For the last several years we've been playing "family soccer" on a more or less regular basis with a group of families from the neighborhood. Everyone plays - 5 year olds, 50 year olds - everyone. I bought us pinneys (I'm not playing shirts and skins - even in May) and cones to mark the edges of the fields, and pack the first aid kit (added after trying to cope with a bloody nose without even a tissue in anyone's pocket!); the kids call around to announce time and field location. We are quite a contrast to the organized games we often share quarters with. No refs, no uniforms (other than the orange pinneys), very assorted sizes and no one on the sidelines shooting photos or drinking coffee.
The kids' official motto is "show no mercy" and they don't, and I've often had the bruises to show for it. Crash and Barnacle Boy are both now taller than I am, and outweigh me - and it may be time to rethink their approach to the game. In a battle for the ball this weekend, I was perhaps a bit more aggressive than I should have been and got side-swiped by a 13 yr old. Something in my knee went pop, but after a couple of minutes, it didn't hurt, so I went on to play. Alas, when I got home I realized that my knee made an audible crunching sound as I went up the stairs and it was swelling. Uh-oh.
Final verdict? Torn ligament in the ankle, tear in the MCL on one knee, torn cartilage in both knees. No more soccer for a while. Non est misericordia.
The photo is of the Boy versus our backyard neighbor.