PRESENCE OF THE GOALKEEPER ON THE FIELD
Simple question, do you have to have a goalkeeper to start a game? Or can you use the minimum seven players as on field players.
Why I ask, while watching a game last week, the keeper walked off the field (with permission by the ref) and the team refused to put a keeper in as there was 10 minutes to go. The referee refused to start the match until a keeper was put in. Is this correct?
Answer (July 1, 2009):
Simple answer: Yes, each team must have a designated goalkeeper on the field of play for the game to begin. However, that does not require that the goalkeeper be on the field the entire time nor present for every REstart.
While the team is required to have a goalkeeper, there is no requirement that that goalkeeper be on the field nor able to participate in play. (We could point to an October 2004 incident in an English Premier League match between Manchester City and Bolton Wanderers in which the referee allowed the goalkeeper to lie on the ground unattended for well over a minute; the goalkeeper, who had fallen without any contact from either opponent or teammate, finally got up. Luckily for him and his team no goal was scored.)
The Law also allows the goalkeeper (or any other player) to leave the field during the course of play and if, after the restart (typically a throw-in), the goalkeeper has not returned and a goal is scored, life is hard.
While off the field with the permission of the referee, the goalkeeper (like any other player) is still a player for purposes of determining the number of players on the team (the 'keeper in your scenario remains legally allowed to be on the field, though in this case he requires the referee's permission to return). We would consider this as comparable to the decision process the referee must go through if a team has only seven players and one leaves the field: If the departure is very temporary and in the course of play (no referee permission required to re-enter), play continues. If the departure is temporary and the player needs the permission of the referee to return, the referee should not restart play until the player has returned with permission. If the player (whether goalkeeper or not) is not ready to return when the restart is able to be taken, why should the game wait for this player? That is not fair to the other team. In the case of a goalkeeper who is not willing to return within a reasonable amount of time, the team should then either substitute in a new goalkeeper or the game would be abandoned and a full report submitted to the competition authority.
"FACTUAL DECISION" AND "TECHNICAL ERROR"
I was wondering if you knew the official definitions of the refereeing notions: "referee's factual decision" and "referee's technical error" as per the examples below:
"the factual decision taken by the referee has to be accepted, even if it is wrong." http://www.uefa.com/uefa/news/kind=2/newsid=151.html
"taking into consideration that the referee in the match in question had indeed committed a technical error."
Answer (July 1, 2009):
The Laws of the Game define "the factual decision" in this way (Law 5):
Decisions of the Referee
The decisions of the referee regarding facts connected with play, including whether or not a goal is scored and the result of the match, are final.
The referee may only change a decision on realizing that it is incorrect or, at his discretion, on the advice of an assistant referee, provided that he has not restarted play or terminated the match.
"Facts connected with play shall include whether a goal is scored or not and the result of the match."
As pointed out in the UEFA decision, it makes no difference if the decision was correct or wrong, it was the decision and must therefore be respected as such.
A technical error occurs when the referee recognizes an infringement of the Laws but restarts the game in the wrong way (as in your example of the penalty kick in World Cup qualifying game). Such a decision is correctable by the competition authority.
I was reading through the May 2009 Archive (I of IV) about the goalkeeper injury. This brought to mind a situation that I witnessed at my son's High School match. I am a recreational referee, and realize that the high schools here in Texas play under UIL rules, not the LOTG. Nevertheless, the situation seems clear-cut. During the match an attacking forward was 1 v 1 with our goalkeeper. The attacker was playing the ball a yard or two in front of him and as he approached the goal box, the goalkeeper reached down to pick-up the ball. The attacker continued through, while the goalkeeper had his hands on the ball, and kicked or kneed the goalkeeper in the head, causing both players to go down. The contact was sufficiently hard to knock the goalkeeper unconscious and he was totally immobile. A defender was able to clear the ball in touch. The AR was parallel to the incident and had a clear view, but the CR was about a yard out of the center circle (where he spent the majority of the match.) The CR allowed the throw-in and the opposing team finally put the ball in touch so the goalkeeper (who literally had not moved at all the entire time) could be attended to. The CR had never made any made a call, never took any disciplinary action, and never even stopped play to address what was obviously a very seriously injured player, in large part because failed to be in a position to follow the active play.
1. Should this not have been a foul for kicking?
2. Should it not have warranted Sending Off for Serious Foul Play (excessive force), or at least a Caution for Unsporting Behavior (reckless)
3. Should not have play been stopped immediately when it was obvious the goalkeeper was unconscious (he was actually unconscious for well over a minute. When he went to the hospital, had a serious concussion and was out for a month.)
I believe I know the answers, but would like to get your take and how culpable is the CR for not being in position to see and the AR for not making him aware of the situation.
Answer (July 1, 2009):
If all was precisely as you describe it, then the following answers apply to your numbered questions.
2. Yes, serious foul play.
The referee is expected to cover as much of the field as possible to manage a game properly. Yes, the referee should have been close enough to play to see this incident and deal with it properly. In addition, the AR, given the poor positioning of the referee, should have passed the information to the referee. That point concerns us almost more than the referee's dereliction of duty.
We recommend that this incident be reported to the authority that governs high school soccer in your area. The report should include date, place, time, teams, and a full description of the incident.
MINIMUM AGE OF REFEREE
Can I get clarification for an ongoing question
Assuming a game is with U15 Players, and the referee is a Grade 8
What is the minimum age requirement for the Center Referee and AR's?
Where can I find this information in the rules book?
Answer (June 30, 2009):
The USSF Referee Administrative Handbook tells us this: There is no minimum age requirement for referees and assistant referees. State associations may set the minimum ages for games played under their jurisdiction.
A rule of thumb is that the referee should be at least one year older than the players he or she referees, but it is not a requirement and you will not find it in any rule book that we are aware of.
COACH'S RIGHT TO SPEAK WITH THE REFEREE
During a referee meeting we had a lengthy discussion about the right of a coach to address, discuss with and question the head referee during a game.
In the opinion of the referee/coach (one party) the coach should be addressed and "catered" to by the head referee when he has an objection. In his logic the reasoning for this is, that FIFA has "invented" the fourth referee and USSF gives the advice (at the higher levels) that the fourth referee is there to be addressed by the coaches if they have any problems. This serves also avoiding any additional aggravation of the coach, if his objections are not taken serious. If there is no fourth referee than the coach has the right to address the referee, discuss and make his objections known. The referee can - if he does not want to discuss- tell the coach to be silent.
In the opinion of the referee / instructor (the other party) the rules and the administrative handbook is very clear about the fact that the coach does not have the right to address, discuss and question with the head referee (or the AR) his concerns, especially during the game. The danger of intimidation and gamesmanship from the side of the coach is big (and with this the "not re-registering" of a lot of young referees). Therefore the only course of action from a referee toward a coach that is questioning, commenting or trying to discuss can be -if the request is friendly- to answer friendly that his calls are not open for discussion. If it gets to or starts at a harder point of discussion, the points warning, caution and send off are in order towards the coach. No discussion at any time during the game.
The factor starting the discussion was a game on the same day where the referee/coach had a player that in his opinion was fouled by the goalkeeper. The referee saw this different and did not call a foul. The player got injured or injured himself. When the coach attended on the field to the injured player and the referee was standing by, he asked him "How can this not be a foul".
The referee/instructor sees in this a clear violation of the rules by the coach; the referee/coach sees this as his right, especially as the "referee was one with experience and he can defend himself".
Can you please comment? Thank you very much.
Answer (June 30, 2009):
SIGNALING A PENALTY KICK
What is the proper procedure for a referee to signal that it is OK for a player to take a penalty kick? The Laws of the Game say, "After the players have taken positions in accordance with this Law, the referee signals for the penalty kick to be taken," but they don't specify how the referee is to signal. It has always been my understanding that the referee is use his/her whistle to signal that it is OK for a player to take the penalty kick. However, in a game earlier this month, no referee's whistle preceded the a penalty kick. When I subsequently asked the referee, he said that a recent FIFA (or maybe US Soccer) referee advisory indicated that no whistle was required. He said that after ascertaining that all players were in the proper position, he told the player who was taking the penalty kick to proceed when he (the player) was ready. I was unaware of that rule, and I thought that the goalkeeper was somewhat taken by surprise - although it probably wouldn't have mattered because the penalty kick was very well struck. In any event, what is the rule?
Answer (June 29, 2009):
Some referees like to make up their own rules as they go along. Others are quite inventive and also make up their own sources of information. Such is the case with your referee.
Here is what it says in the Laws of the Game, under Interpretations of the Laws of the Game and Guidance for Referees (back of the book):
//snipped; not applicable here//
Use of whistle
The whistle is needed to:
* start play (1st, 2nd half), after a goal
* stop play
- for a free kick or penalty kick
- if match is suspended or abandoned
- when a period of play has ended due to the expiration of time
* restart play at
- free kicks when the wall is ordered back the appropriate distance
- penalty kicks
* restart play after it has been stopped due to:
- the issue of a yellow or red card for misconduct
The whistle is NOT needed
* to stop play for:
- a goal kick, corner kick or throw-in
- a goal
* to restart play from
- a free kick, goal kick, corner kick, throw-in
The referee should NEVER advise a player at a restart to "Take the kick (or throw) when you are ready'"! What a can of worms that would open up.
Last weekend I was the CR for a U12G game at a local tournament and had a situation that I had never seen before. Early in the first half. Red player has the ball and is attacking. Blue defender is trying to stay between the red attacker and the goal.
The odd thing was that both the attacker and the defender had interlaced their fingers to get a grip on the other player. The attacker appeared to be trying to hold off the defender and the defender appeared to trying to move the attacker away from the goal.
I stopped play, warned both girls, and restarted with a dropped ball (closer to the red player that had had possession). My theory was that both girls were equally guilty of holding.
What should the call and the restart have been? Would your answer change if this happened in the blue defenders penalty area?
Answer (June 28, 2009):
Unless there is some way of determining which of these "lovebirds" started holding first, then your decision might be correct. However, a viable alternative to the dropped ball would be to wait until the outcome of the "mutual holding" becomes clear. The dropped ball is rarely a good solution for offsetting fouls.
Most important of all, please remember that in no case should the referee make a different call if this were to occur in the penalty area. We call a foul the same in all situations, no matter where it occurs on the field.
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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