I started playing indoor soccer at the age of four so I have been playing for give-or-take 12 years now.
I saw it as a good opportunity to boost my confidence level at a young age and it was a great way to meet new people and learn from those I met along the way. I actually met one of my really good friends by becoming a ref and now we are playing together on the same team so that is really cool that we get to connect not just during refereeing but outside of that too.
I would say that the best part of being a referee is again getting to meet new people and learn from those people that you encounter along the way. Also, you get to feel like you are in charge of something and you have a greater responsibility than you would if you were just being a normal player. Also getting a better understanding of the game that you are playing is a good opportunity as well because I found after I became a ref you really get a good look at what refs put up with when everyone is yelling and doubting their calls. If I had to say my top number 1 favorite thing would probably be being supported by everyone around you. Everyone is there to help you and it is like you are entering into a little second family of people that will always be there to listen and guide you through any problems that you are having.
Probably just that our main job is keeping the players safe and we really do try to do that, whether you see it clear as day or not that is our number one job. We want them to have fun but at the same time safety is a priority.