Journal of a Taekwondo referee

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

MMU Melaka Invitational

Tournament - 2nd MMU Invitational 2005
State - Melaka

I've never been to Melaka before and this was a perfect opportunity to officiate. Drove to Melaka on Friday night after work. Had to rush like mad to iron referee shirt & pants. Checked into Naza hotel.

1st day
This tourney's still new. Only 11 participating universities. Competition held in old library. Decided to take a breather frm the boys (after eventful UKM), therefore took girls' arena.

First bout, center referee did not notice that blue & red were in their wrong positions. Me told HOC, center referee was scolded. Felt kinda bad.

Nothing much to note, except girl stepped on my foot & she released my foot the moment i was pulling on it, which caused me to lose my balance. Nearly lost my balance while retreating, but managed to stay on my feet. Though flailed like a flapping bird. No way im gonna fall on my ass. Spectators can be cruel sometimes.

This marks my first tourney where i'm actually bored & started to fall asleep. Probably due to the cold & the number of participants.

During lunch, Ms Yew brought us to eat chicken rice. THe rice is shaped into ping pong sized balls. interesting...

Dinner, we went to Jongker street, kinda like a chinatown with a row of chinese clan associations playing chinese orchestra (yes, gu zheng & er wu), dancing, lion dances etc. A lot of rare delicacies that couldnt be found in kl like sotong bakar, ting ting candy, malt candy, etc. Also antiques & stuff. Then we went eat 'satay celup' (eat your heart out phui yee!, haha) which was delicious but couldnt really fit much in as was munching on snacks previously.

Was pretty tired. Evie came down to room to lepak. SHe's filled with boundless energy & i was half asleep watching James Bond.

2nd day
Only 10 bouts per arena, even more yawn. Did not like coaches shouting vulgar words & standing up but did not mention it as i was not centre referee. Better to mind own business & let the HOC handle it.

Had lunch at a home-cooked place. Had nyonya laksa. Yummy. Judged for the 2 grand finals. HL's fight was pretty easy. I was thinking more in a fighter's mindset rather than referee. Some fights were pretty one sided, like HL's. Given the opportunity, his opponent couldnt even score even if the vest was wide open. HL had some pretty good shots. Worth mentioning would be when they stuck together & his opponent tried to slap kick (which look ridiculously like him trying to climb a tree) & all HL had to do was walk fwd & he fell off. Twice. Some ppl never learn. Also a good fake for a back thrust which earned him another point.

Another worth mentioning would be FL(girl) frm S'wak. She looks like a model (tall & thin & very very pretty). Decent fighter who chooses to score although she could do a knockout if she wanted to. I really admire ppl like these. And she's in my weight category.

Drove home at about 4pm. Had dinner with MMU fighters at Char Chan Teng at IOI. Splendid time, though i have been feeling a tad tired the whole weekend, therefore was silent through out.

Next: MU Martial Arts festival on the 4th CNY.

Medal presentation ceremony

@ Naza hotel, official hotel for MMU tourney



After the tourney

Saturday, January 15, 2005

Events worth mentioning

There are always unforgettable events at every tournament. Things that make you wake up, sit up straight & actually concentrate on the fight. Here are a few from the latest SUKMAS 2 at UKM, Malaysia. FYI, SUKMAS is the national university games for the entire country.

1. Me as center. Fight fight fight. Blue gestures for a timeout. I give a time out. Blue goes to edge of ring & blows his nose. ewww...

2. Me at sidelines. Two guys fighting aggressively. Referee halts match. Both players continue bumping each other chest to chest like caveman.

3. Me at sidelines. Player falls down after kicking near the attention line. Player then proceeds to roll out of the ring. Is that a warning?

4. Finals. Blue is late because he's in the gents. Match starts. Blue gives a deliberate punch to Red's face. Red falls. Medic comes. Red is able to continue. Red proceeds to beat the crap outta Blue to win the gold. Blue's team mates stopped cheering for him after the foul.

5. Me at inspection. I'm inspecting the girls btw. Player comes to me. I look at the player and almost without thinking pointed to the boys inspection. Thank god i took a second look. It was a very tomboyish girl. Needless to say, this girl went on to the finals. Superb fighting skills. Got a silver.

Below is an incident from UKM Open 2003:

1. Blue's coach is this 130 kg heavyweight whose bulk makes him look square. Coach's phone rings in the middle of match. Coach answers phone & proceeds to slouch & spread his legs wide and talks really loud. Nuff to say that Blue got a warning due to his coach's disrespect.

Snaps from MASUM 2005

My former master Chauw

Must have list

These are essentials to survive a minimum of 2 days refereeing. As interesting as I made it sound, most of the time (esp after lunch!), u tend to get sleepy after the first 20 bouts. So pack these things in the list to avoid
being reprimanded by your chief.

- referee book (the paper that states you have done so and so tourney)
- pen (bring more than 1)
- cuppa coffee (for me, i bring my entire thermos)
- sweets (nothing like a wake up call than using sugar!)
- ciggies (if u smoke)
- plastic forks & spoon
- tissue (to mop up yr sweat)
- your mobile (but keep it in silent mode)
- a camera (for those kodak moments)

An introduction

i think an introduction of who i am is in order.

My name is Lex Hooi, I'm a state referee for the sport Taekwondo in Malaysia, endorsed by the Malaysia Taekwondo Association. In Malaysia, there are 6 classes of referees.

Trainee -> State -> National1 -> 2 -> 3 -> International

So as you can see, I'm pretty low down the food chain. Purpose of this journal is to share with you my experience in officiating tournaments. My passion is Taekwondo & due to a knee injury few years back, i can no longer compete in the tournament circuit. As a referee, I get to meet & make many new friends & enemies. I get to see how a tournament gets run. I get to make cool hand gestures & speak & count in korean while everyone's watching. nah, just kidding.

So this journal are records of my accounts & extraordinary events that are worth mentioning. It is in no way an outlet to defame people, therefore all names are fictional, including mine.

This journal will be updated everytime i go for a tournament. My personal count (santioned & otherwise) is 7 i think & I have improved a big deal (read from a bumbling gibbery mass of jelly to a kinda cool referee, at least i think so)

Therefore, some tokens of appreciation is in order:

- to Master Michael D. for passing me (thank god!) & teaching me all there is to know about refereeing.
- to Master Wong KH. for teaching me all there is to know practical wise
- to Master Michael T. for signing me up for my first referee course & giving me an opportunity to officiate for the first time
- to Master Johnny L., Ms Ng SH. for calling me up for referee assignments
- to Mr Bu SD. for being a pal at every tournament
- to Ms Tai PY. for setting a high standard for me to follow

Thank y'all. Now, sit back, relax & read on....

Me & my master during MSSD 2004