Game 4, 2019-20
Unless they find a way to reverse the aging process, I will never again referee with 'proper' linesmen. I don't miss running the line myself - too much quiet time, and you get to hear too many comments from spectators who think they're being funny but in fact are just being twats. There are times, though, when I wish that I could still referee with a proper three-person team. A lot of times, in fact - that is, almost every time I have to deal with a club linesman.
Quick recap - club linesmen have only one job. To indicate when the ball is fully out of play. Just that one job. Despite that single, simple task, sometimes it's easier to do without them. Not tonight, though.
|Typically keen posture of a club|
linesman (pic: Bobbles Blog)
I'm refereeing a men's friendly on a manicured grass field, but the lines are marked in a fading white. It's a 7pm kick-off, and the descending sun's rays slant across the pitch to make them even less visible. We start the game with a sub from the home team holding a flag on the bench side, but leaning back against the dugout with his arms folded. The other side of the field is unmanned and the line is almost entirely invisible. After 10 minutes I ask the away team to send someone over - so one of their subs hunts down a flag and reluctantly traipses around the sideline to take up his position.
No one appears on that side of the field for the second half. The flag lies on the grass, just beyond