team and that set the away parents off, with the away CARs appeals growing in confidence (probably wrong call looking back but not deserving of the reaction it got.) The CARs decisions started feeling off to me and was annoying the home players, but I couldn’t be certain. Next time I could tell it was going out for a throw, I got myself in a perfect position and saw clearly it was a home throw and overruled the CAR who flagged for away throw, another decision for him and the parents to be unhappy at.

At this point I was making poor decisions and my match Control was waning, I just wasn’t in the zone and was hoping for it to end soon. The away team CAR was calmed down by a rogue shout from a spectator; the ball went to a player a good 10 yards offside, causing the CAR to have his most outrageous burst yet “WHAT WAS THAT FOR THEN REF” to which a supporter responded “because he’s miles offside you *****.” The game was still heated though, just niggly stuff tbf and I still wasn’t in the zone or in control. The away keeper leapt to make a save going wide and injured himself. As that was being sorted I saw 15 minutes left on the clock and decided it was time to get this match in control.

And to not toot my own trumpet but from that point on I was ****ing incredible.

Idk why the 2 minutes to sort and replace the keeper gave it back to me but I did. I was in the zone more than I ever have been. Every decision was with full confidence. The final 15 minutes is easily the best I’ve ever refereed.

Away team calmed down and we had a good game for 10 minutes. 3-2 home team with 5 minutes to go and it heated up again. Free kick to home team with couple of minutes to go, and I moved wall back 10 yards (12 steps. U11 and U12 there’s no change to Law 13). Away team CAR questioned “that’s a bit far ref” to which I told him it was “10 yards” it’s fine. One of the away team player shouts “no you took us 12” (never quietly count the amount of steps you’ve taken out loud) to which a away parent shouts “then ignore the ref and move forward.” They move forward two steps, I blow my whistle and tell them to move back. They do but keep protesting. I explain 12 steps is 10 yards, and the gobby one responds “ooh you’re good at Maths.”

Chuckling to myself at possibly the most boring borderline dissent I’ve received, I call the player over and ask him to watch his mouth. The parent who caused the trouble told the player to “ignore the ref and keep going.” Meanwhile the parent of the other kid in the wall had a go at his kid, telling him to never act like that to the ref again! You win some you lose some I guess.

Gobby player goes straight through skilful player with just 45 seconds to go. He’s gone for the man, it’s probably reckless but I bottle it. I warn the kid there’s only a short time left to go and that another one of those gets a booking. This time his parent shouts “ignore the ref Ollie, keep getting into them.” Bad mistake.

Just 7 seconds after the restart “Ollie” has taken his dads advice too clearly and takes out the skilful player with yet another challenge. Call him over and book him. Parents moan, and away CAR pipes up with “what’s that for then ref” to which my reply of “we both know what that one’s for come on” made him apologise and say “okay.” After the match, away CAR comes up to me, shakes my hand and calls me best ref he’s seen. I ended up reffing his team in another game this season, I got a pre match apology and every time he appealed for a decision he apologised. Lesson learnt I guess.

I wasn’t great in this game. Until the final 15, but even then I bottled a few things. I didn’t make this long write up to showcase my best reffing. That was an U16 game where I was in control whole game. I make many many mistakes in this game. Should’ve dealt with CAR earlier. Deal with spectators. Cards out earlier. This is my favourite game for a multitude of reasons.

As I mentioned, I was abused by an away CAR at the start of last season (this game occurred end of last season). As a 17 year old, a grown man coming on the pitch to shout at you for an (admittedly wrong) decision is terrifying, and I don’t think my reffing had been the same. Until this game. Rather than crumble in the final 15 and let the game fall apart thanks to an annoying away CAR, I took control of the game and overcame my fear.

This isn’t an exciting game. A lot happened, but there’s been far more exciting ones. But for me this was such an important game. One, my best reffing. Two, it helped me move on from something I hadn’t moved on from yet. If I reffed it now, it would be very different. I feel so much more confident in myself to deal with that game. But when I think about how I controlled that game when it looked like it was uncontrollable will always bring a smile to my face.

Feel free to praise Or critique my reffing here or most probably ignore it 😂 but comment with what your favourite game you’ve ever reffed is, for whatever reason it is.
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The Referee Store


RefChat Addict
Level 3 Referee
Cup game a while back now.

I was ill on the day, in no condition to referee, and wasn't in the mood. But I couldn't turn it down as I was being assessed and it was a deciding assessment for promotion put it that way.

Half time, away team ran away with it, huge amounts of dissent from the home side convinced I had missed 'miles offside' calls leading to the goals, which made my head drop a bit.

Second half, feisty as you like, a fight back, then two red cards to the home team, and yet, from 3-1 they turned it around and stole it for a 4-3 victory.

The local press claimed it was a phenomenal game of football, thrills, spills, cards (9 yellows, 2 reds) and excitement. I got my highest ever assessment score under the new system, with all offside calls correct, with a comment that near enough said "I cannot offer much in the way of advice for improvement for this game", it secured me promotion, got me some photos in the press that now adorn my walls and all so the home team could be thrown out of the competition for fielding an ineligible player.