Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Championships Crew Head Ref, Day Three

As you may, or may not, know, I was one of the three Crew Head Referees for the WFTDA Championships in Chicago this year. It was an honor, and I was completely pleased with the way my crew performed. I wanted to run through the three days, and talk about things we did and discussions we had, because I think they all fed into our performance. This is not an instruction manual. This is not what we did right that other crews did/do wrong, I wasn't on those crews and I don't know what they did. This is what worked for us, this one weekend, and which may work for others, over a weekend, a season, or a career.

Day Three - Sunday
Before we'd all left on Saturday night, the crews were informed of their assignments for the next day. For what it's worth, I appreciated this. Obviously we're still figuring things like how and when to announce these to crews and teams, and we'll continue to refine those procedures, but for me, it was helpful knowing what our crew would be doing the next day. It gave us the chance to talk about how we should be preparing, to focus in not just over the course of a few hours, but half a day. And it let us process and get over the excitement and nervous energy we might be experiencing and settle into a more comfortable place.

So, yeah, in case you're wondering, Otto Kerner, Jr., got assigned to the Championship bout on Sunday, a rematch of the Western Regional Championship, Oly v RMRG, this time for the Hydra Trophy. The night before then, when informing the crew, I also asked them to go home, get some rest, and consider the notes we'd gotten over the weekend. Which ones had really helped them to improve over the weekend, because I wanted to review them as a crew before the bout. Really what I wanted was to ensure that the crew stayed hungry. Not that I'd expect it from anyone on that crew, but I would hate to have someone show up suddenly sporting the over-confidence that can be the death of a referee. For me, it was that note from the first day, about missing OOP or general penalties in front, and I knew it was because I was reffing the refs' reffing too much, instead of the game, something I'd been explicitly trying to avoid. I couldn't make that same mistake in this bout.

It turns out I had nothing to worry about, the crew went out there and, frankly, nailed it. I have a hard time thinking of a bout I've come off of feeling that good about. There have been a couple of calls talked about, I'm not going to get into them specifically because I think everything that needs saying has been said, plus about a million extra pages worth. What I will say is that I'm proud of this crew, and every call they made, and I have no doubts about them, because I trust those referees.

really, it was an awesome experience. Not just that one bout, but everything, working with that crew, reffing those bouts and those teams, being in Chicago for the tournament, everything. Best ever, until next year.