This weekend I was going to Laval to referee the biggest-ever Quebec judo provincial championships. One could drive, but it’s far, and I really don’t want to. But, enough taking-the-taxi-to-Pearson. I had bought a ticket from Toronto City Centre at 17:20, which is generously timed with respect to class in Waterloo ending at 13:00.
Although there is free standby, the earlier flight from City Centre leaves at 15:30, and it is about half an hour faster to get to Pearson than to City Centre. There was no way I would make it to Cite Centre on time using public transit.
I took the GO bus from campus at 12:52, just missed the 14:00 bus to Pearson, and caught the proposed 14:25 connection getting to Pearson at 14:50. I tried to talk Air Canada into letting me onto the 16:00 flight to Montreal, but, as I said, I had booked from Toronto City Centre. I’d have to pay $113. This was not worth $113 to me. I got on the UP Express and get a delayed flight notification, and then a further delayed flight notification. Also, the two previous YTZ-YUL flights had been cancelled that day (which I had pointed out to them at Pearson without success). I took the UP Express back to Pearson (the guy at Union said “yeah just don’t tap anywhere and you’ll be charged the maximum fare for a one-way”) and I said “hey, you’re having a bad YTZ day, your flight is delayed 80 minutes,” and they put me on the 17:00 plane to Montreal. (Then the OPUS machines at YUL were all broken, but I bought a bus ticket at the metro.)
I had noticed that at the Coupe Gadbois in Montreal in January there were a lot of newer referees. The provincial championships had more of a spectrum of referees across the grades. So I guess the senior referees are opting out of the lower-level Quebec tournaments. It was good to be refereeing at this tournament. It also, as I’d expect of a Quebec tournament, ran flawlessly.
My only complaint was that it was inside an indoor tennis venue. I get that it’s hard to find a large enough venue. The issue with this venue was abysmal air quality: design capacity is, say, 50. Actual attendance was about 1000. CO2 got up to 4500ppm on Saturday until I got them to open some doors, at which point it dropped to 3100. They opened the doors proactively on Sunday and CO2 only got up to about 2500. I didn’t want a repeat of Abbotsford and wore my mask when not out on the mat refereeing. (Also, a photographer pointed out that the lighting was terrible too. I guess hockey rinks are better?)
Eric was chief referee here and also organized dinner at Chez Lionel Laval, which was an upscale restaurant located at the tournament hotel. There was a pretty intense $60 four-course menu for groups. It was a bit pricey, but having organized dinner for 10 in Kingston, I appreciate that it’s difficult to organize a dinner for 25. I’m also, of course, not in a position where the money is a concern. There are tradeoffs everywhere.