Bad Refs and Cranky Old Men

There is a field in my locale area called Fearless Fighters. Its not my favorite place to play but I have been there a few times with a couple friends of mine who play there regularly. I have not been there since the last time I went back in April, because of a little incident. This field is pretty hick. You have to drive a dirt road up a hill to get to it, and once when I went it had recently rained and the hill was muddy. This required some four wheel drive. There check in area/store/fill station is all in one room that you enter through a sliding glass door with some writing on it in faded paint. The staging area consists of wooden marker stands, tables, and some moldy couches and chairs. Fearless Fighters is pretty hick, but thats not why I haven’t gone back there.

The last time I was there I was with a group of four or five friends. My friend Robert brought his little brother, John. There was a couple other groups of people there besides us, including an older man (old as in anywhere between 50 and 70) and what appeared to be a couple of his kids and grand kids. He had an Ego, Halo B, full camo vest, the works. So we had played about three games, we headed down to one of their wooded fields we hadn’t been to yet that day. We were on the opposite team of the older man. The game started and after about five minutes I was tagged out. I was sitting just outside the field’s boundaries with the other eliminated players and then there was a burst of yelling and shooting. A minute later the game ended and the rest of the players walked off the field. When they got off the field the older man and a 20 something player on are team took their goggles and started yelling at each other. The following conversation is not their exact words, but it gives you the basic idea. The player on our team yelled, “(gestures to John) Look hes just a kid, you can’t light him up like that!” The older man yelled back, “I was already out and I was taking hits to the back, I’m not just going to stand there and get shot!” The player on our team responded, “You’re an adults, these are kid, you need to control yourself.” At this point the older man started walking back to the staging area.

I later talked to my friend Jonathan, who was still on the field at the end of the game. He told me he and other players from our team (including John, my friends little brother) got in a firefight with the older man and had eliminated him. He was walking off the field when he turned around and starting shooting at them yelling “surrender!” Even though he was already out he, he turned around and started shooting because he took a few hits to the back. He was wearing a full vest, hits to his back wouldn’t even hurt! The thing that made me mad though is that the ref did nothing through all this except mumble “Ok guys… come on… its over…” In this situation a ref needs to step in a make sure a fight doesn’t start, or he should have been watching the game more closely and prevented this before it happened. The moral of the story: referees need to be professional and well trained, not blubbering high school students.

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