I was recently officiating a U8 game in a rec league when I encountered a few problems related to field markings. The biggest problem was that there were no penalty box markings on the field (but there were goal box markings). I received several complaints from coaches when goal kicks were being taken because (they said) players from the other team were too close to the ball while the kick was being taken. I am aware that fifa law requires opponents to remain outside the penalty box during the taking of a goal kick, however, due to the lack of a penalty box, I was uncertain what a fair distance would be. Another issue was when a goal keeper picked up the ball outside of the goal box, the coach of the opposing team thought that it should be a hand ball. The goal box however, was much too small an area to be the keeper's handling area. The rules for the league were identical to Fifa law when it came to this situation, so I was confused on what course of action to take. In the end, In the end, I explained to the coaches that I would allow the keeper to handle the ball apx. 5 yards outside of the goal box, and I would place players from the opposing team 5 yards outside of the goal box during the taking of goal kicks. Please let me know if this was the appropriate action to take when I had a lack of information, or if I should have done something different.
Answer (October 8, 2009):
If the game was being played in accordance with the USYSA rules for small-sided soccer, then the field was actually marked correctly (at least in regard to the central question raised here). If your game was a full-sided game, then there is no doubt that problems would have arisen, as the U8 field you describe should not be used for full-sided games.
This situation should be covered in the rules of the competition, in this case the rec league. Most competitions, unless they are held at a neutral field, advise that the home team is responsible for proper preparation of the field. If the home team failed in its duty and you could not arrange for the markings to be correct, you had a choice: Inform the teams that nothing could be done and that they would have to take your decisions as fact -- which the Law tells us they are -- or abandon the game and report full details to the competition authority.
We suggest you check with your assignor for the rules of the competition before accepting any games you might not be prepared for. And it is the assignor's job to ensure that you are in fact up to date on the rules for any game to which he or she assigns you.
WHAT CONSTITUTES A DEFENDER "PLAYING" THE BALL?
HS Referee's meeting tonight this spirited debate occurred.
Offensive Player A shot on goal, Offense Player B is in the offside position (not in the play), The shot is saved by the Goalkeeper who attempts to deflect the ball over the bar, the goalkeeper deflects the ball but the ball rebounds off the crossbar to you guessed it Player B in the offside position, who puts it in the goal.
Is the player offside or does the goal stand? The debate surrounded DEFLECTION OR POSSESSION? THAT IS THE QUESTION referring to a similar scenario response date (October 29, 2007). Those who stated they thought the goal should stand believe the goalkeeper was Playing the ball" in these circumstances means that the defender (in this case the goalkeeper) possessed and controlled the ball the others thought it should fall under not being possessed and controlled (in other words a deflection). Thanks, we all appreciate your assistance with this matter.
Answer (October 6, 2009):
The U. S. Soccer Federation sees no reason to change its answer of October 29, 2007:
"Deflections by any opposing player do not affect the status of a player in an offside position; the attacking team's player must be called offside if he or she becomes involved in play (as defined in Law 11). Unsuccessfully 'making a play' for the ball does not establish possession. Nor, for that matter, does successfully 'making a play' for the ball if it then deflects to the player in the offside position who becomes involved in play.
"Note that there are differences here between 'being involved in play,' 'playing the ball,' and 'making a play' for the ball. (As noted above, see Law 11 for involvement in play.) 'Playing the ball' in these circumstances means that the defender (in this case the goalkeeper) possessed and controlled the ball. However, if the defender possessed and controlled the ball badly, it's still 'making a play,' but if it wasn't possessed and controlled, it wasn't played in the sense you suggested in your scenario.
"A rule: Being able to use the ball subsequent to contact equals possession; deflection is not possession."
To this we might add only that it takes seeing the action to make the call correctly, because, as you discovered, the very words used to describe the event are biased toward one or the other possibility.
BALL IN PLAY VS. SCORING POSITION
Situation: Tournament play, U-11 girls. An IFK is awarded due to the keeper picking up a passback (questionable in the first place as it was a mis-kick in the U-11 age group that went spiraling backwards off a weird bounce, and did not appear deliberate IMHO).
Anyway...as a result, the IFK is about 7 yds out and directly in front of the goal. The CR makes it a ceremonial (of his own accord, but in this age group, ok)and puts the defensive team on the goal line before allowing restart. Meanwhile the kicking team has one player standing with her foot on top of the ball, clearly planning to do a "touch restart" (which is no longer legal of course).
The CR blows the whistle for play, the offensive player does indeed simply touch the ball with the bottom of her foot, and then the second offensive player strikes the ball. The keeper comes up with the ball and saves the goal.
Now, just after the keeper catches the ball the CR blows the whistle.
He correctly asserts that the IFK cannot be restarted with a top touch ubt must instead be "kicked and move". Therefore - he allows the offensive team a second opportunity at the IFK (one assumes out of thinking that the ball was not put in play). This time they restart correctly, and they score.
Happily this was not a game deciding goal, but it remains on my mind.
The result of allowing the re-take seems wholly outside of the Spirit of the Game, the offense should not receive a second opportunity from 4 yds out because they botched the restart by not obeying the LOTG.
However...the LOTG do say that the ball must be "kicked and move" in order to be in play.
Could one allow that the first player's light touch did not put the ball in play since it never moved, but that the striking player did then put the ball in play? (becoming the first touch in considering IFK goal scoring) Seems a bit of a stretch and could be unsporting if done intentionally to confuse the defense.
If I were in the CR spot I should hope I would have noticed the obvious intent to do a touch restart and caught this before it developed and became problematic. IMHO the CR blew a second opportunity to avoid this by not whistling hard and immediately when the tap was made. His whistle was late, not coming until the ball was struck and actually in the keeper's possession...only a second since the kick was so close...but well after the error.
Per the LOTG it seems to me that the CR did what he must by allowing the re-take. At the same time, it seems at odds with the Spirit of the Game. Is this one that could go either way based on the opinion of the CR?
I think if I had made all those errors and got stuck in this spot I would have been inclined to allow the defensive team the possession.
The offense had fair opporunity. If another IFK came up I would have been diligent in informing the team of the correct mode of restart.
Would I be wrong?
In your esteemed opinions...what would be the proper response if one was caught in a situation like this?
Answer (October 6, 2009):
In our esteemed opinions, the correct referee action would have been to allow play to continue. Both you and the referee have jumped to the wrong conclusion, confusing putting the ball into play and a situation in which a goal can be scored. The Law requires, as you state, only that a ball is kicked and moved to be in play. That happened. The ball was tapped, which means nothing in a restart, but it was then kicked by a player directly to the goalkeeper. A second touch of the ball -- by any player on either team -- is required for a goal to be scored, but not for the ball to be in play.
ROSTER CHANGES AFTER SUBMISSION TO THE REFEREE
Here is something that happened yesterday. u-16 game I check everyone in..cards and ID all in order... Teams walk onto the field..for the 2PM start time. I check to my left and the see keeper has a unique uniform and count his teammates in front and there are only 9. I look on the opponents side and see that the keeper is dressed correctly and there are 10 in front. I call over to the manager as a courtesy to say you can add one more. and he did... at the half I went over to the manager who had one light...and said as a referee I was under no obligation to advise you that you were accidentally one light... the referee is just concerned about at least 7, but not more than 11 one of which must be a keeper... This youth league is not operating under FIFA rules...
However, --- got an interesting question.. if this was a match under FIFA rules, say England vs. South Africa.. 2010..WC. Law 3 indicates..a list of the subs must be given to the Ref... -- also- does -the ref gets a list of the starting 11...? I assume the Ref checks passports and player credentials in the locker room before the games....
Now, if during the warm ups.. a starting player pulls a hamstring.. may the coach amend the list, by placing this starter on the sub list..and moving the sub to the starting list? Or, does FIFA say...tough luck... at the start of the game.. you need to use a sub since your starter got injured... May the list be amended at the last second for this contingency?
Answer (October 5, 2009):
In brief, yes. The Interpretations of the Laws of the Game and Guidelines for Referees (2009/2010) tell us: "Players and Substitutes Sent Off A player who has been sent off before the kick-off may be replaced only by one of the named substitutes.
"A named substitute who has been sent off, either before the kick-off or after play has started, may not be replaced."
This also applies to injured players.
A full answer depends on what the rules of the competition specify as a time limit for submitting the roster to the referee before the kick-off and whether there is any allowance in the rules for changes after that time.
Goalkeeper on ground.
Offensive Player on ground on goal line, attempts to kick ball, kicks goalkeeper in face. Continues to kick and kicks ball into goal.
Goal or Foul?
U9 game, the AR said he did not see goalkeeper get kicked in face. She was crying (u9) and had a mark and was removed from game due to injury. Referee counted goal.
My interpretation of Law 12 - Foul and Direct Free Kick -
if a player commits any of the following offenses in a manner considered by the referee to be careless, reckless..etc.
- Kicks or attempts to kick an opponent
Answer (October 5, 2009):
As you have reasoned, this player has committed the foul of kicking an opponent. While players are permitted to play the ball while on the ground, they may not place any participant (including themselves) in danger and may certainly not foul an opponent without facing punishment.
Correct referee action: Send-off for violent conduct, followed by a direct free kick for the goalkeeper's team. This applies even for U9s.
What complicates the decision is that apparently neither the referee (or so it seems) nor the AR saw the incident. What were they doing? Clearly not watching the game very carefully. This issue essentially resolves itself into the extent to which a referee can visit a penalty (direct free kick/penalty kick, yellow/red card) upon a player for something that the referee has not seen but may suspect.
Moral of the story: Pay full attention to what is happening on the field, even at the U9 level.
PLAYER SENT OFF AT HALFTIME CANNOT BE REPLACED
3:00 minutes before the end of the first half a player gets a yellow card. The referee blows his whistle ending the first half. The player that got the yellow card a few minutes earlier starts to argue with the referee and uses foul language. The referee shows him a second yellow card and then the red card. The player is ejected from the game. At the start of the second half the team from the ejected player starts the second half with 11 players and not short. The referees all agreed that the game period had ended and that he was not a field player at the time of the ejection.
Was that the correct call?
Answer (October 5, 2009):
Coach, we recommend that referees, coaches, players, and parents all read the USSF publication "Advice to Referees on the Laws of the Game." The 2009/2010 edition is available for download from the USSF website. It contains the following information directly applicable to your question -- and establishes clearly that the player who receives a second caution during a break in the game must be sent off for that second caution and may not be replaced:
5.17 DISCIPLINARY PROCEDURES BEFORE, DURING, AND AFTER THE GAME
Misconduct committed by a player or a substitute prior to the start of the match, during the match, and during breaks between playing periods is subject to a formal caution or a send-off, as appropriate. Yellow and red cards, which are now mandatory indications of cautions and send-offs, may be shown only for misconduct committed by players, substitutes, or substituted players during a match. "During a match" includes:
(a) the period of time immediately prior to the start of play during which players and substitutes are physically on the field warming up, stretching, or otherwise preparing for the match;
(b) any periods in which play is temporarily stopped;
(c) half time or similar breaks in play;
(d) required overtime periods;
(e) kicks from the penalty mark if this procedure is used in case a winner must be determined.
(f) the period of time immediately following the end of play during which the players and substitutes are physically on the field but in the process of exiting.
Cautions issued prior to the start of the game or during breaks between periods are recorded and they are counted for purposes of sending a player from the field for receiving a second caution during the match. To prevent misunderstandings, the referee should inform officials of both teams before the first period of play begins of any cautions or send-offs occurring prior to the start of the match.
If a player or substitute is cautioned or dismissed for misconduct which has occurred during a break or suspension of play, the card must be shown on the field before play resumes.
If a player is dismissed before the match begins, the player may be replaced by a named substitute, but the team is not allowed to add any names to its roster and its number of permissible substitutions is not reduced.
The referee may send off and show the red card for violent conduct to a player, substitute, or substituted player after the game has been restarted if the assistant referee had signaled the offense before the restart.
Players or substitutes who have been sent off may not remain in the team area, but must be removed from the environs of the field. If this is not practical because of the age or condition of the player, the team officials are responsible for the behavior of the player or substitute.
There can be no "temporary expulsion" of players who have been cautioned, nor may teams be forced to substitute for a player who has been cautioned.
Postgame: Any misconduct committed by players or substitutes after the field has been cleared must be described in the game report and reported to the competition authority. The referee may display cards as long as he or she remains on the field of play after the game is over. Referees are advised to avoid remaining in the area of the field unnecessarily. (However, see Advice 5.13.)
END OF QUOTE
What your question does not include is the statement in the scenario that the player used foul language. In that case the referee's action should have been a DIRECT red card, not a second yellow. What is not stated directly in the quotation from the Advice, but is still relevant to the question, is that any player who was a "player," i. e., recognized by the referee as being on the field as a player, at the end of the first half is still a player of record until officially substituted (assuming Law 3 substitution rules) which means among other things that the referee must be notified, must give permission, and the player must step onto the field with that permission. Absent any of these steps in the substitution process, a coach cannot declare someone no longer a player.
GETTING THE REQUIRED DISTANCE
At a free kick when managing the wall for a ceremonial free kick, should the referee pace off the 10 yds or just determine where the 10 yds are and set the wall there? I had been told that the best way was to just determine where 10 yds is and set the wall there (if players were pushing the issue 10 yds could grow). Had a young ref who went to regionals and was told that he should pace off the 10 yds.
Could not find this addressed in the ussf procedures guide.
Answer (October 5, 2009):
We had thought this would have been covered in the entry-level referee course.
There are numerous ways to get the ten yards. Each referee must determine which works best for the particular situation. Here are some of the ways to get the correct minimum distance at a free kick -- if the kicking team does not make it quite clear that it wants to take a quick free kick.
1. Learn how far ten yards is -- radius of the center circle, radius of the penalty arc -- and keep it in your mind, asking the players to move back the distance you have determined is correct.
2. Be the "first brick in the wall," getting there (without walking it off) and instructing the players to be no nearer than your position to the ball.
Under no circumstances may the referee deliberately require the defending team to retire more than the mandatory minimum distance of ten yards. However, ten yards is where the referee says it is (in his or her judgment).
REFEREE WITH HEARING PROBLEMS
My 15 year old son has been a soccer referee for many years. He hasn't noticed this before, but last night came home after reffing two games and noticed his ears felt blocked and his hearing was fuzzy. He is still experiencing ear discomfort, and is supposed to ref many games at a tournament this weekend.
I am very concerned that he sustained some noise induced ear damage. As a parent I've been concerned for years with the loud whistle blowing at all games/sports. A ref, however is exposed to these loud whistle blasts continuously and it is closer to his ears than all the players!
He does not want to wear earplugs as he says none of the other referees do. He also says it will interfere with his reffing, and his ability to hear properly. I'm much more concerned that this part-time job could cause permanent hearing damage/loss.
My question is: what kind of ear protection do referees who are concerned about noise induced damage from whistles use? I hope I don't hear that the majority of referees don't wear ear protection. It is definitely something all referees should be aware of and concerned with.
Answer (October 5, 2009):
In our considerable and lengthy experience in soccer, we are unaware of any other referees who suffer from ear problems caused by exposure to their own or others' whistles nor any who wear ear protection devices -- though they may well exist. Your son sounds like a referee we would like to see continue in the game. We suggest that you take this matter up with an otologist or other ENT-qualified physician.
PERSONAL SAFETY TRUMPS ANY RESTART
While the center Ref was setting up for a free kick and trying to control arguing players on the field after a red card was issued, I was the AR and dealing with the entire side lines as a result from the red card. I had tried to get the center Refs attention because the coach was approaching me in a manor that was fairly threatening and due to the overwhelming number of participants I couldn't help but feel a bit unsafe. As I tried to explain my point of view to the coach he continued to scream over my explanation at the top of his lungs and plowed towards me on several occasions while several of the other assitant coaches literally held him back. During this time I was trying to signal to the Center Ref that it was time for this coach to be ejected. As I continued signaling, the Center was still preparing to set up the free kick from the red card. As the coaches and players were moving away from me on my side line I continued to demand that everyone was to clear my side of the halfline in an attempt to control the situation from getting further out of hand. At this time I stepped on to the pitch, rolled up my flag and held it between my legs with my hand patting my pocket. The Center Ref was still not responding, I started to yell his name and whistle out loud as I was a bit frustrated that he wasn't hearing me. This all happened during an approximate window of about 70- 75 secs. During this time I realized I was out of luck in getting his attention and found my self well out of position to judge the free kick at the goal line. Even some of the players which were on the field had been distracted by the commotion from the side lines coach. The Center Ref blew his whistle and the free kick was taken, a goal was scored. The Center Ref then responded to what was going on and met me midway on the field. He had asked me what happened and I said that the coach was acting out in a threatening manor towards me and asked if he could take him out of the game, he did, issuing a red card (coach was ejected). Then he asked if I was on the field during the kick, I told him yes, he asked me what I thought about the goal, if it should stand or not. I then gave my opinion but left it up to him to decide.
" since I was on the field near the 40 yard line and not in a position to clarify that the keeper had not been fouled or distracted in any way during the free kick, I didn't feel it would be fair to the defending players being that the players on the field may have been distracted by their coaches actions on the side lines". Of course, I did realize I was in a bad position and that I should have waited before stepping on to the field, but under the circumstances at the time of the incident and the way it played out, I was sort of reacting to feeling threatened and needed help in dealing with a very hostile situation. I've reffed more then a few soccer matches over the past 6 years up to this game and I have dealt with a good share of yelling, complaining and such but this was not something that any ref should have to deal with. My feeling was to withdraw my self from the game or deal with it in the best way I could at the time.
Over all, the Center Ref made the final call in re-doing the free kick and denying the goal.
Answer (October 2, 2009):
First of all, your safety is paramount -- certainly more important that any restart -- and so you should have immediately moved into the field right up to the referee to make him aware of the threats against a member of the officiating team. Second, no referee should be so focused on what is going on in his immediate area that he is oblivious to near riotous uproars taking place along the sideline centered around one of the members of his officiating team. Third, what was the other AR doing in all this, picking daisies?
What happened with the free kick was, is, and will always be irrelevant to (a) the occurrence of general disorder and/or (b) danger directed at an official.
KICKING THE BALL WITH TWO FEET
In a recent game in England, player Diamenti (of Aston Villa?) strode to take a penalty kick and placed his right foot near the ball when it skidded at the ball. His left foot struck the ball and it appeared that the ball was hit by two feet into the goal. The referee awarded the goal.
On play back it was seen that Diamenti's left foot (his kicking foot) impacted the ball first and in the briefest period of time possible off his slipped right foot. (Naturally, Diamenti ended up on his back.)
Without replays in slow motion the referee was as puzzled as the fans as to what happened.
Is it permitted to take a penalty kick with two feet striking the ball at the same instant, and why not?
Answer (October 1, 2009):
According to the Interpretations of the Laws of the Game and Guidelines for Referees:
LAW 13 - FREE KICKS
A free kick can be taken by lifting the ball with a foot or both feet simultaneously.
In the context of this question, I am the coach; but I am also a referee.
There was a miscommunication on the sideline while coaching my daughter's U10 team and I accidently sent 1 extra player onto the field. (I know I screwed up.)
The referee started the second half, and after several of the parents started yelling, noticed the extra person after play had already started. At which time, he randomly picked a player and told her to leave the field. When I called a different girl, he told me he was making the decision who to remove. At no time was play stopped and no cards were shown.
The ATR states that play is to stop on the discovery and the extra player is to be removed. However, I question whether the referee has the authority to determine which player is the extra one. Should the referee, after stopping play, ask the coach to remove a player or can he/she decide who needs to leave the pitch?
Answer (September 29, 2009):
First let us praise the referee for exercising a bit of good management skill: He had the wit to remove a player and not punish her, you, and your team for your screw-up. As you know, he could easily have cautioned her for entering the field of play without his permission.
However, he does NOT necessarily have the right to determine which player must leave. Only the team can do that, unless the competition is playing strictly under the Laws of the Game, in which case Law 3 will have required the team to have a roster and the referee must go by what is on the roster. If there is a roster and if they are using Law 3 substitution rules, then it is indeed the referee who determines who is the "extra" player based on his record of who was a valid player at the end of the first half as modified by any valid substitutions he recorded prior to the start of the second half. Failing either to have a roster or to be using Law 3 substitution rules, then clearly it is the coach who should declare who is the "extra" player.
So, while being thankful for the referee's first bit of good sense, let the lapse as to who must leave the field go until the next stoppage and then substitute correctly (if that is permitted in your rules of competition).
Answer (September 15, 2009):
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Answer (September 15, 2009):
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).
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