The Weekly Soccer Referee Blog – Volume 9 Issue 25 – Ball Focused

June 18, 2017

The Weekly Soccer Referee Blog
Sharpening Referee Knowledge and Judgment, One Week at a Time
Volume 9, Issue 25, June 18, 2017

Forward this to a Fellow Soccer Ref!

Please feel free to forward this Blog to your fellow soccer officials or tell them about it.

The purpose of this Blog is so we can all learn from each other’s experience and by doing so, avoid mistakes, make more consistent calls, and do a better job. I don’t have to make any of this up – this is what happens on the pitch.

Quote of the Week

“You don’t add Stoppage Time on B Team Games!”

From a coach today, on a game that had better play than recent State Finals in High School, when the referee correctly added time lost due to stoppages as required by the Laws of the Game.

This Week’s Question – Ball Focused

On a recent U14 Girls game…

Things are progressing well, with play well-above the level.  Good passes, few fouls to speak of, and nothing beyond careless.

You see B10 is going to take a shot, after foot-dribbling the ball around A23.  With A23 in hot pursuit, B10 goes to the left corner of Team A’s penalty area, and with A23 at her side with a legal challenge, uses her left (outside foot) to move the ball forward and away from A23.

Since her weak side is open, she falls to the ground to the left.  The shot heads in towards the goal, and you don’t see A23’s arm move (clear look, good angle).

You Make the Call:

What is the call?
What is the restart?

Last Week’s Question – Catch / Header

On a recent Regional High School game…

During the game, fouls have been careless, with nothing out of the ordinary.

This play develops as a long forward pass beyond Team B forward and Team A defense. Player B4 is chasing the ball with Team A defense following as the ball gets to the keeper.

As the Team A Keeper grabs the ball chest high, B4 attempts to head the ball, colliding with the Team A Keeper. AR2 has a good look at this play.

You Make the Call:

What is the call?
What is the restart?

What You Said:

Referee 1:

DFK for team A, caution for B4. AR2 should be flagging this foul as AR2 had a good look at it and AR2 should be communicating with CR for the card to B4.

Referee 2:

These are the reasons the whole crew has to stay on top of the game.

If, in your judgment the attacker was truly going for the ball and it was just a matter of two players challenging for the ball then we have nothing.

A quick look at the AR can confirm or deny this thought.

Each player has a right to go for the ball.

Watch the eye’s of the players, have you had any issues before, how long was the time span in between the goalie catching it and the attacker attempting to head it.

If you feel it was late, then penalize accordingly.

The Answer:

Once the Keeper has the ball, they have possession.  Even if it’s one finger.

You have to look at the play.  What did the player know.  If they were looking to play the keeper, (which almost has to be the case here), it needs to be penalized.

In this case, B4 threw caution to the wind, and tried to head the ball once it was in the goalkeeper’s possession.

So, decision time: Was this Reckless or With Excessive Force?  You’re at one of the two here – deliberate contact with the keeper in this situation warrants one or the other.

From what was described, I would advocate that a Caution to B4 is warranted at the minimum.  Direct free kick coming Out is the restart.

Now, the other side of the story.  This is the second game this happened.  However, remember, new game, new day.  All you do is respond to this as a new caution.  That doesn’t mean you can’t have a few words with the instigator.  If you do, choose them wisely.  This has to be stopped.

This is a free service.  No advertising is solicited; no “donations” are requested.

 

The Weekly Soccer Referee Blog – Volume 9 Issue 24 – Catch / Header

June 12, 2017

The Weekly Soccer Referee Blog
Sharpening Referee Knowledge and Judgment, One Week at a Time
Volume 9, Issue 24, June 11, 2017

Forward this to a Fellow Soccer Ref!

Please feel free to forward this Blog to your fellow soccer officials or tell them about it.

The purpose of this Blog is so we can all learn from each other’s experience and by doing so, avoid mistakes, make more consistent calls, and do a better job. I don’t have to make any of this up – this is what happens on the pitch.

Quote of the Week

“Why aren’t the referees calling all the pushing???”

From one of “the experts” watching a well-played game, where players were properly and legally charging each other, with their arms at their sides.

This Week’s Question – Catch / Header

On a recent Regional High School game…

During the game, fouls have been careless, with nothing out of the ordinary.

This play develops as a long forward pass beyond Team B forward and Team A defense. Player B4 is chasing the ball with Team A defense following as the ball gets to the keeper.

As the Team A Keeper grabs the ball chest high, B4 attempts to head the ball, colliding with the Team A Keeper. AR2 has a good look at this play.

You Make the Call:

What is the call?
What is the restart?

Last Week’s Question – Aw, Come On!

On a recent Regional High School game…

A blow out is in progress.  The score is Team A 7, Team B 0, and the coach for Team A has started to allow his subs to play with 10 minutes left in the first half.

You see B4 bringing the ball up the field, and you see player A16 starting to pull at her arm and use an arm bar to slow down B4. As B4 turns slowly towards the goal, you see A16’s tugs start to really slow her down, and now A30 and A4 have caught up.

You Make the Call:

What is the call?
What is the restart?

What You Said:

Referee 1:

I have a game that has been pretty much decided, so my focus switches a little to make sure I have a safe game and I whistle the foul for the grab. it is obvious that A does not need to use this tactic and if you don’t call it a already frustrated B team may start to retaliate.

Referee 2:

Pretty clear holding here.

Call the foul and go with the DFK.

Referee 3:

With a one sided game you need to be prepared for the obvious and not so obvious especially with subs in and in the first half.

You can’t let it get out of hand. The grabbing and tugging may be little at first and maybe A verbal call out would suffice but more tugging occurs to allow teammates to come in and disrupt the play Blow the whistle and award a DFK to team B. If necessary, a possible yellow to team A.

Referee 4:

Foul on A16 and the direct kick would be from the spot where A16’s tugs really slowed B4 down. If this location is in the penalty box then the kick will be a penalty kick.

Referee 5:

First, hold the whistle. Seeing an obvious tactical foul, raise both arms and yell “Advantage”.

Let B4 finish her play. If she manages to continue and score a goal, award the goal and yellow card A16. If she loses the ball the advantage was lost, blow the whistle, award a PK or DFK at the spot of the original foul, and again yellow card A16.

The hold was an obvious tactical foul to prevent a goal, and must be carded. It will also send a message to the A team that tactical fouls will not be tolerated, regardless of the score.

You might also have a DOGSO situation here; that would call for a red card. The play situation does not give us enough information to identify that.

Referee 6:

Direct Free Kick for B, assuming no advantage. The hold has risen above “trifling” because it has had an impact on play.

Referee 7:

Whistle foul – DFK for B for holding – yellow card to A16 for unsporting conduct (obviously playing the opponent rather than playing the ball).

Referee 8:

Wait a second or two to see if advantage materializes, if not… blow the whistle. A16 is guilty of an illegal challenge and possibly holding. Depending on the temperature of the match this could be a caution but in most cases, this is just an illegal challenge. Restart is a DFK for team B.

The Answer:

Per the Rules of the game, using an arm in this manner is in fact, Holding (something that the spectators for the life of me, can’t understand.)

So, declare “Advantage” and monitor – if B4 loses the ball or if the other defenders are able to arrive by A16’s delaying tactic, blow the whistle and bring back the restart to where you declared the now-lost Advantage.

Restart with a Direct Free Kick.

Now, how do you get in position to see this?  This wasn’t subtle, but you have to maneuver to get an angle on this.  If you are flat to the play or 20 yards back in trail, you may struggle to see this foul since A16’s shoulder was in contact with B4.  A16 just lifted her forearm to restrict B4, and since it’s now hidden by the collective bodies, it’s not obvious unless you have your hustle on, and go look for it.

Don’t allow your guard to drop just because it’s a blowout.  Work the game you have as if it’s the only game in the world today. For those players, it really was the only game in the world for them, and their last game of the season. They deserve your best.

This is a free service.  No advertising is solicited; no “donations” are requested.

The Weekly Soccer Referee Blog – Volume 9 Issue 23 – Aw, Come On!

June 4, 2017

The Weekly Soccer Referee Blog
Sharpening Referee Knowledge and Judgment, One Week at a Time
Volume 9, Issue 23, June 4, 2017

Forward this to a Fellow Soccer Ref!

Please feel free to forward this Blog to your fellow soccer officials or tell them about it.

The purpose of this Blog is so we can all learn from each other’s experience and by doing so, avoid mistakes, make more consistent calls, and do a better job. I don’t have to make any of this up – this is what happens on the pitch.

Quote of the Week

“That’s not a foul – Call it both ways!”

From a coach who was riding the referee team all game like a wet jersey, carping about calls he thought his team should or should not have received.

This Week’s Question – Aw, Come On!

On a recent Regional High School game…

A blow out is in progress.  The score is Team A 7, Team B 0, and the coach for Team A has started to allow his subs to play with 10 minutes left in the first half.

You see B4 bringing the ball up the field, and you see player A16 starting to pull at her arm and use an arm bar to slow down B4. As B4 turns slowly towards the goal, you see A16’s tugs start to really slow her down, and now A30 and A4 have caught up.

You Make the Call:

What is the call?
What is the restart?

Last Week’s Question – High Tackle

On a recent Sectional High School game…

Two IHSA teams are going at it, each of which trying to change the current score of 0 to 0 and advance. Physical play is the norm.

You see A30 with the ball, moving towards the mid field line.  You then see B25 come in and tackle the ball away from A30.

AR2 raises his flag, and when you make eye contact, gives it a wiggle and points towards A’s direction for the restart.  You make a bee line for AR2, who informs you the tackle was a foul as B25’s leg made contact with A30 high on the leg, before the ball.

You Make the Call:

What is the call?
What is the restart?

What You Said:

Referee 1:

That’s what you have ARs for; to see things you may not have.

So honor his call and restart with the DFK.

If you don’t, you risk losing his services, and may wind up all alone when you need him.

Referee 2:

The AR and CR are part of a team and go with the call by the AR as a foul on B25 with a direct kick from the spot of the foul.

Eye contact with the AR was made and the AR indicated the foul and direction of play so unless the CR seen something different he should have probably avoided running over to the AR as now some may wonder who is calling the game, the AR or the CR.

Referee 3:

My first thought would be why didn’t I see it; however I have to trust my AR.

DFK for the offense.

Ask my AR if in their opinion it was reckless.

Referee 4:

My AR has called the foul, I have blown the whistle. I now have two choices: Go with my AR’s call (the easy choice) or figure out why I disagree with my AR and do a drop ball (the hard choice.)

In most cases, I go with my AR, not through them under the bus. The question doesn’t say if I blew the whistle or not if I have not blown the whistle and there is no advantage: blow the whistle, bring the play back. If the whistle has been blown there can not be an advantage anyway. The AR saw an illegal challenge, I make the call. Restart is a DFK for team A.

Referee 5:

Support the AR and give the call.

He/she has made an entirely plausible call and the benefits of enforcing it (team officiating) are greater than the detriment of waving it off and restarting with a dropped ball (loss of credibility).

If you disagree with that call, this is a good one to discuss at halftime or post game. This is a safe spot on the field to call a tighter game and clean up the physical play a bit.

As an AR, I should be thinking, “Did I allow an advantage to play out if there was one? Also, my center had to get an explanation from me; am I sure I saw that right? Maybe I’m calling this sideline tighter that he/she would like.” A thumbs-up from the center would help me feel better about a good call here if we’re in agreement.

Referee 6:

It’s a foul against Team B as you need to support your AR. Hopefully, your AR has been learning your style of calls and this fits within those parameters. Next discussion is since the foul was high on the leg, does there need to be a caution applied. If this is the first potential foul beyond careless, then maybe a talking to player B25 will suffice, if not then caution to hopefully prevent escalation.

Restart: DFK for Team A.

The Answer:

What is the definition of a Legal Tackle?

The tackling player gets the ball first.  There are no nefarious moves (e.g., a trailing leg is used to trap the opponent, and then turn and take them to the ground.).

Players can fall during a legal tackle.

Now, let’s look at facts.  The AR saw something he felt was a foul.  He raised his flag.  The player was contacted before the ball.  Thus, not a legal tackle.

The reason you couldn’t see it was the foul occurred between you and your AR, and due to the three ref system, the AR got the better look.

If you were in position to see the foul, you wouldn’t be looking at AR2 – you’d be looking the wrong way, and would have been missing a good chunk of the game.

So, go with the AR’s call.  If you have a second, run over and ask quietly what they saw. Then get on with the restart.  Otherwise, ask at the interval, and make sure you are on the same page.

That’s why there are three of you – take advantage of the teamwork provided by your AR, and the game will go better.

Now, what if you think YOU had the better look in this case?  (It’s hard to imagine how that could be, but let’s say you did think that.) As the Center, you can always waive down the AR’s flag.

The procedure otherwise is still the same – discuss it at the interval (hey, I thought X, what did you see?) and get on the same page.

Referee Teamwork – it’s critical to make sure we get the most out of the Three Ref System.

This is a free service.  No advertising is solicited; no “donations” are requested.

The Weekly Soccer Referee Blog – Volume 9 Issue 22 – High Tackle

May 28, 2017

The Weekly Soccer Referee Blog
Sharpening Referee Knowledge and Judgment, One Week at a Time

Volume 9, Issue 22, May 28, 2017

Forward this to a Fellow Soccer Ref!

Please feel free to forward this Blog to your fellow soccer officials or tell them about it.

The purpose of this Blog is so we can all learn from each other’s experience and by doing so, avoid mistakes, make more consistent calls, and do a better job. I don’t have to make any of this up – this is what happens on the pitch.

Quote of the Week

“Thank you – Sorry!”

From a coach who was riding the referee team all game like a wet jersey, carping about calls he thought his team should or should not have received.  The referee spoke with this coach twice during the game.

This Week’s Question – High Tackle

On a recent Sectional High School game…

Two IHSA teams are going at it, each of which trying to change the current score of 0 to 0 and advance. Physical play is the norm.

You see A30 with the ball, moving towards the mid field line.  You then see B25 come in and tackle the ball away from A30.

AR2 raises his flag, and when you make eye contact, gives it a wiggle and points towards A’s direction for the restart.  You make a bee line for AR2, who informs you the tackle was a foul as B25’s leg made contact with A30 high on the leg, before the ball.

You Make the Call:

What is the call?
What is the restart?

Last Week’s Question – Charge!

On a recent Regional Final High School game…

Two IHSA teams are going at it, each of which trying to change the current score of 0 to 0 and advance. Fairly aggressive play is the norm.

You see B3 with the ball, coming out of their defensive end.  You then see A5 come in, shoulder to shoulder with B3, and charge B3 fairly off the ball.

B3 goes to ground as A5 turns the ball, and moves back towards the Team B goal with the ball.

The experts are screaming about all the “pushing going on.”

You Make the Call:

What is the call?
What is the restart?

What You Said:

Referee 1:

No call keep playing. A shoulder to shoulder charge is legal as long as a player doesn’t come in from an angle and uses the shoulder to intently push the other player off their path.

Referee 2:

Quote – ” You then see A5 come in, shoulder to shoulder with B3, and charge B3 fairly off the ball.” Enough said SHOULDER TO SHOULDER FAIR CHARGE. no foul no call, let the experts voice their un- biased opinion.

Referee 3:

If in your judgment it was a legal charge “oh well” no foul keep playing.  As an official, you have to decide if it was done fairly. No hip checking, no excessive shoulder blast.

Perhaps we can pass out little “referee” brochures with stick figures representing players showing what they can do!

Better yet, pass out brochures with the IHSA.org website so they can become an official!

Referee 4:

Successful fair charge. No foul. Stuff happens. It’s a contact game; but fair contact.

Referee 5:

The tone of the game has already been set. The game has been ‘relatively aggressive’ throughout. I see a fair (and legal) shoulder to shoulder challenge, Then a player falls to the ground. So what? A player falling down doesn’t necessarily mean there has been a foul committed.

Soccer is a full contact sport. (If you want a sport for weenies, play American Football: They wear pads…)

Nothing to call here. I might say so (loudly) “Nothing there, keep playing” and we keep playing.

The Answer:

Two non-calls in a row.  This must be a trend.

If I could get a nickel for every expert on the sideline who is too lazy to become an official, but thinks that because they have watched 10 games, they are an expert, I’d probably be able to retire.

The definition of a “Fair Charge” is in Rule 12, Section 4 Charging, Article 1:

“An allowable fair charge is where players make shoulder-to-shoulder contact in an upright position, within playing distance of the ball, have at least one foot on the ground and their arms close to their body.”

This is further supported by the Definition on Charging, which states:

“An act by a defensive player employing body contact to cause an offensive player to lose or give up possession of the ball.  A fair charge must have all the elements present which are set down in the rules.  An Unfair Charge has one or more of those elements absent.”

Hopefully, this rule review makes this more clear.  It’s a non-call.

The Weekly Soccer Referee Blog – Volume 9 Issue 21 – Charge!

May 21, 2017

The Weekly Soccer Referee Blog
Sharpening Referee Knowledge and Judgment, One Week at a Time

Volume 9, Issue 21, May 21, 2017

Forward this to a Fellow Soccer Ref!

Please feel free to forward this Blog to your fellow soccer officials or tell them about it.

The purpose of this Blog is so we can all learn from each other’s experience and by doing so, avoid mistakes, make more consistent calls, and do a better job. I don’t have to make any of this up – this is what happens on the pitch.

Quote of the Week

“Homer.”

From a parent on the sidelines at a recent IHSA regional Final game, where their team (which came with no subs) was being beaten by another team of equal strength with lots of subs after around 100 minutes of play.

None of the referees lived closer than 30 miles away, of course.  Jerk!  It can’t be that their team doesn’t have bench strength , endurance, or talent – it has to be the referees “throwing the game.”

This Week’s Question – Charge!

On a recent Regional Final High School game…

Two IHSA teams are going at it, each of which trying to change the current score of 0 to 0 and advance. Fairly aggressive play is the norm.

You see B3 with the ball, coming out of their defensive end.  You then see A5 come in, shoulder to shoulder with B3, and charge B3 fairly off the ball.

B3 goes to ground as A5 turns the ball, and moves back towards the Team B goal with the ball.

The experts are screaming about all the “pushing going on.”

You Make the Call:

What is the call?
What is the restart?

Last Week’s Question – Who Dun What?

On a recent High School game…

Two IHSA teams are battling it out for nothing more than pride at this point, since the year end playoff berths for the regionals have already been announced.

You see Player A30 making a drive towards the goal, when B31 runs right into the side of A30.

B31 is lighter than A30, and bounces off A30, with B31 going to ground while A30 continues on.  You didn’t see A30 do anything – no elbow, no knee, B31 ran into her and bounced off.

The “experts” are screaming for a foul by the way.

You Make the Call:

What is the call?
What is the restart?

What You Said:

Referee 1:

The experts shall continue screaming! no foul as there was nothing illegal done by either player!

It’s like two players both tripping over a ball, everyone wants a foul against the opponents.

Referee 2:

An easy no call. The “experts” are always going to call a foul where one isn’t. As long as A30 did not deviate from her path to force the contact then keep on playing.

The Answer:

Here we have a player from the offense, who is just plain strong. It isn’t a foul to be strong.

No elbows were thrown.  No knees were introduced.  A30 didn’t even break stride.

So, no call.  Allow play to continue.  Had A30 done something other than run forward with the ball, it would be something to consider stopping play for.  There is nothing present in this case.

Back to the Past – Other Comments on Train Wreck

We had a few more thoughts on “Train Wreck” and is my practice, I’m sharing them for the sake of exploring the opinions:

Re: Referee 5’s answer, another official noted that Referee 5 intended to leave the keeper on.  If you call on support, the Keeper Must Go Off – Sorry!

This is per Rule 3, Section 3, Article 2.b.1 and 2.  If you stop the clock, the player and the keeper both have to leave.

This came in and disagreed with the answer provided:

Referee:

I am sorry, but this is terrible advice. The only reason you would stop play here is if you believe this is a concussion or a very serious injury.

By your same faulty logic of players kicking the ball at the goalie (what else are they supposed to do?), why wouldn’t the keeper just lay down after having made a tough save? Or if they are out of position, why don’t they pull up lame with a cramp? These are all as disadvantageous as your scenario above but I wouldn’t stop play in any of the cases unless there was contact with the head.

Further, you say only a few seconds have passed, not that the ball had been played back out or reset or any other scenario which shows that a new “phase” of play has started. Allow the play to continue, allow the shot, and when that portion of active play is over, then tend to the keeper.

As to the rest of your advice, if you are stopping play here, you better know perfectly well where the contact occurred, as you will have one angry coach. The laws specify that each team must have a goalkeeper distinguished on the field.

At no point in your scenario is this not the case, so scratch that from your answer. As to fair or not, you may think it is not fair for a goal to be score in this situation; but is it not fair to the team who did NOTHING wrong (per your description) to be denied the chance they created because the keeper needs to catch their breath? The same goes for your faulty logic of “targeting” a kick at the keeper.

The spirit of the game demands that the referee act neutrally towards both teams. If the keeper is truly seriously injured, stop play. If the keeper has simply put him or herself in a bad position, we are not there to “equalize” the playing field.

Editor’s Response:

I appreciate the response – it provides a good counterpoint and several points that are worthy of consideration as to other potential downsides.

However, the fact remains that we have an injury on the field, and this is under NFHS rules, not USSF.  NFHS demands that safety come first.  With that said, few of us are medical practitioners, and most of us are ill-equipped to make a call as to whether an injury is “serious” or not.  All the Rules say (in Rule 9, Section 2, Drop Ball, Article 1.c) is “following a temporary suspension of play for an injury.”  There is no further definition provided.

On the other hand, a better way to look at this may be to do as one referee put it, think like a lawyer – stop play and address the issue.

Here are some examples that I came up with on what could be “non-foul” contact:

  1. The keeper and player both make a play for the ball, upright, and collide.
  2. The keeper and player both make a play for the ball, both get ball, and both go over the ball, landing hard.

With that said, I’ll offer this to consider: If the keeper is always slow to get up, you have a different situation.  If not, I’d suggest stopping play, checking with the keeper, and if warranted, calling on the coach or the trainer or both to address their distress.  I stand by my answer, and am grateful for the challenge.

This is a free service.  No advertising is solicited; no “donations” are requested.

 

The Weekly Soccer Referee Blog – Volume 9 Issue 20 – Who Dun What?

May 14, 2017

The Weekly Soccer Referee Blog

Sharpening Referee Knowledge and Judgment, One Week at a Time

Volume 9, Issue 20, May 14, 2017

Forward this to a Fellow Soccer Ref!

Please feel free to forward this Blog to your fellow soccer officials or tell them about it.

The purpose of this Blog is so we can all learn from each other’s experience and by doing so, avoid mistakes, make more consistent calls, and do a better job. I don’t have to make any of this up – this is what happens on the pitch.

Quote of the Week

“HANDBALL.”

From parents at a recent non-conference IHSA game, when a ball was kicked into an opponent’s hand, and they had no chance to move their hand, and their hand didn’t move towards the ball.

This Week’s Question – Who Dun What?

On a recent High School game…

Two IHSA teams are battling it out for nothing more than pride at this point, since the year end playoff berths for the regionals have already been announced.

You see Player A30 making a drive towards the goal, when B31 runs right into the side of A30.

B31 is lighter than A30, and bounces off A30, with B31 going to ground while A30 continues on.  You didn’t see A30 do anything – no elbow, no knee, B31 ran into her and bounced off.

The “experts” are screaming for a foul by the way.

You Make the Call:

What is the call?

What is the restart?

Last Week’s Question – Train Wreck!

On a recent High School game…

Two competitive IHSA women’s teams fighting it out, with Team A having an edge in tactics and skill, but with the game still at 0-0 in second half

During second half, a non-foul contact is made between Goalkeeper B00 and Player A31 in the Team B Penalty Area

Due to the contact, both A31 and B00 are on the ground as result.

B00 is still on the ground, having only advanced rising from ground to being on all fours, with her head still hanging down, 4-5 seconds play continues near and in the Team B penalty area, which results in A7 taking a shot and the ball going into the Team B Goal.

You Make the Call:

What is the call?

What is the restart?

What You Said:

Referee 1:

The fundamental questions reduce to what criteria ought a referee use in exercising discretion to allow or stop play under these circumstances and the specialized function of one of the players involved?

Is there a differing criteria because a GK was involved? What criteria ought to be used if between field players… and if different when involving a GK, what criteria ought to be used?

For me, player safety is paramount… if I see players down for a couple of seconds with little recovery I am stopping the game. I would have a quicker inducement to stop when a GK is involved because of the specialized function of that player. With 4-5 seconds lapsed and only recovery with a hung head and on all fours, this is not an event that further time and continuing play ought to be allowed. With the goal being scored after the 4-5 seconds, I think play ought to have been called dead when GK could not even regain feet. This was a collision of two players, who both hit the pitch, not some mere trifling contact.

Referee 2:

This is a situation that would call for stopping play as the goalie may have an injury.

If I see a player who may be struggling then it’s time to blow the whistle. A determination has to be quickly made as to the condition of the player (goalie in this case), however always error on the side of your best judgment (and lawyer).

I have no doubt the coach’s, parents, players, small dogs and aliens will scream as they are about to score a goal however it’s all about player safety.

The restart would be at the point of interruption and an IDK for the team who had, possession in your (AR’s) opinion).

Referee 3:

Sounds like someone needs a refresher on concussion training.

Referee 4:

With both players down after a collision and not immediately getting up, safety is paramount, and the referee should blow the whistle to stop play, not the clock.

If either requires further evaluation the clock is stopped and the player(s) replaced.

When play is eventually restarted, an indirect free kick is awarded to the team in possession of the ball when the whistle is blown.

A good point is for the AR on that side of the field to note which team had possession when play was stopped. The center is probably looking at the downed players at that point. Anything that happened after the whistle is irrelevant.

Referee 5:

I am not sure what ‘a non-foul contact’ means but the keeper is down and not getting up right away with the ball in the vicinity. I am stopping play There is no way I can let play continue around a fallen player that is dangerous and since the keeper is down: unfair.

Our job first and foremost is safety. There is no goal. The whistle should have been blown 4-5 seconds ago. If the players are not getting up call in the coach or trainer. (Keeper does not have to leave the game, field player must leave but can be replaced or return with the permission of the referee.)

Since this is NFHS the restart will be an IDFK for the team in possession of the ball when the whistle sounded. If no team had clear possession the restart is a dropped ball.

Referee 6:

NON-Foul Contact, if Keeper B00 is not in danger of getting kicked, play on. Goal for team A restart with a team B kick off.

Referee 7:

Stuff happens. It’s a goal.

The Answer:

For this one, the Keeper (A00) is out of action. While it was a non-foul, teams are supposed to play with 11 players, one of which is a Goalkeeper.  So, you have a player showing signs of distress.  Stop play, carefully noting who has possession (or if nobody does) to establish the right restart.

Check on A00, and see what is going on before you call a trainer on to the field. Perhaps she caught one in the face (trainer), or in the gut and needs to get her wind back.

It isn’t fair to allow a goal to be scored in such a situation.  Stop play, assess both down players, and either beckon the trainer on to the field, or restart with an indirect free kick, or a drop ball depending on the situation, at the location the ball was at the stoppage.  (Unless of course, it is inside the goal area, in which case, you move it to the goal area line.)

In the interest of working through the angles, let’s ask this: “Why not let play continue?”

Simple: If this approach was allowed, players would kick the ball in a targeted manner to disable the goalkeeper. We all know of a player that can kick a ball with pinpoint accuracy at a corner of the goal. What if that same blistering kick and accuracy was used to “inadvertently” strike a player in a sensitive area?

It’s akin to kicking the ball into a defender’s hand, and demanding a penalty kick for handling. It becomes a manufactured play, intended to take a player out of contention to gain advantage.

So, kill the ball after noting who has it (or not), attend to the disabled player, and then restart correctly.  It’s what the spirit of the game demands.

The Weekly Soccer Referee Blog – Volume 9 Issue 19 – Train Wreck! NASO Survey

May 7, 2017

The Weekly Soccer Referee Blog

Sharpening Referee Knowledge and Judgment, One Week at a Time

Volume 9, Issue 19, May 7, 2017

Forward this to a Fellow Soccer Ref!

Please feel free to forward this Blog to your fellow soccer officials or tell them about it.

The purpose of this Blog is so we can all learn from each other’s experience and by doing so, avoid mistakes, make more consistent calls, and do a better job. I don’t have to make any of this up – this is what happens on the pitch.

Quote of the Week

“I didn’t mean to do that.”

From a freshman player on a recent high school game, after a corner kick went straight into the goal.  The referee advised her to change her answer to “I practiced that all week.”

NASO Survey – Make Your Voice Heard!

The National Association of Sports Officials is taking a survey of Sports Officials.

It’s a long survey, and is designed to figure out what is going on in our heads.  Here is the information:

We hope your soccer seasons are going well!

Some of you may be aware that a survey has recently been released for all sports officials by NASO. We would like to promote you to participate in the survey as it will provide a great deal of information about the officiating industry. This is your chance to have your voice heard!

Former FIFA referee, Margaret Domka, is heading the efforts to collect and analyze this information.

Please click on the link below to begin the survey!

http://naso.org/email/2017/survey/

This Week’s Question – Train Wreck!

On a recent High School game…

Two competitive IHSA women’s teams fighting it out, with Team A having an edge in tactics and skill, but with the game still at 0-0 in second half

During second half, a non-foul contact is made between Goalkeeper B00 and Player A31 in the Team B Penalty Area

Due to the contact, both A31 and B00 are on the ground as result.

B00 is still on the ground, having only advanced rising from ground to being on all fours, with her head still hanging down, 4-5 seconds play continues near and in the Team B penalty area, which results in A7 taking a shot and the ball going into the Team B Goal.

You Make the Call:

What is the call?

What is the restart?

Last Week’s Question – Fizzled Advantage

On a recent High School tournament game…

You see B14 bringing the ball across the mid field line, heading towards Team B’s defensive end – fast.

There is a clumsy tackle by A21, which causes B14 to stumble in her attack well-outside of the Penalty Area.  B14 stays on her feet, so you call out “Advantage – Play On!” and sweep your arms up.

However, due to the delay in B14 gaining stability, A22 now kicks the ball away, and it goes out over the touch line.

You Make the Call:

What is the call?

What is the restart?

What You Said:

Referee 1:

I’d say we have a direct kick foul for team B. The Advantage was there but was lost by the amount of time it took to recover.

Referee 2:

It seems like this is a clear case of advantage not developing. DFK for Team B at spot of advantage foul being called.

Referee 3:

Whistle the foul, bring the ball back to the spot of the “clumsy” tackle – DFK to B for tripping by A21 – which would have been the call you were going to call/whistle before you tried to play an advantage which didn’t materialize because of the contact during the foul by A21 on B14.

Referee 4:

I would stop play give Team B a Direct Free Kick — the advantage did not materialize.

Referee 5:

Since the advantage didn’t materialize, whistle for the foul by A on B and restart with a direct kick at the point of the foul.

Referee 6:

Seems easy enough. Advantage didn’t play out so blow whistle and give a DFK to team B where the foul occurred.

Referee 7:

Many ref’s struggle with calling back an advantage call but the entire point of advantage is to let the play continue to develop as long as it is to the benefit of the attacking team. If the advantage fails to materialize in the first few seconds there was no advantage and allowing play to continue rewards the defending team for poor behavior.

In this case, the attacker lost possession of the ball almost immediately. Blow the whistle, call the play back. Since from the description, this was simply a ‘clumsy’ foul there is no card to show (unless this is a case of PI) DFK for the attacking team.

Referee 8:

I would bring the ball back to the point of the foul and allow a DFK. One could argue which kick is a better advantage, DFK or Corner Kick.

Personally, I would go for the DFK

Referee 9:

Even though the ref called “Advantage”, sometimes the advantage doesn’t develop.

Call the foul and bring the ball back to the point of the foul. DFK to the offense.

The Answer:

Whistle.  Stop Play.  Bring the ball back to the point of the original foul.  Before you restart, consider whether any cards are warranted, and if warranted, apply them.

The whole point behind Advantage is that you don’t penalize the team that was fouled – you allow play to continue.  However, one of two things generally happen:

Play continues, and a shot is taken.  In this case, Advantage was fulfilled, the team had an opportunity and took it.

Possession of the ball is lost to the other team.

We have the opposite in this case, so Whistle to stop play, return the ball to the point where the foul occurred, and apply cards as warranted.  Once you restart, your ability to apply cards is sadly gone.  You already have to bring the ball back to the point of the foul, so there is no “quick kick” urgency here.  Apply the card(s).

The Weekly Soccer Referee Blog – Volume 9 Issue 18 – Fizzled Advantage

April 30, 2017

The Weekly Soccer Referee Blog
Sharpening Referee Knowledge and Judgment, One Week at a Time

Volume 9, Issue 18, April 30, 2017

Forward this to a Fellow Soccer Ref!

Please feel free to forward this Blog to your fellow soccer officials or tell them about it.

The purpose of this Blog is so we can all learn from each other’s experience and by doing so, avoid mistakes, make more consistent calls, and do a better job. I don’t have to make any of this up – this is what happens on the pitch.

Quote of the Week

“AUGH!  THAT WAS AWFUL. THIS ISN’T ROCKET SCIENCE!”

From a Coach during a game where the players weren’t coached very well, and the coach took to screaming at his players all game.

This Week’s Question – Fizzled Advantage

On a recent High School tournament game…

You see B14 bringing the ball across the mid field line, heading towards Team B’s defensive end – fast.

There is a clumsy tackle by A21, which causes B14 to stumble in her attack well-outside of the Penalty Area.  B14 stays on her feet, so you call out “Advantage – Play On!” and sweep your arms up.

However, due to the delay in B14 gaining stability, A22 now kicks the ball away, and it goes out over the touch line.

You Make the Call:

What is the call?
What is the restart?

Last Week’s Question – Catch and Release

On a recent Omaha Catholic League game played under USSF rules…

Player A23 kicks the ball towards the Team A end.  Goalkeeper B00 sees the ball coming, but it isn’t going into the penalty area.

You see Keeper B00 run to the ball outside the penalty area, dribble it into the Penalty Area, and then pick it up once the ball was inside the Penalty Area.

You Make the Call:

What is the call?
What is the restart?

What You Said:

Referee 1:

No call, let’s keeping playing.

$1 bets someone yells “You can’t do that”!

Referee 2:

How is this even an issue …. ball last touched by opponent, GK allowed to gather ball into her/his own p/area and pick it up…. no need for whistle, no need to stop play, no need to restart because dynamic play is not in any way being stopped by referee action (I HOPE not stopped by referee.!)

Referee 3:

No foul. Play on.

Referee 4:

The keeper, inside the penalty area, may use their hands when the ball was last touched by an opponent. This confuses people when they see the keeper dribble the ball a short distance into the penalty area then pick it up.

As referees, we must ask ourselves: If the was already in the penalty area, what would the keeper do?

In this case, the ball was last touched by an opponent, there is no violation of law 12. Play on.

The Answer:

This one is a good “No Call.” Why?

Who kicked the ball back to the Team B Goalkeeper?  A Team A Player – so it isn’t a Passback.

Is there anything in the rules which says the Goalkeeper can’t do this?  Nope.

So, it’s legal.  No call – allow play to continue.

The Weekly Soccer Referee Blog – Volume 9 Issue 17 – Catch and Release

April 23, 2017

The Weekly Soccer Referee Blog
Sharpening Referee Knowledge and Judgment, One Week at a Time

Volume 9, Issue 17, April 23, 2017

Forward this to a Fellow Soccer Ref!

Please feel free to forward this Blog to your fellow soccer officials or tell them about it.

The purpose of this Blog is so we can all learn from each other’s experience and by doing so, avoid mistakes, make more consistent calls, and do a better job. I don’t have to make any of this up – this is what happens on the pitch.

Quote of the Week

“All I’m saying is that if he is going to call it as a foul at his end, you have to call it as a foul at your end.”

From a Coach on a recent tournament game, who thought he saw a player holding his player.  Both players had their arms out against each other.  He’s right, if his player’s arm was down, it would be a call, just like it was in the other end.

This Week’s Question – Catch and Release

On a recent Omaha Catholic League game played under USSF rules…

Player A23 kicks the ball towards the Team A end.  Goalkeeper B00 sees the ball coming, but it isn’t going into the penalty area.

You see Keeper B00 run to the ball outside the penalty area, dribble it into the Penalty Area, and then pick it up once the ball was inside the Penalty Area.

You Make the Call:

What is the call?
What is the restart?

Last Week’s Question – Who Dunnit

On an IHSA / NFHS varsity girls game…

Two teams are battling for the ball.  Player A21 is playing the ball with nobody immediately near him, having lifted his toe to shoulder level, to deflect the ball to the ground.

Running in from outside his field of vision, Player B15 also tries to play the ball.  In running in, he comes in contact with A21’s foot from the side of the foot.

The ball bounces away.

You Make the Call:

What is the call?
What is the restart?

What You Said:

Referee 1:

This is one of those answers in search of a question. We have A21 playing a “high” ball with “nobody immediately near”. No dangerous play (themselves or others). B15 charges into the play…knowingly and makes “contact” with A21. Contact equals FOUL. There had to be the moment is whether B15 was reckless in timing (A21 leg extended and physically vulnerable in the challenge. If so, Yellow Card to B15. Ball to team A, Direct Free Kick at the spot of the foul.

Referee 2:

Good question – do we go with dangerous play or kicking?

By raising their foot to that level we do have dangerous play.

As the opponent charging in initiated the contact I don’t think I would go with kicking.

Guess I’ll wait for the answer…

Referee 3:

A21 shouldn’t have been playing with his foot up at shoulder level.

But B15 ran in on him carelessly. Dangerous play; IFK for Team B.

Referee 4:

No call, play continues. Dangerous play requires someone being adversely affected by action of the other. I read no such impact here.

The Answer:

This one came up at a recent game, and was sent in by a reader.

The question we have to answer here is “Who caused this?”

Some would go with the player from the Offense, since he lifted his leg so high.

Others would go to the player who ran into the raised foot.

In this case, A21 has a reasonable explanation for his high foot – nobody is around him.  B15 comes in from outside of A21’s peripheral vision (assume for the moment none of his teammates was smart enough to say “Man on!”) and strikes the side of A21’s raised foot.

I think in this case, there is no foul, and we allow play to continue.

Now change the direction of play slightly.  A21 sees B15 coming, and raises his foot high, exposing his cleats to B15.  Now you have intimidation, and if contact occurs, you have a different issue.  Exposed cleats will be a Caution at a minimum in this case, and could go as far as Serious Foul Play with a send off.

Isn’t it interesting how changing the play 110 degrees and making in straight on, or nearly straight on, changes the call?

Now what happened in this case is what makes this one perplexing.  The Center was letting it go, and the AR INSISTED it was a foul, and was calling for a Card due to “new USSF rules.”

For those of us acting as AR, our job is to Assist, NOT Insist.  If you see something different, talk with the Center after the game please.

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The Weekly Soccer Referee Blog – Volume 9 Issue 16 – Who Dunnit?

April 16, 2017

The Weekly Soccer Referee Blog
Sharpening Referee Knowledge and Judgment, One Week at a Time

Volume 9, Issue 16, April 16, 2017

Forward this to a Fellow Soccer Ref!

Please feel free to forward this Blog to your fellow soccer officials or tell them about it.

The purpose of this Blog is so we can all learn from each other’s experience and by doing so, avoid mistakes, make more consistent calls, and do a better job. I don’t have to make any of this up – this is what happens on the pitch.

Quote of the Week

“Why was that offside?”

From a Varsity Player, who was wondering why someone was called offside when she was well-past the second to last defender, and received the ball from a pass from her own team.

This Week’s Question – Who Dunnit

On an IHSA / NFHS varsity girls game…

Two teams are battling for the ball.  Player A21 is playing the ball with nobody immediately near him, having lifted his toe to shoulder level, to deflect the ball to the ground.

Running in from outside his field of vision, Player B15 also tries to play the ball.  In running in, he comes in contact with A21’s foot from the side of the foot.

The ball bounces away.

You Make the Call:

What is the call?
What is the restart?

Last Week’s Question – Offside or Not

On an IHSA / NFHS varsity girls game…

This was a Class A game, and both teams are just hitting the pitch.  Stringing passes are starting, but there is a lot of running, and only a fair amount of skill.

Team B has the ball, and they are well inside Team A’s half, heading into their penalty area.

You see B8 kick the ball forward towards Team A’s goal, and the Team A goalkeeper is heading to make the play, well in advance of any Team B players.

You see Player B2 running towards the ball.  Goalkeeper A00 will get it well-before B2 gets close.

You Make the Call:

What is the call?
What is the restart?

What You Said:

Referee 1:

There is no mention in the question of a B-team player in an offside position when B8 touched or played the ball. B2 is running toward the ball AND GK legally.

So, no offside offense. Hypothetically, if B2 had been in an offside position, and challenging, you could flag for interfering w/opponent (GK). If we presume GK will get “there” first and no other contact occurs, most refs would let GK distribute (defense controls/threat nullified). If B2 shows no sign of letting off the gas, hit the whistle. IFK going out. This example is a pregame must! We’ve all seen this train wreck before.

Referee 2:

No call. Play on for the goalie. Advantage for team A.

Referee 3:

Unless something was dropped in the rendition of this issue to us, I see NO issue… I do not see anything hinting at offside positioned player(s) involvement or anything resembling a trigger for an offside issue. B2 position is certainly not presented in any way that suggests offside positioned player potential involvement.

Thus, there is nothing, no need to whistle, no need to anticipate an issue… let play develop and continue.

Referee 4:

No indication of a player in offside position in the description here. If so, and it’s obvious that the ball is going to the keeper with no conflict, let it go, since there’s no involvement, by the offense.

Referee 5:

From the wording of the question, I have to make the assumption player B2 was/is in an offside position.

Since the keeper has collected the ball and B2 did not get close to either the ball or the keeper I would call advantage and let play continue.

Referee 6:

Sounds as if it’s a shot on goal and the keeper will get to the ball before any player from Team B that may have been in an offside position therefore “no offsides” and keep playing.

Referee 7:

No call, let the keeper have the ball in hand. PLAY ON

The Answer:

First off, I could have said this problem better.  The implication I was trying to get to was that the person running towards the ball started in an offside position.

With that said, the offside rules have changed.  If the Keeper is definitely going to get the ball, hold the call until that becomes unclear.  In this case, making the call takes a punt away from the Keeper, which isn’t as fair as allowing the Keeper to distribute the ball down field to the player of his choice with a punt.

So, monitor, make sure what you think is going to happen, happens.

If it doesn’t, whistle and indicate the location of the Indirect Free Kick restart.

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