Today, I’m doing something for the first time. I have committed to a full day of refereeing pickleball at the USAPA sanctioned, Hartland (MI) tournament! Definitely out of my comfort zone!
Honestly, it’s not my first time refereeing. I have done a few games at my home courts, always announcing to the players that I’m a beginner so don’t beat me up if I make a mistake. I’ve also refereed singles matches. Those are easy! You just have to watch which side they serve from, not having to worry about first or second server! But, nothing as official as a sanctioned tournament!
The problem is this. First, my attention span is, well…….very short! I’m afraid I’ll look up and see a great rally on another court and lose track of the game I’m supposed to be watching! Second, I hate conflict!
About a month ago, I took a basic, all day clinic on refereeing, taught by two USAPA Certified Referees. Looking ahead, my home club’s annual tournament will be sanctioned this year, and so they will need referees. So I need to practice.
My goal today is to maintain my focus on the court I’m on, and most importantly, to be able to resolve any mistakes I make without getting so frustrated that the flow of the game is lost. I’m going to make mistakes. That’s a given. Even the Certified Ref’s make mistakes. The best ones resolve them quickly, maintain control of the game, and move on quickly.
My friend Wendy took the class also, and so we’re both doing this today! We can share our anxieties on the drive up, and then relive the experience on the drive home! Hopefully we will have good stories, and not nightmares! If all else fails, Hartland Pickleball serves up some of the best lunch food as any tournament I’ve ever been to!
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