I was watching my son’s soccer game yesterday, and a hockey game almost broke out. The other team was aggressive, and several of the young men were adept at throwing elbows, knees to the thigh, and body checks. It’s a form of martial art that tests the limit of the head referee. When he is not quick to calm down the battles by calling fouls, it gets “chippy” very quickly.
Chippy is in our local idiom for when the tackles start to get personal, and there’s pushing after the whistle, and, eventually, body slams. Yesterday’s game easily could have resulted in a fist fight–the referee was just a couple of years older than the players, and he seemed reluctant to blow the whistle. F-bombs were exchanged between players.
I think what saved it was that the score ended up 0-0, a classic soccer battle that makes you wonder, “Three hours of driving and standing in the cold for a scoreless tie?”