Far too few people find their way to refereeing, the lack of young talent is a major problem. There are many ways. The one from landesliga referee simon winkler looked like this: "my neighbor michael schneider trained at don bosco in the youth. I was there most of the time." But winkler developed less of a passion for kicking the ball himself "but i always paid attention to the referee and was more interested in this task."
And he has been performing this task since march 2008 "after the DJK chairman at the time, sepper ultsch, gave me andreas oppelt’s contact information." At the time, winkler was one of around 60 participants in his new course, a number that is now unimaginable. Already there, he attracted the attention of district chairman gunther reitzner "because he was extremely attentive and read every word from his lips."
Departure on the festival meadow
"I was in charge of my first men’s game at the stadion-festwiese, my supervisor, whom every newcomer gets to know, was alfred pflefka", he remembers his beginnings. From this taster became a tangible and very time-consuming hobby. "Since then, I have never once felt that this is nothing or that this is no longer for me", he is still passionate about his work. And with success. For his ten-year "service anniversary he was awarded the golden whistle for his hard work for the group on and off the field. Never was a more honored youngster than the 26-year-old.
In the meantime in the landesliga
His sporting path to the national league – and to the regional league on the line – was not an easy one for the bamberg native, and winkler had to deal with one or two setbacks. For example, a temporary relegation from the district league. "But that never threw me off track, I simply resolved to attack again in the circle", he says.
Even after a second setback, when promotion to the national league failed to materialize by a very narrow and unfortunate margin, "I just kept focused and tried to do my best in every game, no matter what league or age group I was in," he says. With success: at the beginning of this season, he was allowed to manage his first national league game in kornburg. "It is important to critically question oneself and one’s performance – as an individual referee or as part of a team."
Early into the functional track
Relatively young, winkler also went over to the functional track and is now indispensable, and not only as deputy chairman. "I have been asked whether I would be interested in being on the committee. Then I slowly got to know the material until I took on more tasks and invested more time", he describes his way. After the election in 2014, he was appointed by reitzner as a member of the group referee committee (GSA).
"With the increased responsibility, the amount of time spent on the field has also become more and more difficult. In the meantime, the amount of time spent off the field is higher than on the field. The bureaucracy takes its toll", he admits. In addition, there’s the need to keep in touch with the teaching staff and other groups, and even to keep up to date with changes in the rules.
Winkler’s job as a referee is particularly time-consuming. Similar to a trainer in the amateur sector, it is necessary to use the sometimes very thin personnel cover on some weekends in a goal-oriented manner so that all games can be covered as far as possible. And that gets harder rather than easier.
The number of referees to be assigned varies. "Usually there are between 50 and 80 appointments. Here are numbers of appointments as a referee and assistant. This does not take into account the jerks with whom there are ten to 20 more. For example, on a sunday there are ten harnesses and more on the road", he gives an insight. And ten spans eventually mean 30 referees.
The "real" ones however, difficulties are to be seen in the short-notice returns, because it is necessary to react and reschedule at short notice. Winkler gives an example: "sunday at 2 p.M. Is a district league game, the telephone cancellation due to illness occurs at 10 a.M. By the referee. There is no more open referee available. Thus, a district league referee must be withdrawn from the district class, and the open district class game must then be whistled by a referee from the A class. The open A-class game from a referee from the B-class." This means in each individual case a mehrauand and a lot of information flow, which runs off behind the scenes and of which the clubs little or nothing to notice.
It still works – most of the time. On the one hand, there are many flexible referees who are on duty several times a weekend and step in when there is a need. On the other hand, however, it is also due to the commitment of people like winkler, who not only blow the whistle themselves, but also invest a lot in advance to ensure that the whistles are blown on the sports fields, especially on the weekend.