Before I get into the X’s and O’s of keeping both teams happy while reffing a quality beer league game I wanted to say that being a beer league ref has got to be one of the hardest jobs in the world. You show up to the rink at 9:30pm to the joys of having to ref 30 grown men and women, all who have a few beers in them all while half of them still thinking they’re making the show. Even though it’s beer league, the battle level is at an all time high and there’s about a 90% chance that you will be put in a verbal body bag by any of these players at just about any time. The point of this blog is to help these beer league refs and to keep it fun for everyone. So here are 3 things you can do to help your situation.
I can’t tell you how many times I get to the rink and it looks like the ref would’ve rather drove his or her car off the road on the way there. Body language is huge and if you look like you don’t give a damn then we’re going to treat you like you don’t. Is that okay? Probably not but I can tell you I’ll be a whole lot more lenient on someone who comes over to the bench and asks how all of our bullshit weeks are at work than someone with pain and misery in their eyes. I’m not saying to talk our ears off but you are just as involved in a beer league game as we are and as players its nice and helpful to know who we might potentially be yelling at.
If you’re going to call the game tight than it better be tight the whole game. I think this is one of the biggest factors of players acting like absolute degenerates towards referees. Does it suck that you might make a bullshit call? For sure, but let me tell you a little secret. It sucks a whole lot more the next time when you don’t call it on the other team. Call it tight or loose I don’t care, just make sure you call it like that the entire game. There’s nothing more infuriating as a player than when a ref calls some bullshit penalty on yourself and lets the next 12 similar plays go. When that happens you will have a target on your back for some verbal poetry, one that you might not want.
Control The Game
I felt like the biggest loser typing the headline here but it’s so true. How many beer league games have you guys played in that turned into an absolute gong show after a missed call or because some donkey on the other team is acting out and nothing is being done about it? Listen, don’t let this get to your head, but you are the sheriff of the ice. Whether we like it or not, you set the rules and regulations. There will be times where a guy takes liberties on the other team and the other team will respond at some point, I can promise you that. The best thing to do here is to nip this in the bud as soon as possible. Players who are like this normally have a reputation of doing so, so if you’re reffing a beer league consistently you should know who you need to keep an eye on. Also, go out of your way to talk to that player, ask him or her how she’s doing and establish a rapport, that way when you send them to the box a minute into the game you can have a conversation without being mauled like a small gazelle.
There are definitely other pointers but I think this will suffice for now. Shoutout to all the beer league refs our there by the way. Like I said, thats not an easy job by any means and we appreciate you guys showing up to the rink each and every night. Oh! Before I forget, players! Pick your target when talking shit to a ref. Some of them just don’t give a shit.