Are you sure?
For twenty years I’ve been getting mail, faxes, phone calls, and for the last ten or so, email from folks that want to get in the indoor soccer business. I put as much as I could on the site to keep from having to answer all the same questions hundreds, probably a thousand times. What I’ve learned based on this experience, is you need to ask yourself some questions first to see if this is something you really want to do. I’ve devised some questions out of real life situations. Before you spend any time on researching the business, read and answer these, then you can decide if this is the pump that puts the air in your ball.
- In the Under 10 Girls league, a coach that just finished the game, and lost, insists, the winning goal was scored by a boy. The Coach would like you, or someone that works at your facility, to take that player on the other team into the restroom and determine if it’s really a girl?
- Your manager calls and says a current player is having a sex change operation and has requested to play in the Women’s league. At what point during the sex change process, is the player a woman, and eligible to play in that league?
- Your parking lot is flooding. A rarely used railroad trestle has collapsed and is blocking the drainage ditch. Despite constant efforts to get Sleepy at the railroad company to fix it, he won’t. Railroad companies can’t be sued. They are responsible to almost no one, what now?
- One of your outdoor, indoor soccer facilities has a water tower hovering over it three hundred feet high. Two goofballs climb the water tower with a case of beer, get drunk off their asses, and are throwing tennis balls at your players. The SWAT team has arrived and there is a police helicopter hovering overhead?
- Prior to a championship game that evening in the Men’s 30 league, you receive an anonymous phone call saying that one, or more, of the players on Team One, gave you fake ID and is not really 30 years old. Moments later, another anonymous phone call states that one, or more, players on Team Two of the upcoming game is also not 30 years old and again gave you fake ID. Rules state that any team that uses an ineligible player forfeits all games that player participated in. Should Team One and Team Two have to forfeit their games, Team Three will win. How do you handle this without giving away your snitches?
- A team takes the opening kick off of a game. They turn around and kick it back to their goalie, who is not paying attention, and the ball goes in their own goal. The rules state in an own goal situation, the last player on the opposing team to touch the ball, gets credit for the goal. In this situation, no one from the opposing team has yet touched the ball. Who gets credit for the goal?
- You have a player that received a red card and was ejected from the facility for a long period of time. A week later he appeals his suspension to you and upon investigation, it appears that he did not deserve the red card, or at worst, not that long of a suspension. While you’re sitting in the bleachers waiting for him to show up to talk to him about it, several players from his team sit in from of you, don’t know who you are, and begin discussing their red carded player, how much he is a problem for them and they hope he doesn’t come back cause he ruins it for everybody. Here comes the ejected player to meet with you. You do what?
- You’re getting your permits to open your facility. It’s expensive. You’re over $1,000,000 deep and just the interest on the construction loan while you’re trying to open is ugly. Now you’re close. You just need your occupancy permit. The inspector is a moron. He says you have to have an emergency exit with crash bars on the inside of your indoor soccer field. Not the building, the actual field itself. You explain to moron that people will be playing their game, fall against the crash bar and the doors will come flying open and hurt both the player and people that are standing around watching. But, he’s a moron and insists that you cannot open until you have crash bars on the inside of the soccer field. What will you do?
- You’re getting permits in a pre-existing building that you’ve just bought and you’ve done everything every inspector wanted to be able to obtain your occupancy permit. Except, each time the Fire Marshal shows up, he has something new and says he’ll be back in a week. That goes on for a month. In the meantime players that have signed up are getting mad they can’t play yet, you’re cash flow is very unpleasant, and it’s pretty clear the Fire Marshal just doesn’t like you. Big surprise. What to do now?
- You’re new facility is open, life is going not too bad, and the local soccer organization says that you have to join and become a member of their association or they are going to have all their teams boycott you and if they don’t boycott you they will suspend them from outdoor soccer as well. Your response to the Nazi Party is?
- Nylon 66, a turf you have at a facility you just purchased, has some sort of electrical problem. If you run on it, you get shocked when you touch the metal handle to exit the field. When a thunderstorm goes over, hair on women stands straight up. You decide to replace it, but, some Einstein glued not just the seams, but every single square inch to the floor. When you try and scrape up the glue from the floor, a blue bolt of electricity jumps from your metal tools to everybody around you. When you eat dinner that first night at Denny’s everyone is scared to touch their silverware for fear they’ll get shocked again so they eat with their hands. You solve this Nylon 66 problem how?
- You have solved the Nylon 66 problem but had to seal the building to do it (that’s a clue to the answer to #11). However, the people that helped you solve the problem are now all itching and twitching like they got Agent Orange in Nam. Now what?
- There is a collision on the field and two players go down. A female thinks she broke her hand. Your extremely sensitive male ref says to the female “I guess a hand job is out of the question.” Your response to the ref and then to the injured player is?
- During a Women’s O30 game one of the players comes to you and says she keeps seeing little flashes on the field. She wants you to come watch the game and see if you can determine what it is. Your referee has gloves on. He has a miniature camera hidden in one and appears to be taking targeted pictures of women during the game. Your take what action with the ref?
- Your best referee ejects a player. You escort the player out of the building and after he leaves you see him walk across the street, open up the trunk of his car and take a pistol out, turn, and begin walking back towards you. At that moment, the ejected team’s goalie comes over pleading with you that his ejected player is really a great guy and should be allowed back in the game. What happens next?
- One of your facilities is an older building with a little bit of history. You’ve had three late night cleaning people leave because they have seen ghosts while working late at night. Your manager and assistant also say they’ve had uncomfortable situations with doors opening by themselves, noises where nobody is there, and lights going on and off. You decide to get your sleeping bag and spend the night to see what the hell is wrong with everybody. While you’re sleeping in the bleachers with only the emergency exit lights on, you can see some metal plates in the floor moving and making noise as somebody walks across them, except, nobody is there. What happens next?
- It’s 115 degrees outside, but, somehow, it’s raining. There is a leak somewhere in the roof of your metal building and it’s leaking onto the turf. You get the 28 foot extension ladder and climb up on the roof to see if you can find the leak. While you’re up there, a truck pulls into your parking lot, two guys jump out and steal the ladder. Now what?
- You’ve got down time at one of your facilities. Nothing is happening on Sunday. Someone suggests a midget tossing contest to fill up Sundays? Your thoughts?
- Just prior to your purchasing a building, the soon to be former owners, have scheduled an Alice Cooper concert on one side and a square dancing festival on the other side, the same night, and then sends a couple guys over with baseball bats to police it. Is this a good idea?
- You have a college team playing at your facility. At the conclusion of the league, you give the winners their pick of trophies, t-shirts, or a $50 discount towards next session. The college team wins the league and opts for the $50 discount towards next season. Some sore loser calls the NCAA and tells them that the $50 discount is really a monetary reward and the entire program should be suspended from competition. The NCAA investigates and the coach comes over to see you and is very upset and tells you he never wants his players to play at your facility again. The NCAA investigation ends how?
- Each player has to have a player card with their picture on it to enter the field. If his team owes money, he hasn’t signed a current waiver, or he/she has been suspended you don’t give them their player card. However, a few people have snuck back using other people’s player card and your scorekeeper while collecting them didn’t notice the picture didn’t match. You offer your scorekeepers a cash reward if they can catch somebody cheating, and the more catches the more money.
A college team (see #20) has returned to your facility, all under assumed names, with your permission. Your worst scorekeeper who hasn’t caught an illegal player in a month comes running into your office and says “I think I caught a whole team cheating. None of them are calling each other by the name on their cards.” Do you owe your scorekeeper money?
- You’ve just moved into a new location. Your first game is at 3pm. The inspector came this morning and said you couldn’t open unless you tore down the overhang out back and put up a railing on the front porch and he’ll be back at 2:45pm to inspect. At 2:30 the overhang is gone but you can’t figure out a way to attach the railing to the front cement stairs. What do you do?
- You’ve just moving into a brand new building. The professional indoor soccer team scheduled a big press conference with TV and newspaper, in 48 hours, and a scrimmage game at your facility. The flatbed truck with all your turf on it pulls up and the entire back part of the parking lot collapses and the bed of the truck (with all your turf) falls in the hole. The top roll of turf is at parking lot level and the sixteen other rolls are below ground and weigh 1200 pounds each. Within ten feet of the hole you’ve got an overhead door on your building, a 1979 Ford Fairmont, lots of rope, and a drunk construction guy. How do you solve this using only the assets listed?
- You have two, one million dollar lines of credit, each with a different bank. For various bank reasons, they both get turned into three year amortizations. You’ve also recently opened several new facilities and the bulk of them have negative cash flow. Your mortgage payments have increased to $50,000 a month more than you make. How do you survive?
- You, as manager, show up an hour before your first game of the night. Both ends of the street of the facility you manage are blocked off with road construction. Nobody on the construction crew speaks English. Que ahora?
- The rule is that should anybody (player) intend to inflict damage to anybody else at your facility, they will receive a minimum of one year and more likely permanent. Your manager calls you and says that he had a fight this evening but because he knows all the participants on as a friend basis, he would prefer that you make the determination as to the length of suspension. You agree and ask him not to give you their names.
Player Red and Player Blue are going for the ball. They get tangled up and both fall to the ground. While on the ground Player Red kicks Player Blue hard. When they stand up Player Blue punches Player Red. Player Red’s dad, also on the team, comes flying across the field and karate kicks Player Blue. What should be the length of suspension for each of the players?
- After giving permanent red cards to three people that were in a fight at your facility, you find out that one of them is the guy that owns the pro shop, another is the guy that owns the snack bar, and the third is your head referee. (see #26). Are you in trouble?
- At a manager’s meeting high in the mountains of Colorado, the caretaker of the ranch comes in just prior to you breaking up the meeting for the night and says “In the last 20 minutes there has been both a mountain lion and a grizzly spotted on the property. Please stay inside.” You end the meeting, tell them you’ll see them in the morning, and they all go charging outside to find the mountain lion and grizzly. Should you let them go? Do you have a choice?
- One of your manager’s invites you to spend the night at her house in the mountains but seems all worried about you and keeps calling to see when you’re going to get there. You hear a noise in the bushes when you’re getting your bag out of the trunk of the car in her mountain driveway but don’t bother to look. The manager is at the top of the stairs yelling at you to hurry. As you get to the top of the stairs she grabs you and yanks you inside the house, then slams the door and says “I thought the bear was going to get you for sure, he was right behind you when I pulled you in the door.” This one is multiple choice:
a. Thank the manager for saving your life.
b. Fire the manager for not mentioning the “bear” thing before you got there.
c. Crap in your pants when you see how large the footprints of the bear were when you’re walking out in the morning to get in your car.
d. Never let the manager forget it when two weeks later she sends you a picture she took of the bear and you notice it has two tags in it’s ear. When you research to find out what those are for it’s because the bear has twice before threatened people. So the bear had two yellow cards and the manager still didn’t tell you there was a bear in the bushes.
- You are reffing an Iraq team versus a Kuwait team at your facility when it’s announced that Desert Storm is underway. You should continue the game even though your scorekeeper has a panic attack at the news and goes home so you’re by yourself or just tell them to start fighting and get it over with?
- You’re reffing a game and you throw out a problem child. At halftime you notice a commotion in the office between the soon to be manager and a lady. When you walk over to see what’s going on, the mother of the teenager you threw out is trying to get into the cash register and take her check back. Your potential manager slams the cash register door on her hand and then the husband jumps over the counter and wants to fight you. Your response is?
- You are reffing a game, and you throw out two losers. After you lock up and are leaving you notice two people in a car just off of your property sleeping. You think about waking them up but instead decide to go home. The next day your manager calls you and when you answer says “I’m surprised you’re still alive. Those two guys you kicked out were waiting out in the street to kill you. Didn’t you see them?” This is multiple choice too.
a. Tell the manager thank you for warning you. Better late than never.
b. Fire the manager because he could have got you killed.
c. Crap in your pants when you recall how big they were.
d. Never, ever, let the manager forget.
- You are reffing a game and you call a foul on the biggest Jamaican guy in the world. He says, with a smile “you call one more foul on me, I’ll break you in half.” Two minutes later he trips a player on the other team. You do what? Depending on your answer, this may have multiple follow up answers.
- You have just taken over a failing facility that somebody else owned. You’ve seen a few games and determined that your refs suck. You have a new adult league starting on Friday night with six games, you have 17 more games on Saturday, and 17 more on Sunday. You call all the refs and tell them you are going to have a referee clinic the preceding Tuesday and another one the preceding Thursday. They will not be allowed to ref any games this weekend if they do not attend at least one of the referee clinics. Nobody shows up for Tuesday. You call all the refs again and remind them that if they don’t show up for Thursday ref clinic, they can’t ref. Nobody shows up for Thursday either. Now what happens? I’m going to help you on this one. The answer has lots of blisters in it.
- On Monday you go down to the bank to sign all the documents to take over the facility in #34. You park in the handicap spot (a clue involving the answer to #34). After you’ve signed everything and get ready to shake the banker’s hand, he says “There’s just one little thing left. The former owner was $150,000 behind on his payments and so somebody has to make those up or this deal isn’t going to happen.” You are too exhausted to hit the banker so you do what next?
- While visiting one of your facilities, you notice, in one of your league standings the number of wins and losses do not match and the number of goals scored does not match with the number of goals given up and the sum total of ties is an odd number. You mention to the manager that this is impossible. If somebody won, somebody lost. If somebody scored, somebody got scored on, if somebody tied, they tied somebody else. Your manager says “Not necessarily.” What bogus excuse for poor math skills does your manager give you? Get creative, he did.
- Despite your solemn oath that you will never play indoor soccer at one of your own facilities again, because it always goes bad, there is a co-ed team in a church league that needs a goalie right now. You agree because, they are a player short, it’s co-ed, and it’s a church league. What could go wrong?
After stopping the first shot and distributing it to your team, a girl on the opposing team comes over and kicks you in the ankle then starts down the field. The ref, facing the other direction, doesn’t see it. After stopping the second shot and throwing the ball to one of your forwards, the same girl comes over and bumps into you. The ref (soon to be unemployed), following the play to the other end of the field, is unaware. The third shot, is a rocket into your crotch. You stop it, and collect the loose ball, but it hurts and you're struggling to stand up. The girl, your nemesis, is laughing and comes over and knees you while you’re trying to get up, then turns to walk away. You only have five seconds to get rid of the ball and you’re at four. You take the ball and bounce it off the back of her head while she’s walking away so you can pick it up again and start the five seconds over. This time the ref is watching. He blows the whistle to call a foul on you, but it doesn’t matter cause the entire bench of the other team is charging at you to kick your butt for bopping a girl with the ball and you have a full scale bench clearing brawl between church teams.
After receiving your red card and being suspended from your own facility you
a. Protest your innocence “like everybody else”
b. Months later erase the red card off the computer so nobody knows.
c. Slink out to your car and duck down in the back seat until the rest of your embarrassed family comes out to join you for the long ride home.
d. Give your solemn oath that you will never, ever, play indoor at one of your own facilities again.
e. All of the above.
- Despite having given your solemn oath (again) to never play at one of your facilities, your brother’s team needs players. You agree to play. Well into the game, a player on the other team boards your brother and knocks him to the ground. The ref gives him a penalty and as he walks by you with his black SDPD shirt on you see an arm go out with a fist on the end of it, connect with this guy’s jaw and he’s out. In the back of your mind you’re saying “SDPD, I think that’s the Andy Granatelli oil additive.” 15 guys wearing SDPD shirts jump on you and while you’re blacking out you marvel at how quickly they responded when you hit one of their guys. When you gain consciousness you
a. Give your solemn oath that you will never, ever, not in a million years play indoor at one of your own facilities again. Really. You mean it this time.
- A bunch of your managers get together and decide to go to Mardi Gras. It’s 4am at your house when the phone rings. It’s one of your managers (male) at Mardi Gras. He says “I love you.” You hear a whole bunch of drunk people, including your daughter, laughing in the background. You respond how?
- You’ve got a new league getting ready to start. One team submits their name as Bye. You know, these guys suck, and have picked that name hoping that a few of their opponents will look at the schedule and see the word Bye, assume there’s no game and not show up and they’ll win by forfeit. You should allow them to keep the name?
- You’re under contract to purchase a building to put an indoor facility in. You pick up your attorney and use the key the seller gave you to do a walk through. You open the door and lock it behind you. A few minutes after you’ve entered the building the door opens and two more guys walk in. You ask them what they are doing and they say they are under contract to purchase the building and are doing a walk through. Before you can respond, a big truck pulls into the parking lot, a guy gets out and uses his key to open the front door. Looks at you and says “I’m under contract to buy this building. What are you all doing in my building.? As it eventually turns out, the seller is a nut job, the owner, but a nut job. There aren’t just three buyers under contract to buy the building, no, that would be too easy. There are seven. What happens now?
- You’re under contract to purchase land to construct an indoor facility. After you’ve spent a bunch of money on your permits some weenie goes out there to do a Phase One hazardous materials test. None were found, but, he found some bones, and they think it’s an Indian burial ground. There’s a bunch of college types with clipboards and those little pencils that attach to your pocket out there checking out the bones and they’ll know something soon. Assuming that’s what it is, because that’s your life story, what next?
- You bought some land to build an indoor facility on. Somewhere between the day you went under contract and the day you actually purchased the property and applied for permits, they changed the rules so that you can’t construct a metal building in your industrial park, and you didn’t find out. That means it’s going to cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars more to put a facility up made out of other materials than metal. You’re fighting it, but you’re losing. It’s starting to look like you’ll have a couple hundred thousand tied up for years to come. Then one day, a guy you know, refers you to somebody he knows, that might be able to help. You go to lunch and the guy says “There are five commissioners. I’m the election chairman for three of the five, which is exactly how many votes you need to change this back to what it used to be. My suggestion is that you give me $5,000. $1,500 for each of their reelection campaigns and $500 for me and we’ll see what happens. What do you do?
I cranked out these 43 in about 43 minutes without even having to think about it. I could probably do a hundred more. This isn’t the easiest job in the world and we’ve had at least three folks that came in to be partners with us that wanted to run their facility and after a week decided it was too much work. Be sure this is what you want to do before you or your investors get hundreds of thousands of dollars deep and can’t get out.