The upper leagues

I went to a refresher course in being a handball judge in October, WiseMan took the beginner's course. Our club has quite a number of successful teams that are playing in the upper leagues, and only licensed judges are allowed to keep time and score.

We still don't have our certificates back, but Saturday the handball captain of the club called to ask if we could not pleeeeeease work the game today? On account of it being the first Sunday in Advent, they couldn't get anyone else. We asked for there to be someone else with experience there - it would be a debut in the upper leagues for both of us. Luckily, another judge could be found.

We were judging the current boy's A-team, who are playing in the Northeastern Handball League. This is a league that spans 4 states - the players have a long way to drive for their games. The opponent was from Stralsund, a good 4-hour drive away.

We had wanted to get licensed in order to judge for this team - WiseKid used to play with them, WiseMan even was a trainer way back when. And I helped chaperone an excursion to a tournament in Sweden. They were such little boys back then - they are all grown up now, and I'm not sure that I would know who they were if I saw them on the street. Heck, one large guy came up to me, all smiles, knew my name, shook my hand, and I didn't have the foggiest idea who he was until he sat down with his parents. They have a few more grey hairs here and there, but still look the same.

The team from Stralsund got in late, we were thinking they might not show, seeing as how they are in last place and our team is in fourth place. All the formalities got organized, the whistle blew, and off they were. There were so many goals, I really had a hard time keeping track! I was glad that WiseMan had an extra pair of eyes for seeing which number got what.

At half-time then the secretary had to go into the umpire's locker room for the "inquisition". In the lower leagues we just sort of eyeball the list, but this had to be done formally. I had to reel off my list of guys with yellow cards, guys with 2-minute penalties, time-outs and goals. When the umpires agreed with what I had written down, I could leave the locker room. I wonder what would have happened if my numbers did not agree....

Anyway, I think we missed a goal - they were flying so thick and heavy in between the penalties at the start of the second half, I think we missed one. But the game ended something like 46-23, so at least it was not a crucial goal if we did skip one. The team is now in third place - way to go!

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