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December 2008 Archive (I of III)


REFEREE UNIFORM

Question:
Thanks again, for the forum this has been. Since my discovery of it a couple weeks ago, I have submitted questions on 3 separate occasions. I hope there's no limit on these.

Here's my question, brought about partially by a previous response regarding a referee covering tattoos. The Administrative handbook states that the referee crew must wear the same length of sleeves, but does not make mention of long sleeved undershirts. Is a referee allowed to wear a long sleeved undershirt (I would assume black would be the default) with a short sleeved jersey? Or are long sleeved undershirts only permitted under long sleeved jerseys? Also, if a referee chooses to wear a long sleeved black shirt (dri-fit style I would assume) under his short sleeved jersey, and the rest of the crew also wears short sleeves, is this acceptable? Thanks.

Answer (December 1, 2008):
Referees should strive for the most professional look possible. Wearing long-sleeved undershirts under a short-sleeved jersey does not meet the criteria for a professional appearance.

However, you might check to see if your local referee association has a rule on this (many do). For example, one local assignor we know of requires that all referees she assigns wear only black undershirts and under no circumstances combine a long-sleeved undershirt with a short-sleeved jersey.


PLAYED ONSIDE?

Question:
There was controversy in a game in the Premier League today where Arsenal's Robin Van Persie was "played onside" when a through ball played by his Arsenal colleague Denilson was diverted to Van Persie by Chelsea's Ashley Cole. The diversion of the ball, although slight, was from a deliberate attempt to play the ball by Cole.

Van Persie was in an offside position when the ball was played by Denilson (and for that matter when Cole touched the ball). The referee in this case ruled that Cole's attempt to play and touching of the ball then played RVP onside.

Now as I've always understood it a player could not be offside from a pass made from an opposing player but in reading the offside rule nowhere do I see mention that the player who passes the ball must be on your own side.

So was Van Persie offisde?

Answer (December 1, 2008):
In brief, yes, van Persie was offside. He was clearly in an offside position when the ball was played to him by Denilson and the deflection of the ball (if indeed it happened) would make no difference in the referee's call.


SPIKE THROW-IN

Question:
Worked a match recently in which a throw-in was made nearly straight down and then rebounded to strike an opponent in the face.

As far as I understand the Laws do not address the throw-in which is executed as a spike throw (nearly straight down and which rebounds directly back up) but there is a mention in the ATR although it is not any more clearly defined.

What is the current perspective as to this type of throw? Also what if this throw rebounds and impacts a player - opponent or team mate in the face or chest area?

Answer (December 1, 2008):
The reason it is not "more clearly defined" is that everyone should "know" what it is -- a ball thrown straight down at the ground. There is, however, a caveat on this: The referee must be sure that this was done deliberately, rather than through an accident or pure lack of skill. If you use that criterion, then you are certain to make the correct decision with regard to a throw that rebounds and impacts a player. I. e., it can range from nothing through delay of the restart to dissent. Usually it is at worst only a simple mistake in not performing the throw-in restart in accordance with the Law.


WHEN IS OFFSIDE?

Question:
Red team is defending an attack by blue team. A red player is clearly in an offside position in the center of the field about 10 yds inside the Blue team's half, but not interfering in play. Suddenly the ball is cleared to the wing and the red team is now attacking. The ball is played to the offending red player who is now in an onside position on the edge of the PA. It is determined that the red player managed to get the ball as efficient as he did because of his original position and the speed at which the ball found him. Assuming the correct call is offside, where is the ball placed, at the edge of the PA or back up near the halfway line where he was offside? If at the edge of the PA, it seems although the red team is penalized, they have still gained an advantage because the ball is starting so much closer to the goal.

Answer (December 1, 2008):
Red team is defending an attack by blue team. A red player is clearly in an offside position in the center of the field about 10 yds inside the Blue team's half, but not interfering in play. Suddenly the ball is cleared to the wing and the red team is now attacking. The ball is played to the offending red player who is now in an onside position on the edge of the PA. It is determined that the red player managed to get the ball as efficient as he did because of his original position and the speed at which the ball found him. Assuming the correct call is offside, where is the ball placed, at the edge of the PA or back up near the halfway line where he was offside? If at the edge of the PA, it seems although the red team is penalized, they have still gained an advantage because the ball is starting so much closer to the goal.


MOVING A BALL ALREADY PLACED FOR A GOAL KICK

Question:
Situation: I am the CR for a U-12B recreational match. I have just awarded a goal kick and the keeper has placed the ball to take the kick. I then stop play for a substitution, as allowed by local rules (I wasn't taking away a quick kick opportunity since the substitution was requested by the keeper's coach). Upon signaling for play to resume, the keeper picks up the ball, and places it in a completely different area of the goal box (still legally placed, though), then takes the kick. After the match, one of my AR's informs me that the ball cannot be re-placed like that and that I should have made the kicker take the kick from the spot where he originally placed it.

Question: I have read LOTG , GTP, and ATR and have been unable to locate anything on this. I have enjoyed working with this other referee many times and have respect for the advice, but I would still like to know where this is drawn from. Have I missed something? Where is there a reference to this?

Note: I do realize that, in some situations, this type of action may be considered as delaying a restart and, therefore, should be sanctioned as such. But, in this situation, I had already stopped the game for a legal substitution and did not see any harm in allowing this (the keeper did not take an excessive amount of time to re-place the ball).

Your wisdom would be appreciated.

Answer (December 1, 2008):
At one time the ball had to be put into play at a goal kick from the side on which it left the field. This requirement was dropped some years ago in the interests of reducing time wasting, and play may now be restarted with the goal kick taken from any spot in the goal area. This was of some help in reducing the time wasting, but clearly not enough. The IFAB (the people who make the Laws of the Game) and FIFA (the people who administer the game worldwide) launched a campaign in 2000 that continued into 2002: Its theme was to eliminate excessive delay from the game. U. S. Soccer's position can be found in the USSF publication "Advice to Referees on the Laws of the Game," where it has been since 2001. Advice 12.28.4 indicates that one reason for cautioning a player for delaying the restart is the act of unnecessarily moving a ball which has already been properly placed on the ground for a goal kick. Clearly the referee will not caution where there is no measurable loss of playing time, such as in the situation you experienced.

Not sure what your local rules of competition say, but the Laws of the Game permit substitution at ANY stoppage of play.


INCLUDING PLAYERS OFF THE FIELD IN OFFSIDE

Question:
The following happened a couple days ago during a competitive adult amateur match. I was lead AR. An attacker A1 held the ball directly in front of me. The second to last defender D1 was charging hard at A1 (and me), but missed the tackle since A1 neatly passed the ball toward the half line. D1, because of his momentum and slick conditions, slid off the field, behind me and out of my field of view.

In a bang-bang play, the ball was then played forward by a second attacker A2 to a third attacker A3 who was running up the field. At the moment of the pass toward the goal, A3 was clearly in front of any other defenders that I could see, and almost in line with me. I could not tell -- because D1 was somewhere behind me now -- whether A3 was in an offside position

Question: How do I decide if this is an offside offense when I am unsure of the position of the off the field defender? Note that because of the speed of play, I did not have time to back up, turn around or otherwise judge the location of D1.

Answer (November 26, 2008):
If you cannot be sure of the position of the defender, then you cannot call offside. You might consider looking to the referee for assistance. (He or she should be aware of where you are most of the time.) If the referee cannot help, then there is doubt. If there is doubt, then there is no offside -- and this applies to both the offside position and the offside infringement.


ROLLED UP JERSEY SLEEVES

Question:
Just looking for clarification of the Jersey Sleeves Rule.

I read the published paper from Nov 4, 2002 suspending the previous provision regarding jersey sleeves.

The reason I ask is that I had an Assessor tell me that I need to make sure all players have sleeves on their jerseys and that they keep them rolled down. Just so that I'm consistent with USSF, has there been anything new on this subject? And what should be the proper stance for referees on this matter?

Answer (November 21, 2008):
We are sure you misunderstood the assessor, because there is no rule that players must keep their sleeves rolled up. No assessor would ever make up anything like that.

The Law requires that jerseys must have sleeves, but if players wear jerseys without sleeves the referee must allow them to play and then include full details in the match report.


U.S. Soccer thanks Jim Allen (National Instructor Staff/National Assessor), assisted by Dan Heldman (National Instructor Staff), for their assistance in providing this service. Direction is provided by Alfred Kleinaitis, Manager of Referee Development and Education, with further assistance from Paul Tamberino, Director of Referee Development; David McKee, National Director of Assessment (assessment matters); and Ulrich Strom, National Instructor and National Assessor (matters in general).

Submit your questions via e-mail to askareferee@ussoccer.org.

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