If the IFAB is still allowing the extra substitutes into 2021 for Covid-19 what should those of us in the US be doing differently?
I have my first few games under the new protocol under my belt. The player fitness was definitely in question during the last 15% of my games. Most of these players have not played a competitive outdoor game in only a year as most spring seasons and summer tournaments were completely wiped out.
I’m not a proponent for quarters in the American Football world but mid-point hydration breaks may be needed to minimize the stoppages in the last 20 minutes for dehydration and cramping. That really could make my referee life a little easier as tired legs do stupid things.
Yes, I’ve moved my whiste to my wrist, yes it’s an whistle. I am still carrying a regular one in my back pocket in case it fails. Yes my coin now tosses clearly in the air and ends up in the middle for all to see. Yes, if you’d like to question a call I will slow the game down even more, put my mask on and beckon you to come about 4 yards away so we can have a respectful conversation. Due to age and the fact that this is a game in the Covid-19 era shouting from 12 feet away is better than getting within 6 feet of me as my dissent card is likely to come out before a conversation.
That being said we all need to understand that these games are being played in less than ideal situations and we need to have a little understanding for the kids, adults and parents involved and realized that the guidance of the IFAB is even bending to allow for less than ideal fitness.
I’d beg for coaches, AD’s, and trainers to reach out to the governing bodies to ensure that these games go on safely and the game is not cheated. Some in competition rules may need to consider overall player fitness against a Covid-19 standard instead of the way it used to be.
Let’s remember this is just a game and we are only about mile 7 into this marathon. . . .