During a recent U18 girls' match, I was an AR. Blue's attacker was in an offside position about 5 yards past mid field. The ball is played in her direction as she is breaking toward the ball which is played past her by about 10-15 yards. Seeing no other blue players moving toward the ball, I raised the flag for offside. Just as I raised the flag, the attacker stopped going toward the ball, and another blue attacker, clearly not in an offside position breaks toward the ball. The center had not seen my flag yet, so I contemplated dropping the flag, but he noticed it and blew the whistle. I took a lot of grief from the blue team's coach. In the split second it happened, I believed that the attacker had made a play for the ball and that defenders were also making a play toward the ball, so I had made the right decision. Also in that decision is that the second attacker (in the onside position) did not make a play for the ball until after the ball was played. Later, I was thinking that the player in the offside position did not prevent defenders from playing the ball, so I should have held the flag and use the "wait and see" principle". Your input is appreciated.
Answer (October 29, 2009):
The USSF memorandum of March 25, 2009, "confirms that 'interfering with play' cannot be decided unless the attacker in an offside position makes contact with the ball." We would recommend that the assistant referee wait before signaling for offside in such cases. If a player in an offside position is going to be charged with being involved in active play by interfering with play, he has to touch the ball. If during the time he is NOT interfering with play he manages to interfere with an opponent by ACTING (not simply standing) in such a way as to block the path or line of sight of, deceive, or distract an opponent, then he is just as guilty of offside as if he had touched the ball -- but not until that time.
HALFTIME BREAK -- THEIR GAME, NOT OURS
In a recent game, there was an unexpectedly short halftime break and the referee chose to start the second half before some of the players for Team B were on the field. I know that Law 8 says that "all of the players must be in their own half of the field" before a kickoff can take place, so my view would be that a kickoff cannot legally be allowed at this point (although theoretically someone might be cautioned for delaying the resumption of play).
However another referee says that all that is required to allow the kickoff is for seven Team B players to be on the field (including a GK) and that it does not matter if these seven are anywhere near their playing positions. He says that this is true even if Team B had 11 players during the first half and the referee is well aware that they have more than 11 available for the second half.
So my questions:
1. Can a referee legally order a second half kickoff if the other team has only 7 players on the field?
2. Can a referee legally order a second half kickoff if 11 players have entered the pitch but are nowhere near their playing positions (although they are in their own half)?
3. Even if technically legal, is it acceptable/proper for a referee to do either of the above?
Answer (October 29, 2009):
We all need to remember that the players are entitled to a break at halftime. Even if only one player wants the full break time permitted under the rules of the competition, then all players must be given the full amount of time allotted under the rules. It is pretty clear that the referee in your scenario has failed to consider the welfare and safety of the players.
1. Yes, provided that the full time allotted for the halftime break has passed.
2. Yes, with the same caveat.
3. It certainly shows a lack of respect for the players and the game to do what your scenario suggests.
We need to remember that it is THEIR game, not ours.
DISMISSING AN ASSISTANT REFEREE
've never been faced with this issue before in thousands of games with perhaps hundreds of referees.
I was the center referee in a U14 Boys game. During the game, I noticed my AR was substantially away from even with the second to last defender(STLD); even to the point where the STLD would be at midfield, my AR would be even with the defending team's eighteen-yard line.
I ran over during a stop in play and asked what was wrong, whether he could continue, etc. and was told in no uncertain terms that he "was fine and he could see offsides just fine". I told him he needed to stay even with the second to last defender, and he just shrugged his shoulders and dismissed any more of the discussion.
At numerous points during the second half, even after I persistently pointed at him when a signal was necessary and he was out of position (e.g. ball goes over the goal line, he is standing with his feet wider than shoulder length at the eighteen as if stretching), he was never in position. It even got to the point where, if he WOULD signal for a player in an offside position, he would quickly snap the flag up and down and make no further signal. Or he would be chatting with the coach while active play was taking place mere yards from his touchline. He essentially was having a hissing fit on the sidelines for me calling him out for his poor performance, and doing whatever he wanted.
My question: what recourse does a center referee have to deal with a disruptive and possibly subversive Assistant Referee. During the game, after him telling me that he was just fine in seeing offsides from wherever he was, I considered asking him to recuse himself and leave the game. He was THAT disruptive, even to the point where minor mistakes I made (e.g. in signaling the end of the game with my whistle, upon blowing it the first time and holding my hands out, I blew the whistle out of my mouth and was forced to pick it up from the ground to finish the whistle signal - after this), I was in perfect position to witness this AR turn to the coach and mock me
Answer (October 29, 2009):
As stated in Law 6, "In the event of undue interference or improper conduct [by an assistant referee], the referee will relieve an assistant referee of his duties and make a report to the appropriate authorities." You probably should have dismissed the AR at halftime. That way you could have appointed a club AR and take over the duties of the AR for offside.
In addition, considering the behavior of the AR in question, the referee in such a situation could also proceed against the AR under the terms of US Soccer Policy 531-10, Misconduct of a Game Official. The policy is contained in the Referee Administrative Handbook, which can be downloaded from the Instructional Materials section of the referee program pages at www.ussoccer.com.
in high school rules, i remember you can card a coach. but in the laws it says i can only card players. several forums and Q&A say you can caution and dismiss a coach. Where in writing can i find this guidance so i can show the league directors?
Answer (October 29, 2009):
Under the Laws of the Game, no team official may be cautioned or sent off and shown a card. Team officials may be warned regarding their behavior or expelled from the field and its immediate area for irresponsible behavior. This is stated clearly in Law 5 under powers and duties of the referee:
Powers and Duties
* takes disciplinary action against players guilty of cautionable and sending-off offences. He is not obliged to take this action immediately but must do so when the ball next goes out of play
* takes action against team officials who fail to conduct themselves in a responsible manner and may, at his discretion, expel them from the field of play and its immediate surrounds
* provides the appropriate authorities with a match report, which includes information on any disciplinary action taken against players and/or team officials and any other incidents that occurred before, during or after the match
END OF QUOTE
Some competitions make rules that allow coaches or other team officials to be cautioned or sent off and shown the card, but that is counter to the Laws of the Game.
CHEATING REFEREE AS COACH?
I am curious if a coach who is also a referee can lose his referee license or be disciplined if he is caught cheating (playing an illegal player) at a sanctioned event. Also can a person who is a referee lose their referee license or be disciplined if they are caught illegally playing in a sanctioned game?
The situation I have is a referee who is a coach of an U19 girls (recreational) team played his daughter aged 19+, who is a also a referee, in a game at a sanctioned tournament and was caught. Can either or both of them be disciplined as a referee?
Answer (October 28, 2009):
The best plan would be to download from the US Soccer website (www.ussoccer.com) the Referee Administrative Handbook. You will find it on the referee pages, under Instructional Materials. Look in the Handbook for U. S. Soccer Policy 531-10, which deals with Misconduct of Game Officials.
CHICAGO FIRE VS. CHIVAS OCTOBER 10, 2009
In the 70th minute Terry Vaughn leaned towards a Fire player and asked him to play the ball out - to attend to a downed Patrick Nyarko. The Fire player had not noticed his teammate was down. During the stoppage Vaughn issued a yellow card to Braun for unsporting behavior.
Couple questions/comments: the convention of asking player to stop play (by knocking the ball into touch) is a quirk of our game - last night's example seemed to demonstrate the quirkier side. I cannot find the reference from last year but I thought the FA, prior to the beginning of the 2008-2009 season, had asked referees to try to prevent players from knocking the ball out of play and for referees to control the stoppages themselves. I recall thinking, "We'll see how this goes." I really can't say I've seen this tradition go away based on EPL games I've watched. And I'm not suggesting the US follow suit but I do feel this tradition is outdated. Law 5 gives latitude to CR to judge whether a player's injury is such that play should be stopped or not. It's when a referee actually tells a player to play the ball out (an assumption on my part, only having video evidence to make this assertion) that I wonder whether tradition should be maintained at the expense of the referee making a decision, on their own using their common sense.
The card during the stoppage is what really concerns me. Were the two events connected or just a coincidence? Was Braun's card a separate matter from Nyarko's injury? If they were related, why would Vaughn need to ask a player to stop play if he thought a foul occurred that was worthy of a caution? I didn't see Vaughn consult with his AR so I'm left to guessing what transpired.
I'd like to know that actual sequence of events if that's possible.
Answer (October 27, 2009):
1. KICKING THE BALL OUT OF PLAY
Terry Vaughn saw the incident a bit differently from you. He states: "In this situation I did not tell the Fire player to kick the ball out. I saw the Chicago player get fouled in a reckless manner, but the ball popped out to one of his teammates who had numbers up going the other way. If he turns with it goes the other way. I had signaled advantage to the player and told him I was coming back to deal with the Chivas player. He decided on his own to play the ball out of play, so his teammate could get treatment and that is when the caution was given for the reckless foul. Part of the decision in allowing play to continue is that the player did not have a serous injury like a broken bone or injury to the head or neck. That is what took place in this situation."
The information you recall regarding kicking the ball out of play appeared in both the 2008 and 2009 USSF memoranda on the changes in the Laws of the Game:
Dealing with injured players
In view of the differing practices applied in various competitions around the world by the team in possession when the ball remains in play after a player has been injured and the confusion that this can cause, the IFAB wishes to reiterate that Law 5 states that the referee has the power to stop the match if, in his opinion, a player is seriously injured, but he may allow play to continue if the player is, in his opinion, only slightly injured.
Furthermore, the IFAB calls for the football family to unite in denouncing simulation and working to eradicate this scourge from the game in order to assist the referee's identification of serious injuries and, more generally, to uphold the fundamental principles of fair play and preserve the integrity of the game.
USSF Advice to Referees: The above guidelines clearly support the view of the International F.A. Board that the referee's responsibility to distinguish between serious and slight injuries (taking into account the age, skill, and competitive level of the
players) is hampered both by players simulating injuries and by the practice of some teams at some times to stop play on their own initiative by kicking the ball off the field. The Board has strongly emphasized the need for all elements of the soccer community to deal firmly with simulation, but the Board is also suggesting (without, it must be noted, changing any requirement of the Law) that the teams should leave the decision to stop play to the referee instead of exercising it themselves. Although referees should not discourage acts of sportsmanship in situations where a team has taken it upon themselves to stop play and the injury was truly serious, the above instructions also suggest that everyone should now see referees moving more quickly to evaluate injuries and to establish clearly whether play should or should not be stopped so that teams will be less likely to feel a need to take this decision upon themselves.
END OF QUOTE
Reminder to referees
Referees are reminded that Law 5 states that the referee must stop the match if, in his opinion, a player is seriously injured.
USSF Advice to Referees: This statement is intended to reinforce a guideline issued earlier by both the International Board and USSF that the practice of a team kicking the ball off the field to stop play when there is an apparent injury on the field detracts from the responsibility of the referee under Law 5 to assess the injury and to stop play only if, in the opinion of the referee, the injury is serious. Referees are therefore advised to be seen quickly and publicly considering the status of any player seeming to be injured and clearly deciding whether or not the situation merits a stoppage of play. The referee must control this decision as much as possible.
END OF QUOTE
2. THE CARD GIVEN DURING THE STOPPAGE
At exactly 69:00, Braun fouls Nyarko which leads to the injury. The referee clearly uses his arms to signal advantage and then follows it up with a confirmation of the player committing the foul. The "confirmation" ensures the referee does not forget the player who commits the misconduct because, as we know, it could take a long time for the next stoppage in play to occur and this "confirmation" helps cement the player's number in the referee's mind.
ERROR IN SENDING OFF A PLAYER
In a state sanctioned soccer match, a referee ejected a player after showing the player a yellow card for a tackle (yellow card was deserved), followed by a red card. The player attempted to ask the ref what the Red card was for, but the Ref would not talk to the player and just told the player to leave the field. The player was sent off and 9 minutes later when the ref was near the bench, the player again asked the ref why he was sent off when he never had a first yellow. The ref THEN looked into his book and realized he had made a mistake as the player never received the first yellow card. He apologized and allowed the player to return into the game.
What is the FIFA laws for this kind of mistake? Can the game be contested?
Answer (October 27, 2009):
This excerpt from the Advice to Referees on the Laws of the Game applies to your question (Advice 5.13):
If the referee discovers after play has restarted that the wrong player was cautioned (yellow card) or sent off (red card), the display of the card cannot be changed and must be reported. The referee must provide in the match report all details relevant to the mistake.
The failure of the referee to include in the match report accurately and fully all cards displayed during play and not timely rescinded is a serious breach of the referee's responsibilities. In addition, the referee may not record cards as shown which have not been shown, although the facts of the player's behavior may be included in the match report.
Referees may not decide to rescind a caution if the player who has already been charged with misconduct apologizes.
END OF QUOTE
In your situation, the referee erred by allowing the player to return. Life is hard and the referee owes the player both an apology and appropriate remarks to that effect in the match report.
Attacking player shoots the balls and defending goalie makes save. Goalie prepares to punt ball but referee stops clock (high school game) because of an injured attacking player near the defending goalie. There was no foul called.
What is the proper restart? A punt, drop ball or an Indirect Free Kick?
Answer (October 26, 2009):
Under the Laws of the Game the correct restart would be a dropped ball at the place where the ball was when the referee stopped play. Under high school rules, the correct restart is an indirect free kick for the defending team (the one in clear possession of the ball) from the place where the ball was when the referee stopped play.
My research has located two previous answers on this site that are relevant to my question, which is about kicking the ball and GK possession:
1. Sept 20, 2006
2. Feb 12, 2004
Your 2004 answer regarding GK control talked of control by pinning the ball "to the ground or some other surface." You listed a few "other surfaces", but did not include the body of an opponent who is lying on the ground.
1.If an attacker has slid or fallen near the goal, and the ball is resting on the back of his thighs or the small of his back, can the GK pin (one hand) and control the ball in that situation?
2.If the attacker attempts to "donkey kick" the ball into the goal, what would your response or action be?
3.Would it differ based on if you thought the attacker was aware or unaware of the GK's hand on the ball?
4.In an unrelated case where the GK obtains possession by pinning the ball with a hand (let's say to the ground),is GK possession "instantaneous"? If the GK reaches out a hand and successfully pins the ball while an attacker's foot is already swinging forward, would you still go with possession? From your answer in 2006, I gather the answer is yes.
Answer (October 26, 2009):
Rather than speculate on some possibly dubious situations, let us simply give you the Federation's guidance, as expressed in the Advice to Referees on the Laws of the Game (2009):
12.16 GOALKEEPER POSSESSION OF THE BALL
The goalkeeper is considered to be in control of the ball when the ball is held with both hands, held by trapping the ball between one hand and any surface (e.g., the ground, a goalpost, the goalkeeper's body), or holding the ball in the outstretched open palm. Once established, possession is maintained, when the ball is held as described above, while bouncing the ball on the ground or throwing it into the air. Possession is given up if, after throwing the ball into the air, it is allowed to hit the ground. For purposes of determining goalkeeper possession, the "handling" includes contact with any part of the goalkeeper's arm from the fingertips to the shoulder.
While the ball is in the possession of the goalkeeper, it may not be challenged for or played by an opponent in any manner. An opponent who attempts to challenge for a ball in the possession of the goalkeeper may be considered to have committed a direct free kick foul. However, a ball which is only being controlled by the goalkeeper using means other than the hands is open to otherwise legal challenges by an opponent. The referee should consider the age and skill level of the players in evaluating goalkeeper possession and err on the side of safety.
END OF QUOTE
With that as guidance, you can determine for yourself what the correct answers would be. We must emphasize that the final sentence of the quote is the single most important consideration to follow.
I was watching a U13 (I think) girls game prior to my sons game. I am a grade 8 referee myself, but not on this night.
The center blew a whistle for a hand ball in which a girl was blocking her chest ares with her arms tight to her body. In my opinion, if her arms were not there, her body would have blocked the ball anyway. I thought it was a questionable call that I would not have made myself. This, however, has nothing to do with my question.
Since the hand ball was within the penalty area, a penalty kick ensued. A diving keeper blocked the ball, but she got it in control just prior to a rushing defender kicking it. Mind you that the game was in it's final minutes when this happened and the save preserved three points. When the keeper picked up the ball, one of her teammates came over and gave her a hug. The center immediately blew the whistle and pointed at the spot. He called the teammate for a hand ball. This time the kick was good and the game ended in a tie.
Was the hug of a keeper who has control of the ball a handball?
Answer (October 26, 2009):
We can only say that the referee on the night would appear not to have been ON his game. Both calls may have been in error. Please review the following material and then, if there were clear errors by the referee, you may judge for yourself.
Protecting oneself and deliberate handling are covered in the USSF publication "Advice to Referees on the Laws of the Game." In the current (2009) edition you will find the following, which is applicable to both the situations you described:
12.9 DELIBERATE HANDLING
The offense known as "handling the ball" involves deliberate contact with the ball by a player's hand or arm (including fingertips, upper arm, or outer shoulder). "Deliberate contact" means that the player could have avoided the touch but chose not to, that the player's arms were not in a normal playing position at the time, or that the player deliberately continued an initially accidental contact for the purpose of gaining an unfair advantage. Moving hands or arms instinctively to protect the body when suddenly faced with a fast approaching ball does not constitute deliberate contact unless there is subsequent action to direct the ball once contact is made. Likewise, placing hands or arms to protect the body at a free kick or similar restart is not likely to produce an infringement unless there is subsequent action to direct or control the ball. The fact that a player may benefit from the ball contacting the hand does not transform the otherwise accidental event into an infringement. A player infringes the Law regarding handling the ball even if direct contact is avoided by holding something in the hand (clothing, shinguard, etc.).
NOTE: In most cases in the Laws of the Game, the words "touch," "play," and "make contact with" mean the same thing. This is not true in the case of deliberate handling, where the touch, play, or contact by the offending player must be planned and deliberate.
12.10 RULE OF THUMB FOR "HANDLING"
The rule of thumb for referees is that it is handling if the player plays the ball, but not handling if the ball plays the player. The referee should punish only deliberate handling of the ball, meaning only those actions when the player (and not the goalkeeper within the 'keeper's own penalty area) strikes or propels the ball with the hand or arm (shoulder to tip of fingers).
END OF QUOTE
If it turns out that the decisions you saw were likely in violation of the Laws and of the guidance given in the Advice to Referees, you should consider reporting the matter to the State Director of Instruction, so that the referee can be counseled. This would mean including date, place, and time of the game in which they occurred.
MANAGEMENT OF FREE KICKS
As a spectator, coach, player and referee, one of my pet peeves is what I see as poor management of free kicks in the so-called "Danger Zone", where referees in the competitions where I operate seem to immediately make all such free kicks ceremonial, denying dangerous quick free kick attacking opportunities for the offended team.
As a referee, I strive to be the absolutely best that I can be, so I spend hours each week studying all the official and unofficial material I can get my hands on. But looking at the February 10, 2009 directive on Free Kick and Restart Management, I walk away confused on this subject. The directive accurately quotes FIFA on this subject: "If a player decides to take a free kick and an opponent who is less than 10 yards from the ball intercepts it, the referee must allow play to continue", and offers the clarifying point "If the kick is taken, it has not been prevented from being taken and play must be allowed to continue."
But later it states "Intercepts the QFK after the kick is taken: The referee may exercise discretion depending upon whether he/she felt the defender deliberately prevented the ball from being put into play."
The only way I have come up with to reconcile this in my mind apparent inconsistency within the directive is to say that, in the event of an intercepted kick, an infraction has been committed if the defender, previous to the actual kick, prevented the kick from being taken in some even slightly other direction, pace, angle, etc., at some point beforehand, and that the fact of the interception may rightly lead the referee to draw that conclusion (in particular based on the skill level of the players involved).
Does it sound as though I have this right?
Answer (October 20, 2009):
We hope this response from Brian Hall, the USSF Manager of Assessment and Training, will help you.
Thank you for "striving to be the absolutely best that you can be" and for being a student of the game. Your dedication is very much appreciated.
Now, in terms of your question, there are two important terms: "Deliberately prevents" and "intercepts." Both are used in the Laws of the Game and have been used in the 2009 Directive "Free Kick and Restart Management" for this purpose.
"Deliberately prevents" is an action that must result in a caution. This is "moving/lunging/advancing toward the ball."
"Intercepts" is a situation in which the attacking team knows the defender is in the area and still puts the ball into play (attacker assumes the risk of putting the ball into play). The defender does NOT move/lunge/advance toward the ball.
A situation that may result in a caution for intercepting is the "statue" that is mentioned in the Directive. A player may move within several feet of the ball/restart and NOT "deliberately prevent" because he does not lunge at the ball with his foot but the referee judges his actions are cautionable because the player's actions were, in general terms, preventing the ball from being put into play quickly. For example, a player who has been warned on prior occasions from running directly in front of the ball (thereby becoming a "statue") to slow the restart. These involve situations in which the referee has, most likely, tried preventative measures and the player(s) have not responded because they are using it as an unfair "tactic."
The Directive also uses the example of a player running from behind the ball and makes contact thus denying the attacking team the chance to put the ball into play appropriately. This is not moving/lunging/advancing toward the ball but, nevertheless, cautionable.
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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