My outlet from technology is rugby refereeing. These days the number of actual games that I referee is low as age, weary knees, and creaky ankles all conspire to stop me getting around the field as I once did. So I do two things – performance review for active referees or TMO (TV Match Official) for major games. Today, I was in Toulouse for the European Cup Quarter-Final between Toulouse and Stade Francais, a game that ended up in a reasonably easy win for the home team by 42-16.
TMO is an odd job. Most of the time you don’t have to do anything except watch the game, often in the TV director’s truck along with the director, multiple assistants, and vast numbers of TV screens. And then there’s the moment of panic when the referee refers a decision to the TMO to arbitrate whether a try was scored fairly. This might happen twice in a game, or five times, or like today, not at all. The decision to refer something to the TMO is entirely in the hands of the referee and some refs are more “eager” to look for help with decisions than others.
In any case, it’s a great way to participate in the game and a highly enjoyable method to get one of the best seats in the house for a big game!