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So the Referee wants you outside the fence...
  
 
schlotz
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · So the Referee wants you outside the fence...


After shooting soccer for 15 years it finally happened, I was approached by the center ref and requested to move to outside of the half fence surrounding the soccer field. Hmm... been doing this gig for many years and this was a first. Come to find out it was the side judge (older fellow) pulling the strings spouting rules etc... Regardless there is no upside to any debate upon receiving this type of request so I remove myself and find my way to the press/announcer's box where the announcer had been watching what had happened (he is also a licensed soccer ref) and said to me what the heck is their problem? You were well off the back line more than 10 feet, there is no rule barring you.

Long story short, he called the AD who found the ref at halftime and I was immediately requested to return to the field by that ref. Having shot games with him ref'ing here in the past has never been an issue, odd to say the least.

The rest of the story: found out from a couple of parents who stopped by to chat, that prior to my arrival the other photog (visiting school) had some words with the ref and was promptly relegated to the outside of the fence. So maybe it became a simple position of all or none in the ref's eyes when I show up.

I've always taken the position that photographers are supposed to be invisible. They should never bring attention to themselves or interfere in anyway with the sport they are shooting. It was embarrassing to find myself thrust into the light when I was doing everything correctly. Just goes to show others can eventually upset your apple cart without you knowing it.

When possible it's also better to have others take care of a situation on your behalf so you can continue on without friction.

Regards,
Matt



Sep 01, 2014 at 02:13 PM
Bloom
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · So the Referee wants you outside the fence...


The person who had to be removed sounds like a parent give the ref a hard time and not a photographer there to shoot the game.


Sep 01, 2014 at 04:35 PM
schlotz
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · So the Referee wants you outside the fence...


Hard telling these days what with all the PWC's - but I suspect you are correct.


Sep 01, 2014 at 04:38 PM
SargentRay
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · So the Referee wants you outside the fence...


Good story Matt which i can totally relate to. My little experience doing football for my son's team was great thanks to this one coach who eventually took on league presidency. Each season he would sign me as a trainer/coach this meant i was allowed on every field for every game local or abroad. More interestingly he explained i was covered by the team's insurances if i ever got injured. Of course i had to respect the rules i.e. remain 5 or 10 ft away from the side lines etc but at least i could never be kicked out for taking pictures. Once in another city where every body there seemed to be against us from the get go including the home announcer who would blast funeral music through the speakers each time one of our players was down (if you can believe this unsportingly attitude) a ref came to me clearly aggravated for some reason and when he saw my ID card with picture he made an about turn and looked even more pissed. Because of my authorization i was the only photog left every body else having been kicked off the field back into the stands. I savoured that moment let me tell ya.

On the other hand last year i was asked to volunteer as a photographer for the world games that were held in the same city (Sherbrooke) again i had problems this time on a soccer field. The day was full of promises Nikon had an NPS booth up there and providing we were authorized volunteer we could get any lens or body we wanted (for free) It was a good occasion for me to shoot sports i never have the chance to do namely track and field events. So i picked up a 400mm f2.8 and took the reserved bus towards the field (parking was a real nightmare so the bus was the better solution). Once i got there i realized the whole field was cordoned off. Ropes were installed a good 30 feet outside the field, my partner who had picked up the 600mm could barely make out the players on the field just to tell you how far the action was. So i moved to a corner on the other side of the field which got me a little closer to the action. It only took 5 minutes before a security volunteer came to me although i was sill outside the defined perimeter. She also looked pissed and yelled at me i had to move back and wear an orange dinky. I politely asked why and she said: "well you can be confused with players on the field" I laughed so hard i almost wet myself, players on the field were in red/blue and orange/white (shorts) they were 15 and 16 y.o. old girls. I am 5'11", 235 pds , i'm bald as a cue ball and i was wearing a grey shirt with beige bermudas (neutral colours exactly to avoid this). I pointed this out to her very calmly but it only made her more mad. When she handed me the dinky (but didn't ask the other 4 photogs there to put one on) i simply said: I don't think so and left.

I brought the lens back and explained what had happened to the photographer's team leader who didn't seem to believe my story at that time. I drove back home ( a 2 1/2 hour drive mind you) and later that night the leader called home and apologized promising the situation would be resolved the next day and begged me to go back the next morning. I told him it was the 2nd time i had problems in Sherbrooke and that i would never go there again. At 53 y.o. i don't need this, i was ready to give a few days of voluntary work but i certainly didn't expect to be treated like a moron.

Had it been a paying gig i would have gone back the next day but in a voluntary work context i really didn't feel obligated to put up with this kind of childish attitude. When you're a passionate photographer or a professional one it is hard sometimes to understand why some people treat us like they do. I suppose we ended up having a bad reputation because of all the paparazzis out there that just can't take no for an answer or don't bother to ask permission to shoot but it is certainly not our reality for the vast majority of us. We just want to make an honest living or shoot for the passion of our craft. The only good thing about all of this is that as you get older and more independent in life there comes a point where you don't have to take it anymore, and that's exactly what i did. I'm perhaps not the best sport photographer out there but i can hold my end, i'm always polite, friendly and understanding when all this is just not enough i have the luxury now to simply say no and move on. If i wanted to i could shoot almost every day sports, portraits or whatever. I simply choose the best more relaxing ventures for me, it keeps my blood pressure down :-)



Sep 01, 2014 at 05:19 PM
Widgic
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · So the Referee wants you outside the fence...


I have been thrown out of "legal" shooting spots many times, but very very rarely by refs. Most of the time it's by overzealous security jocks.

But, for club games (where the refs might not be used to have photog working the game) and in some arenas where I am not familiar with the setup / rules / refs I always introduce myself to the refs ahead of time, show them my gear, let them know that I am not another PWC (Parent With Camera) and ask them if there are any specific things that they'd rather not have me do. Most of the time they go through the usual "just don't get in our or the players way, if you are hit with a ball that's your problem, etc...". If there are some requests that seem unreasonable (and would limit my ability to do my work), I try to understand the why's and most of the time by discussing it we can come to an reasonable solution for everyone.

Bonus point is to ask them for their email addresses and promise them to send them some pictures of them in action (and of course follow up on that). By the way, this works great with the "Security jocks" too. That's a great way to become fast friends!

All that takes only a couple of minutes, heads off any issues that might develop during the game, and after a few games they'll even come chew the fat with you for a few minutes pre or post game!

Denis
www.widgic.com



Sep 02, 2014 at 01:44 AM
 

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schlotz
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · So the Referee wants you outside the fence...


Very good points and advise for sure. Thanks Denis!

Matt



Sep 02, 2014 at 02:13 AM
SargentRay
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · So the Referee wants you outside the fence...


Widgic wrote:
I have been thrown out of "legal" shooting spots many times, but very very rarely by refs. Most of the time it's by overzealous security jocks.

But, for club games (where the refs might not be used to have photog working the game) and in some arenas where I am not familiar with the setup / rules / refs I always introduce myself to the refs ahead of time, show them my gear, let them know that I am not another PWC (Parent With Camera) and ask them if there are any specific things that they'd rather not have me do.
...Show more

This is so true, i always took the time to shoot the refs and sent them pictures of themselves free of charge. After a couple of seasons i knew them all and it made a big difference. One time after a game they invited me for beers, man the stories these guys (and one girl) had to tell some funny some not so much. We like to hate them and yell at them when the game is not going the way we would like and we so easily forget that without them there wouldn't be a game. We tend to forget they are humans too.

On shot #1 This guy was officiating his last game after a 35 year career. They announced it over the speakers and folks gave him a standing ovation that lasted what must have seemed an eternity to him, he dove into his notebook so people wouldn't see he was trying hard not to cry.
On shot #2 Lisa was 3 months pregnant but didn't want anybody to know because they would have stopped her from working and she absolutely wanted to make it to the playoffs a few months away. It was starting to show so i photoshopped the shot a bit to make it less obvious. To this day it's our little secret and we giggle about it when we reminisce. Bill, shot #4 is the joker of the bunch when people would start yelling at them he would always say: " Ah my fan club followed me again". On shot #5 this guy was an occasional i only saw him a couple of times and during this game he got so mad after a kid that hit him i thought he was going to hit him, here the other referee is calming him down.



1-)

2-)

3-)

4-)

5-)




Sep 02, 2014 at 03:27 AM
robby521
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · So the Referee wants you outside the fence...


i had 2 new ones calling youth ball that told me i was not allowed on field any place.i just looked at them and asked real nice and they said there insurance didn't cover me.i said ok and was leaving the field when the man over it all came up and asked why i was leaving,i told him.showed him my insurance card,license and back ground check and he told me to get back out there.been doing it for 8 years.the 2 guys didn't like it but they have never been back to the youth park.lol


Sep 02, 2014 at 04:07 PM
RichCoyle
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · So the Referee wants you outside the fence...


As a hobby, I did 25 years as a Baseball Umpire at the NCAA, High School and American Legion levels. According to the National Federation of High Schools, the selection of a DMA (designated media area) is at the discretion of the officiating crew at each event. The coach has nothing to do with the decision. I suppose one could argue that a photographer is violating a school's arrangement with another photographer and is not, technically, "media". I have worked at every game in an effort to allow media access to the games; the kids deserve it. Have I had a**hole photographers? Absolutely. They, individually, get removed from the field, not all of the photographers. I'm glad the AD and Ref were able to work it out for you.

As a photographer, I have not yet been denied access to a playing venue and have never been asked to relocate. Of course, I know to ask the officials during pre-game conferences for their restrictions.



Sep 02, 2014 at 05:31 PM
Geoffrey Bolte
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · So the Referee wants you outside the fence...


Ran into an issue one time at a Freshman girls basketball game. Was shooting in my normal spot on the baseline about 5 feet off the court. Needless to say the ref asked me to move back farther didn't feel comfortable with me there... Mind you I shot a UConn women's basketball game the night before and was closer to the action!!!

Anyways I obliged another few feet wouldn't kill me.

I tend to talk to the refs before the games to see if they have any specific requests make sure I can go in areas I intend to let alone see if they need anything. Always good to keep the refs happy!!



Sep 02, 2014 at 11:32 PM





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