BILL EATON'S LOOK INTO LIFE AS A REFEREE IN TALES FROM THE DARK SIDE: Silent weekend is a success

The Bolton News: Bill Eaton Bill Eaton

BILL Eaton continues to provide a light-hearted insight into life as a referee in his weekly column.

This week he talks about Silent Weekend.

SO Silent Weekend has come and gone and our colleagues at the Lancashire FA are collating all the feedback from players, parents, coaches and club officials.

By all the tweets I've read on Twitter, it was a fantastic success. It was great to see loads of pictures of smiling kids with fingers on lips.

I personally took the short trip down to Bolton Indians Sports Club Junior Lions 2-0 win against Daisy Hill Lions in the Bolton Bury and District Football League U13s Chairman's Cup semi-final.

It seemed very strange not hearing any comments of, “pass it”, “kick it”, “tackle”, “offside ref”, “foul ref”, “penalty ref”, “get a grip” and all the other comments normally aimed at officials.

With Bolton Indians adjacent to Bolton Lads and Girls Club I paid a quick visit, with three games going on at the time it seemed very strange that the only thing you could hear was the odd mobile phone going off.

I have to say Silent Weekend was superbly supported by all the teams at both venues.

On Sunday I visited the Horwich Arena to watch Horwich St Mary’s 6-5 win against Hindley U15s.

This game is where the feedback is vital to the LFA, an absolute brilliant first half with nine goals, seeing Horwich St Marys’ leading 5-4 at half time. Not a sound from any of the coaches and parents from either side.

Immediate feedback from the Lancashire FA was that 90 per cent of the responses they got back was extremely positive.

The massive positive for me though was that the Lancashire FA received no or none complaints from junior referees of threats or abuse from parents or coaches.

If we take only one positive from the whole weekend it certainly was a more enjoyable environment for our junior referees and long may it continue.

From a referee’s point of view maybe we should have a Silent Weekend every weekend with no comments being allowed to be made to referees. Roll on Silent Weekend two.

I could change my column to: Tales from the Quiet Side.

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