Football Officiating > War Stories

Worst places you've officiated at?

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Only once did I work in this place and I don't care how much they've improved it I'd never go back. It was at a sports centre almost in the shadow of Old Trafford, the Manchester United soccer ground. When we arrived we were told to park the car as close to the main building as possible. When we asked why we were told the local youth frequently paid the car park a visit looking for cars to break into. We asked why they didn't have a security guard, they said they'd had one until the previous Wednesday when one of said youth had pulled a gun on him when he went to talk to them. So he'd left. As we left to go to the (astroturf) field we saw a line of home players slowly making their way up the field, - told they were doing a syringe search just in case the local addicts had left a needle or two on the playing surface the night before. As we did our field inspection we found a semi circle of turf missing just off one corner of the playing area. the home team guy said it was probably in somebody's front room by now ... if we looked carefully we'd see how it had been cut to neatly slot around somebody's fireplace. Oh and could we please, at least once every series have a quick glance round at the car park just to make sure there were none of the locals 'scouting' it. We did. There was once, but fortunately the sight of sixty plus guys heading towards them made even them think twice and move off. But the cry of (e.g.) "3rd down, on the 20 going out .... car park clear!" was a frequent occurence. As we moved into the 4th quarter they were seen on the roof of what looked like a local church, busily rearranging the roof tiles - or removing some lead - about a quarter of a mile away.We didn't bother getting changed at the end of the game... got paid quickly (they understood perfectly) and got out even quicker ... while the car still had wheels on it  :(

Wow.  I was going to post about a school where there was ice cold water coming out of the shower and a suspicious brownish green substance on the floor, but that doesn't touch your story! :bOW

We had a playoff game out of town a couple of years ago and it was interesting to say the least.

The stadium was in a park.

When we got there we were told to park in the spot closest to the gate.   We had a police escort for the approximately 20 feet from the car to our lockerroom.

As we were walking into the stadium a couple of cops were dragging some guy out of the stadium who had allegedly been slinging rock.

Once we were dressed, we were told not to leave our gear in the lockerroom, we had another police escort to put it back in the car and then back into the stadium.  After the game, same thing so we could change.

In the park, there was a road that ringed the stadium - for the duration of the game there were two police cars that circled the stadium (lights on) the entire time the game was going on.

Weird situation, but we had no incidents.

My first game, I was on the clock.  As we went into the stadium to meet witht he game administrator he informed us that if we heard gun fire to drop to the ground and someone would come get us. 

In 2002, had a varsity game where the visiting school had experienced a bomb threat that day.  However, word got around that "something will happen" at the game that night.  There was not only the normal security presence, but numerous deputies and SWAT personnel with full body armor and some rather intimidating firearms.  Nothing happened during the game, but it was a challenge to maintain complete focus during the game.


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