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Questions and Answers

Report All Serious Injuries
Q. A player was struck in the face by a hard shot.  The referee stopped play to evaluate the injury.  The match was over within five minutes after play was restarted.  After the game, one of the coaches of that team asked the referee to make a note of the injury on the game card and/or to complete a game report in order to record the event for insurance.  The player had surgery for a torn retina and missed two weeks of school and a longer period from other activities.  Is there an official policy regarding referee responsibilities in situations like this?

A. The referee must note any serious injuries on the game report, no matter what the level of play.

Common Sense Management of the Game
Q. During a challenge between blue 8 and white 9 at midfield, white 9 simulates a dive in an attempt to draw a foul.  Blue 8 wins the ball and proceeds to goal.  The referee applies the advantage clause.  Blue 8 shoots on goal and the goalie collects the ball.  The referee now stops play and runs back up the field to issue a caution to white 9 for diving.  While the referee is issuing the caution, the keeper, who is still holding the ball, kicks at blue 8.  The assistant referee raises the flag.  There is a conference between the referee and the assistant referee.  What should the referee do?

A. The restart should be an indirect free kick from the place where the original infringement occurred.

The referee should not have stopped the game to run back up field to punish non-dangerous misconduct at that moment.  It would have been better to wait until the ball went out of play (for whatever reason) and then punish the misconduct.

The goalkeeper must be set off for violent conduct and shown the red card.  This could have been prevented by not stopping play to run back up the field.  The intelligent referee will keep play moving along whenever possible.  A busy player doesn’t have as much time to get into trouble as the idle player.

Unsporting behavior at a penalty kick
Q. During a penalty kick, the defending players all yelled in an unsportsmanlike manner just as the opposing player was about to kick the ball, thereby distracting that player.  The ball did not go in.  What should the call be?  If it is unsporting and every player was involved, who should be cautioned and what should the restart be?  Should the player attempting the kick be allowed another chance?

A. Follow the instructions in Law 14:  Allow the kick to be taken.  If it enters the goal, score the goal.  If the ball does not enter the goal, retake the penalty kick.  For game management purposes, this is not a situation in which you would simply warn the opposing player(s).  Therefore, do not retake the kick until you have cautioned at least one of the players on the opposing team for unsporting behavior and shown the yellow card.  It is your choice as to which player(s) to caution, but it might be wise to select a player who has not previously been cautioned.