Journal of a Taekwondo referee

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Uni Malaya Martial Arts Festival 2005

I love refereeing very much. But this tournament really tested my deddication as it was held on the 4th day of Chinese New Year. Which meant I had to return to KL on the 3rd day of CNY and get up early the next day. Martial arts involved in this festival were tkd, karate, silambam, silat & wushu. Unfortunately, international participation were only limited to wushu & silat.

1st day - arrived at 8am. Learned the ESS (electronic scoring system). The controls were modified frm PS controllers, geez. Spent half the day doing inspection. Didnt really mind, too cold in the hall to move anyway. ESS looked difficult. Only a 3 second Juries kept being called forward due to point discrepancy. Me start to sweat.

But before that head of court came screaming at me due to male player wearing vest too small for his size. Male player wearing mini vest got injury in the groin as vest not covering VITAL area. Lookedd uncomprehendingly at screaming HOC as i was doing the girls' checking, while the MALE inspection ref smiled sheepishly at me.

Second half of day, RIC (ref in charge) wanted to see me in action cos he's contemplating whether to let me handle the army guys the next day. Didnt know whether to be happy or insulted. Guess i did fine as 2 guys got stuck at inspection the next day.

After tourney, took a walk with mr B, to watch silat & view t-shirts for sale (its a ritual thing for us at every tourney).

2nd day
Supposed to report at 9am. Never had to report so late before therefore overslept. Jesus CHrist! Woke up at 9am. Broke out in cold sweat. Rushed like mad. SW already calling, "Where the hell are you?!" Pedal to the metal til i reached the hall.

Apologized to RIC, RIC threw me into ring straight away. Did OK, considering the fact heart still pounding frm rushing & hair like mad woman. Apparently did well enough the day before to qualify to officiate the army contestants. Both side fought dirty. Every foul in the rule book was committed: catching leg, punching, grabbing, pushing etc. Coach protested why i kept giving warnings for hand raised to face. Remembered Master Michael T. saying a long time ago that warnings had to be given with an intention of committing a foul. Thank god he was right! Lost a tad of confidence after the protest.

Unused to awarding points using ESS. Trunk scores still ok but had to stay alert for head scores (different button). WHenever there's score to head, this goes on in my head:

shit, was that a head score?
oh yeah.....
reciting slowly to self, "blue scored, so its right thumb press the other button, not the trunk score button ..."
shit, did i press it within 3 secs or too fast?
die die die was there a [ding] frm the computer signifying my score was recorded?
great, HOC is calling all juries up
fight halted
only 1 jury recorded the valid head score
quick check on system
it was ME, me, me!
back to seat to sweat all over again.

After lunch, helped Mr PY to maintain ESS. Players have bad habit of looking at the screen whenever the computer dings (point added). this is what happens:

Blue glares at red & vice versa.
Cool shuffles & test kicks.
Blue scores & sticks to red's vest, still glaring at each other.
Computer: {ding} meaning point awarded
Both players look at screen. Yes, i scored! then resumes glaring at each other while me struggles to separate them.

And here's another incident & occassionally happens when i do men matches, especially for the heavier weights (70kg and above).

me in middle while i call players in.
me to self:gee, this is the only time i feel small & light

me: kal yeo!
me to self:geez, are you ppl deaf? im practically screaming in your ear. nvm, i try again
me in a louder voice: KAL YEO!

still no response. me thinks to stop time. but timekeeper unable to see me as i was blocked by the two mammoths. jumping up to signal time out not a good idea as might look unproffessional. i start to panic. finally got an idea. I whisper just within earshot of both players....

me: oi, separate ar...u dont separate, i gam-jeom (deduction)

players obediently separates. me looks triumphant.


and here's an amusing one at least frm my point of view

me in the middle, watching a fight intently. me hears vaguely someone shouting "REFEREE". looks up. Mr PY, HOC, RIC, timekeeper, juries were all waving at me. Decided not to wave back. I stop the match, wondering why they were waving. looked at players, maybe injury or guards loose. nope. looks at waving people again with a puzzleed look. looks down. ahhh.... loose shoelace belonging to me. bent down to tie it really really tight. crowd gives wolf whistles. Resumes match with red ears. Now i know how mr AT felt when i laughed at him when his shoe fell off while officiating.



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