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Old Fri Oct 19, 2012, 10:27am
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An interesting night

I have to comment on the night I had last night. We played on a wet, rainy field with 50+ mph winds and about 40 degrees temp. I'm the white hat getting ready for the coin toss and the wind blows my hat off into the muck, twice !!! At that point I was a spotted hat !!! I normally toss the coin and catch it. Tried 3 times and the wind took it away each time and I couldn't catch it. I finally told the captains that I was going to let it hit the ground. Flipped it once more and it landed sideways, so had to flip it again. 5 flips to get the coin flipped. Felt like a clown out there. Team won the toss and defered, other team chose to defend a goal. I reminded them that they may have to kick both halves and they said that's what their coach wanted. Can't say I've ran into that before. Got through the mucky game, full of fumbles of course, went into overtime (even worse since we were freezing) and decided this was one or two of those nights per season that we wonder why we do this !!!

What are some of the worst conditions you have ever worked in, and do you have any stories like mine ?? Just curious.
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Old Fri Oct 19, 2012, 10:40am
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Originally Posted by REFANDUMP View Post
I have to comment on the night I had last night. We played on a wet, rainy field with 50+ mph winds and about 40 degrees temp. I'm the white hat getting ready for the coin toss and the wind blows my hat off into the muck, twice !!! At that point I was a spotted hat !!! I normally toss the coin and catch it. Tried 3 times and the wind took it away each time and I couldn't catch it. I finally told the captains that I was going to let it hit the ground. Flipped it once more and it landed sideways, so had to flip it again. 5 flips to get the coin flipped. Felt like a clown out there. Team won the toss and defered, other team chose to defend a goal. I reminded them that they may have to kick both halves and they said that's what their coach wanted. Can't say I've ran into that before. Got through the mucky game, full of fumbles of course, went into overtime (even worse since we were freezing) and decided this was one or two of those nights per season that we wonder why we do this !!!

What are some of the worst conditions you have ever worked in, and do you have any stories like mine ?? Just curious.
It was 42 with a driving rain last night, but we didn't have heavy winds.

At least you don't have to worry about cleaning knickers anymore.

BTW, I *always* let the coin hit the ground. If it's good enough for the NFL, it's good enough for me. And I can't drop a coin that I don't try to catch.
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Old Fri Oct 19, 2012, 10:44am
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Worst weather I've had was not overly cold - just wind and rain. 9th grade A and B games. Most of the field was covered in at least an inch of water, some more than that. The wind was right in my (HL) face most of the time, and I had trouble standing up. Two plays and two penalties in, we informed both coaches we were going to be lenient on movement by the offense as it was difficult to stay set for everyone. There were actually small visible waves in the water on the ground and centers had trouble holding onto the ball. After the first pass, no one tried that again. After the first punt, no one tried that again either (about 8 yards and out of bounds, even though he didn't shank it). Every tackle or slip ended with players sliding several yards. We, the officials, fell several times.

The worse part was the chains. They simply could not stay in one place with those windcatchers. Coach on that side had an idea and we tried it. Messy but it worked... He had three players from the other team (B during the A game, A during the B game) wear orange jerseys. They would set the chains normally, and then put them down and just stand there on their spots. After a little experimentation and a suggestion from the other side, we had 2 short kids be the chain, and a tall kid as the down marker.

Both coaches were good sports - it was a mess, but I think all the kids enjoyed themselves.
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Old Fri Oct 19, 2012, 11:07am
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Rich, I'm going to agree with you on the coin hitting the ground. I won't say I'm always going to do that, but I definitely will when there's weather conditions that may affect my ability (or lack thereof) to catch it. This reminds me of the time I lost my silver dollar on a field with long grass. Showed up the next year for a game and guess what, the groundskeeper found it when he was mowing the field !!! As far as the knickers, I'm in 100% agreement.

I will agree with MD Longhorn as well. The kids had a good time, and were great sports all night. It was nice to not have to worry about the legal numbers as well, since we couldn't see them !!!
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Old Fri Oct 19, 2012, 11:08am
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Originally Posted by Rich View Post
It was 42 with a driving rain last night, but we didn't have heavy winds.

At least you don't have to worry about cleaning knickers anymore.

BTW, I *always* let the coin hit the ground. If it's good enough for the NFL, it's good enough for me. And I can't drop a coin that I don't try to catch.
I always thought not catching the coin was what led to the NFL's coin toss fiasco a few years back. I almost always catch (sometimes I use a coin that's too large to catch). I catch two handed, left on bottom and right on top. That way I can repeat the captain's call before the result of the flip is known.

Also, I stopped using my thumb to flip the coin. I hold the coin by the edge between my thumb and index finger and toss it into the air so it flips. That gives better control for the catch.
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Old Fri Oct 19, 2012, 11:48am
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Originally Posted by Eastshire View Post
I always thought not catching the coin was what led to the NFL's coin toss fiasco a few years back. I almost always catch (sometimes I use a coin that's too large to catch). I catch two handed, left on bottom and right on top. That way I can repeat the captain's call before the result of the flip is known.

Also, I stopped using my thumb to flip the coin. I hold the coin by the edge between my thumb and index finger and toss it into the air so it flips. That gives better control for the catch.
We're here to talk shop, so....I always let it hit the ground and I tell both sets of captains exactly that after I get choice of H or T from spokesman beforehand so no one squeezes in and gets in the way. In the event of playing in a mudpit I would consider catching it, but I watched too many guys along the way over the years that flipped it into the captains, flipped it over behind himself or into the captains in a 40+ mph wind, fumbled and dropped it on a cold day, etc...and I just think it looks better and leaves any additional issues from arising. Ref almost gets a handle on it and slaps it on his hand...one captain or the other sees it before it slips off into the grass and WH never got a look at it and now you have to reflip after the captain may have already seen he should've won the toss. "Coach...the ref dropped it after I saw heads and we lost the toss on the second flip."

No thanks.

Just my take.
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Old Fri Oct 19, 2012, 12:03pm
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Originally Posted by Canned Heat View Post
We're here to talk shop, so....I always let it hit the ground and I tell both sets of captains exactly that after I get choice of H or T from spokesman beforehand so no one squeezes in and gets in the way. In the event of playing in a mudpit I would consider catching it, but I watched too many guys along the way over the years that flipped it into the captains, flipped it over behind himself or into the captains in a 40+ mph wind, fumbled and dropped it on a cold day, etc...and I just think it looks better and leaves any additional issues from arising. Ref almost gets a handle on it and slaps it on his hand...one captain or the other sees it before it slips off into the grass and WH never got a look at it and now you have to reflip after the captain may have already seen he should've won the toss. "Coach...the ref dropped it after I saw heads and we lost the toss on the second flip."

No thanks.

Just my take.
I think I've dropped a coin maybe 5 times in 12 years of soccer (probably on the order of 600-700 tosses). On the other hand, I think coins which hit the ground are ambiguous about a quarter of the time.

YMWV
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Old Fri Oct 19, 2012, 12:11pm
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Originally Posted by Eastshire View Post
I think I've dropped a coin maybe 5 times in 12 years of soccer (probably on the order of 600-700 tosses). On the other hand, I think coins which hit the ground are ambiguous about a quarter of the time.

YMWV
I've never had to retoss a coin.

I have watched referees toss coins and then they flip them over onto their wrist after catching them. I just think that looks terrible. It was heads when he caught it, now it's tails as he flips it one last time. I get that the method is consistent and not nefarious in any way, but I think it looks like crap.
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Old Fri Oct 19, 2012, 12:13pm
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On the other hand, I had a coinflip in a JV game this year where I let it hit the ground and it landed on its edge (the grass was very thick, and I only had a quarter).

My white-hat always gets the captain's choice BEFORE he flips the coin, and then both he and I (U) repeat the captain's choice before the toss occurs. He catches the toss on a grass field and lets it land on a turf field.

Anyway, back on topic: my most interesting game was a 7th grade game about 4 years back... monsoon conditions, 1-3 inches of standing water in most places on the field, both teams wearing uniforms that made them indistinguishable from each other after about the middle of the 2nd quarter. (plain white helmets, white pants, white jerseys for one and gold jerseys for the other)

At one point we had a fumble pileup where I went in, figured out what player had the ball, and then had to ask him which team he was on before I could point in a direction.

The kids had a blast... I had to spend about 2 hours scrubbing my knickers after that.

What would've been my most interesting weather game was the state quarterfinal game my crew was assigned 2 years ago. Most of the quarterfinal games were being played on Friday night; ours was on Saturday. About 11:00 Friday night, it started snowing. By noon on Saturday we had over 15 inches of snow, with no signs of letting up, and the game was due to start in 5 hours. The game was postponed until the following Monday and moved indoors to the Metrodome. I was actually disappointed; I was really looking forward to a snow game.
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Old Fri Oct 19, 2012, 12:17pm
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Originally Posted by Rich View Post
I've never had to retoss a coin.

I have watched referees toss coins and then they flip them over onto their wrist after catching them. I just think that looks terrible. It was heads when he caught it, now it's tails as he flips it one last time. I get that the method is consistent and not nefarious in any way, but I think it looks like crap.
Which is why I catch with both hands, then reveal. (It's also easier to catch with two hands than one!) I don't know that I've seen a hit the ground retossed, but I have seen ones that I thought were on edge declared one side or the other where I thought they should have been tossed again.
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Old Fri Oct 19, 2012, 12:19pm
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On the other hand, I had a coinflip in a JV game this year where I let it hit the ground and it landed on its edge (the grass was very thick, and I only had a quarter).
I toss a 1976 silver dollar. Same coin I've tossed in every game for the last 8+ years (I bought it in a coin shop in Hawaii). It doesn't land on edge.
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Old Fri Oct 19, 2012, 12:35pm
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I have a coin flip app for my iPhone, you guys can use it if you do one of my games.
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Old Fri Oct 19, 2012, 12:58pm
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Only had about 3-4 "weather" games. First one was a few years ago in a playoff game -- cold and a little raining. Field ended up a little muddy but not too bad. I went into the game thinking it would be miserable, and frankly, it wasn't. My line judge slipped hustling to a spot and caught himself before he went down (white knickers then), so I was impressed.

A couple of years later, we did a Saturday game that made up for a Friday cancel due to lightning. It rained consistently through the game and the field had standing water on it. I don't think I've ever been that thoroughly soaked in my life. My HL's sideline was pretty muddy and he looked like he'd been the pit guy in a tracker pull when it was all over!

Last year, we had a steady, cold rain in one subvarsity game, but on turf. Again, soaked, but manageable. None of these games were really that big a deal, but the one I hated the worst was when we were basically on a cow pasture -- muddy field, though the weather was fine. On 3 successive plays, I (R) lined up behind the QB, the slot receiver on the right side, and the slot receiver on the left just trying to find a place I could start without being 2" deep in mud.
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Old Fri Oct 19, 2012, 02:49pm
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What are some of the worst conditions you have ever worked in, and do you have any stories like mine ?? Just curious.
On this field in the town of Hamilton in Central New York State, I had a four-game Pop Warner set that started at noon one Saturday in November. The weather forecast called 50's cooling off to mid 30's with a chance of showers. It topped out at 45 about 2 pm before it started to sleet. By halftime of the second game it had dropped below 30, the wind had picked up to modest gusts, and the latent heat in the artificial surface that was keeping the precipitation liquid had dissipated. So we're playing on a frozen or freezing crunchy putting green surface. As you can see from that aerial photo in the link, the field is primarily marked for "not football". There are dark blue sidelines for football and bright white and yellow lines for everything else. On more than one occasion players got lost on the sideline, not being used to the markings and would hit someone out of bounds who nobody knew anyone was out of bounds. A couple of times, receivers would run along the yellow line and "catch" the ball while completely out of bounds. The bright parallel "nine-yard" marks confused players. Just before a halftime, a runner "stepped out" and proceeded to get clocked from someone who knew where he was on the field. As the snow and ice piled up, it just got worse. I moved the orange yard markers ONTO the sideline so that we would know where it was.

My favorite was the kid who had a visor on his facemask that fogged up and iced over on the inside. By the time we got off the field it was 15 and a steady wind, with a long, slow icy drive back to Rome. And honestly, the road was the only bad part of the whole day.

Not many penalties, that day. Very disciplined teams for PW kids.
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Old Fri Oct 19, 2012, 03:26pm
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Small school Varsity game in the rain, and its been raining all day. I'm LJ in knickers, sidelines are under water with straw spread out to "help". 10 plays in, numbers are unreadable. 1st fumble, I toss beanbag, hear a splash. Never did find that thing (only time I ever used my spare).
What made it worse was the AD put us in the middle school next to the field- no showers available, just a supply room. We opened up a box of trashbags, dumped our uni's, shoes, ect in, and took off for 1 hr ride room. Threw those knickers away.
Crew chief told the assignor that we wouldnt take that home game again....
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