For the second consecutive time, I was on the first game of the day. Keeping in mind my feedback from the first game, I was determined to sort out the positioning errors and at least get that part together properly. I was also very excited to umpire for the first time with Kang who I’d been at the JWC with last summer.
Right from the start I felt better. It helped that I had a lot of the play in the first half so I could get out of my head and just do the things that I know can come naturally. I was able to better anticipate the flow of play, so I was where I needed to be as the ball came through.
One area of the match I was really happy with was our management. The players were being very disciplined with their tackling and 5m, until one single smack from behind brought about a loud whistle from me. Before I knew it, the player was sitting down for her 2min. green card suspension and I was thinking to myself, “gee, did I even give a warning first? Nope? Oh well!” Then a minute later, one of her teammates decided to put her stick in the way of a self-pass when she was only a few metres away and Kang sent her off as well – again, with no prior admonishments.
The funny thing was that for the rest of the match, neither of us needed to anything else. The ladies simply played hockey. There were no other cards, no upgrades, no loud whistles, no appeals – just good, competitive, skillful hockey. It was so much fun, I do believe I’m going to try it again.