My son play U8 Soccer in our local AYSO League. This year he has made the leap from semi-interested bystander to Pele-like soccer stud. Well, okay, not quite Pele-like. But he has made a great improvement in his interest and activity level, and I'm glad to see he enjoys it more than in the past.
The league provides referees, usually kids 12 or 14 years old. These kids drive me nuts. They don't seem to know or enforce the rules of the game, they don't track the time very well, they'd rather twirl the whistle than blow it.
We bring our portable bag chairs to the games, and sit on the sidelines to cheer the kids on. Inevitably, there are a group of (lard-assed) moms who stand in front of us yakking away instead of watching the game. This morning was the last straw. One of the moms volunteered to be a sideline judge, and instead of following the play up and down the sideline, decided that she could just stand and midfield (in front of me) and wave the little flag from there.
I volunteered to do this in the past, but I find that I get so caught up in making sure I don't screw up the responsibility that I don't watch the game.
I'm thinking about coaching my son's team next year when he moves into U10. I admittedly don't have the patience for U8 and younger, but I think I'd enjoy coaching up a bunch of older kids.