Hi there, welcome to my blog.

What's this all about? Well, that's a question I'm probably not even qualified to answer. I guess it started off because I had nothing better to do, but turns out that I kind of like it. So when I'm not working for The Man I like to take pictures, make videos and write about whatever else might seem like a good idea at the time.

From dragon boating to mountain biking, to road trips and travels overseas - this is me trying to enjoy life. Clock out at 5, eat, drink and don't forget to smile a lot.


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Saturday, June 26

What it takes to be a FIFA World Cup Referee

The Smithsonian had an interesting article about becoming one of the coolest or potentially most controversial jobs on the planet, which is a referee for the World Cup.

If you're an Average Joe thinking that they can step up to the pitch and blow a whistle, think again. Officials need to be fit and smart.

Here's a few of the more interesting points from the article:

  • For the World Cup, trios of match officials are chosen as a team - they are the referee on the field, who controls the game and calls fouls, and two assistant referees on the sidelines, who mainly call offsides and determine who gets possession after the ball goes out of bounds.
  • Fifty-four trios of officials went into the program and had their performances at FIFA tournaments evaluated but only thirty of them were chosen this February to work the World Cup.
  • In late May, FIFA announced that 2 of the chosen 30 teams would not be officiating at the World Cup because an assistant referee in each team had failed the final fitness test.
  • Referee and assistant referee candidates have their fitness monitored monthly in the three years leading up to the Cup and there are two fitness tests.
  • For the first test, a referee runs 40 meters six times. Each of the six sprints needs to be completed in 6.2 seconds.
  • A second test requires a referee to run 150 meters in 30 seconds and then walk 50 meters in 35 seconds, then repeat the exercise 19 more times.
  • Assistant referees have less strict standards. To track their fitness, referees constantly wear a watch that monitors their heart rates.
  • In the lab, a medical team in Zurich assessed each match official earlier this year. Among the tests were a blood test, an orthopedic examination, a resting EKG, an echocardiogram and a stress test.
  • They meet with a psychologist who analyzes their game demeanor and they attend seminars on the rules in an attempt to apply them equally across every continent.

Got what it takes? Me neither...

Now here are some awesome images from The Big Picture to get you all excited. Go watch some World Cup!