The Weekly Soccer Referee Blog – Volume 9 Issue 12 – Carpy Parents

March 19, 2017

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

Volume 9, Issue 12, March 19, 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.

The Last Week

Well, the season is under way, and I’m still “reffing” a Refuel Outage at my full time job.  Maybe I’ll get to the pitch in another week – we’re still putting things back together.  If anyone sees anything good in the first weeks of the season, send it in!

Quote of the Week

“Are you blind?  How could you miss that?”

From a coach after a non-foul occurred (player got all ball, no trailing leg, no foul – the opponent went over the ball).

This Week’s Question – Carpy Parent

On a High School boys game …

You’re graced by the officials shortage to be working this game solo. Fortunately, the field is on the average to small size.

There is a good challenge right in front of you, in which the player gets all ball and the opponent goes over the ball to the ground. Nothing in the play was reckless or with excessive force – it was a good challenge.

The male parent on the sideline starts carping at you about not making the call. He calls you a “homer,” and asks which kid on the team is yours.

You allow this to go on for a bit, and he finally tapers off.  Another similar challenge occurs, this time with his team getting the advantage.

“Carpy” pipes up “Oh, that’s a payback non-call.”

You Make the Call:

What is the call?
What is the restart?

Last Week’s Question – That’s New

On a recent High School boys tournament play in game …

You arrive at the game, and are assigned as AR2 by the scheduling software program in a 2 referee game.

Referee 1 is already at the game, and has checked the balls, walked the goals, checked the corner flags, inspected the field, players, talked to the coaches, caught the rosters, and has everything ready to go.

While you are doing your pre-game, he asks you if you want to use the new NFHS 2 Referee System approach, where you switch sides (e.g., if you had the Experts, you move to the coaches, and vice versa) at the half.

You’ve never heard of such a thing, and are perplexed.  He offers that it’s on Page 92 of the Rule Book.

You Make the Call:

What is the call?
What is the restart?

What You Said:

Referee 1:

No, we are not changing ends at half. To reduce the appearance of any impropriety we will NOT be changing ends.

Referee 2:

Well, this referee is correct. Perhaps a review of the high school officiating manual would make you privy to this little-applied concept. Time to start practicing it if you aren’t familiar with it. It actually can be a useful management technique in the 2 referee system when trying to control sideline behavior…

I actually try to employ this, if my partner is comfortable with it, if there were problems the first half (either with spectators or coaches). This gives the aggrieved party the chance to deal with an alternative personality before being launched from the confines of the establishment. Couldn’t get along with myself or my partner? Maybe the problem is you, coach!

Referee 3:

This is one of those things that you can easily do or don’t do.

Our crew used to do it.  Now that we’re old and cranky doesn’t matter who gets what side, it’s all the same.

Referee 4:

Hey, I’m flexible. If you can run left as well as right, and not get yourself screwed up, why not?

There may be times when the field, or the weather, etc., may force you to do something you’re not used to, so get some experience at it.

That said, since IHSA didn’t send me the NFHS book, I’d like him to show me his copy. Hell, I might learn something.

Referee 5:

If I am officiating a HS game I have attended the rules meeting and taken the test. So if this is news to me either I was asleep or there is something wrong.

My main concern would be: Since this is a tournament, what do the tournament rules say? Otherwise: I am AR2, and I am late. My AR1 wants to switch sides at the half I go with it. If I am uncertain, I will grab my rules book after the game and make sure I am better prepared.

Referee 6:

I am familiar with this rule but know of no-one who has ever actually done it. I’ve never heard it discussed at any meeting, seen it on a test or mentioned on an assessment. Are we supposed to follow/apply the rules? Yes, but unless told this is now required, most refs will remain blissfully unaware and continue doing “duals” the way we always have.

The Answer:

Did everyone have to dive to the rule book like I had to in this case?  I had this submitted by a regular reader, and thought “It can’t be so!”

It is.

The last sentence in the second paragraph on Page 92 states:

“In games played in halves, officials should exchange field side sat halftime and “lead” to their left starting the second half, assuming they were leading to their right in the first half.”

Too bad the latest rules questions (about adopting the goofy rules USSF / FIFA recently adopted) didn’t include a question on this.  Talk about hiding something in plain sight!

A tip of the hat to the official who found this “ooolie” hidden away in the rules.  Use at your own risk – I don’t endorse it.

(Ooolie – a hidden “gotcha” in tests, where an obscure fact is used to make sure few people get 100% on exams. – Wait a minute – that’s the case in most IHSA exams…..)

Follow Up to “Enough”

I had a lot of positive comments on Enough.  This one really hit home for me from a clinician:

“Good blog this week, George. Same info I have given for YEARS in the clinics I have given. I’m one of the 200, but with me we’re losing 40 years of experience. Everything must have an end point.”

The Weekly Soccer Referee Blog – Volume 9 Issue 11 – That’s New!

March 12, 2017

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

Volume 9, Issue 11, March 12, 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

“No, No, No, No!”

From a coach after one of his players was ejected for a second caution for Dissent.  And he wasn’t saying “No” to his player for not keeping his mouth shut.

The Spring Season Is Just Around The Corner – Don’t Forget to Spring Up (TIME CHANGE!)

Don’t forget to set your clocks ahead an hour today! (Sunday)  Don’t be an hour late for a game, thinking you’re 30 minutes early!

How are your shoes?  Take a look at the heels – if they are starting to get cracks, it’s time to retire your shoes and replace them.

Find a good running store if your legs / knees / ankles give you trouble.  My favorite is Naperville Running Company, and they treat me fine.  Tell them you’re an IHSA official, and they’ll give you a discount.

If you are in doubt, just replace them.  Don’t wait for your knees or legs to tell you your shoes are past their expiration date!

This Week’s Question – That’s New

On a recent High School boys tournament play in game …

You arrive at the game, and are assigned as AR2 by the scheduling software program in a 2 referee game.

Referee 1 is already at the game, and has checked the balls, walked the goals, checked the corner flags, inspected the field, players, talked to the coaches, caught the rosters, and has everything ready to go.

While you are doing your pre-game, he asks you if you want to use the new NFHS 2 Referee System approach, where you switch sides (e.g., if you had the Experts, you move to the coaches, and vice versa) at the half.

You’ve never heard of such a thing, and are perplexed.  He offers that it’s on Page 92 of the Rule Book.

You Make the Call:

What is the call?
What is the restart?

Last Week’s Question – Enough?

On a recent High School boys tournament play in game …

Both teams are the usual seeds playing in the play in game.  The 3 official team has its hands full, with 2 coaches who see no fault in their player’s fouls, and only fault in the official’s calls.

The coach of Team A in this case has been grinding on the center and AR1 for a few minutes.  The coach of Team B has also been going off, but is quiet since his team has the advantage.

Two more minutes pass, and the coach of Team A is still going on about a call that was made several minutes ago.

You Make the Call:

What is the call?USSF
What is the restart?

What You Said:

Referee 1:

This is a case I used to deal with by saying “Coach, not another word!” And I make it obvious what the next step is. And if you use this tactic, you better be willing to card the next dissenting word out of his mouth, or you lose all credibility. This is “getting something for your card”. You “get” a little peace and quiet, or the coach goes bye bye after the next yellow.

Goes for encroachment also. If you card the first kid, it usually corrects the problem.

Referee 2:

Use your progression here; Counsel, Caution, then dismiss.

No reason to allow it to go on any longer.

Referee 3:

As officials, we should not allow coaches to continue to dissent.  We say we don’t have enough young officials in our sport, and personally I think a part of it is they don’t want the heat.

If we, as experienced officials do our jobs, we wouldn’t have to worry about it. So, in this case either the AR1 or the Center can say “Coach, that’s enough”, and if that doesn’t resolve it, then caution the coach!

Once the coach figure out their behavior isn’t going to be tolerated, they will stop.

Referee 4:

Ask, Tell, Dismiss is USSF and not High School, but I have used a similar approach with coaches. I find phrases like ‘Coach if you don’t stop…’ are doomed. If you don’t follow through, you ruin your credibility, if you do, you appear to be threatening the coach.

“Coach I am asking you to stop” in not very specific and not much of a threat but can escalate quickly to a caution or even a dismissal.

The coach’s job is to run their team, teach soccer and worry about strategy. If the coach is constantly on your case, you become the reason for everything bad. (Of course, everything good is because of their stellar coaching.)

Make it clear the abuse must stop. If it doesn’t, use the caution or dismiss the coach. If the abuse is bad enough, report the coach to the state (such as IHSA.)

Referee 5:

It’s clearly up to AR1 and the center if something needs to be done. As AR1, if the dissent continues, I would warn the chirping coach the play is over and the dissent must stop.

If it continues, either the Center should stop play or AR1 should beckon the Center over. At that point the Center should call both coaches together. It’s important each Coach get the same message. A verbal warning that any future dissent would result in a yellow card. The Center should then say there will be no further discussion on the matter, turn his back to the Coaches and slowly walk back and restart play.

This gives them a few seconds to think about it and hopefully reset their attitudes. Finally, don’t be afraid to follow through with a card or subsequent card if the dissent persists. Warn, card, dismiss.

Referee 6:

At the first or second repudiation of the call I would have had a conversation with the coach or coaches fairly early in the match.

Otherwise, their ranting will just continue AND get worse as the game goes on. If that doesn’t work, stop the game at the next throw in or foul and walk over to the Coach complaining the loudest issue the caution.

If you can’t wait for a normal stoppage, stop the game with the other team in control of the ball, and let his opponents have an IFK.

If the Caution doesn’t work and the ranting continues, that’s what the red card is for.

Referee 7:

Once again, the lack of proper expectations of and consistency concerning proper coaching behavior by us – the referee(s) – has allowed a simple situation to begin to spiral out of control.

Since you’ve let it get so out of control that the coaches actually think they have a right to criticize any / all referee(s) decisions – you need to change their perceptions and behaviors completely.

Stop time, call both coaches and all captains to midfield, explain to them that you’ve made a mistake to allow any comment and / or criticisms of your / all referee decisions concerning violations of the rules/laws.

Remind them that they have NO right to question ANY of the referee(s) decisions – that if the captains have a respectful question concerning one of your decisions that you will listen to them and respond as the flow of the game and your positioning allows.

Remind them that any continued questioning/grinding/bitching about calls will be properly treated as dissent and will result in the appropriate CAUTION each and every time it occurs by anyone – captains and/or coaches and/or players.

THEN, each and every time ANYONE involved questions / grinds / bitches / complains about ANY call, you MUST issue a yellow card. Each and every time. The rest of that game.

No one will like you – you may need to do 30 minutes to an hour of paperwork after this game – you probably will NEVER work at this school / for these teams / in this league again.

If you do this any other way – it will blow up in your and the players’ faces. If you Yellow Card the Team A coach – you punish him for YOUR failure to control / set expectations. If you let him whine away, this will get worse and worse and worse….

Be an adult – admit your mistake – deal with it – do your job properly. I will appreciate your maturity when I have to referee either one of these teams in their next game.

The Answer:

So, everyone got this one right. It’s clear and easy – ask the coach to stop, then tell them to stop and caution them. If they persist, send them off.

With that in mind, I’ll now ask this question: How many of us actually do that?

My answer will be “Not enough.” The abuse goes on because We, as Officials, have not consistently addressed it.

Some of us (myself included) say we have “thick skins”.  Those “thick skins” are really thick “heads,” and we’re not enforcing the laws / rules. By allowing the behavior and not sanctioning it with a Caution or Ejection it sometimes deserves, we make this behavior acceptable.

Do you read me?  WE make it acceptable.  Not the coach.  Not the High School or Rec or Competitive association.  WE DO.

So, my challenge to you is this: Change the dynamic. Enforce the rules. Give the coach one or two brief spout offs. If they persist, stop play and address it.  No more excuses.  No more “I’m thick skinned.”  Enforce the Rules / Laws as they are written.  By doing so, WE will establish what is consistently right.  WE will keep the game under control.  WE will play a role in keeping the coaches, players and bench personnel under the Laws / Rules, and in doing so, quiet the caustic and abusive chatter that is making people leave our official ranks in DROVES.

One assignor lost 200 referees this year.  I can’t imagine the person years of experience lost.  Let’s just assume 5 as an average.  That’s 1000 years of experience, and at best, we’ll replace it with 200 people with NO experience. Who will be subjected to abuse if we don’t do our jobs, and then bail out, repeating this vicious cycle where we lose experienced officials and can’t seem to catch up.

Let’s break the cycle.  Together, we can Stop Abusive Coach Behavior.  It is up to US.  WE Can Do It.

Now the question is will you?

The Weekly Soccer Referee Blog – Volume 9 Issue 10 – Enough?

March 5, 2017

The Weekly Soccer Referee Blog

Sharpening Referee Knowledge and Judgment, One Week at a Time

Volume 9, Issue 10, March 5, 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 isn’t cautionable!”

From a coach after one of his players was cautioned for delaying the restart by turning within 10 yards of the kick and extending his leg, deflecting the ball out of bounds.

Not Spam

Thank you to everyone who took the time to let me know that the blog is coming through.  When I see numbers drop off, I start to wonder.  I found out that some Yahoo and AOL accounts were considering these messages as spam – I have to send out small batches to keep from being flagged as spam.

When I don’t see responses, my mind wanders in two directions:

  1. The blog is blocked as spam
  2. The blog is no longer relevant

I got some good feedback from the readers, who noted that they think I’d get more responses if I stayed with lower level games.  I agree with that – unfortunately, my job change required me to focus on my new job, and to look for a new home (since the 3:20 round trip time was really making life hard).  That meant I had to cut down on my soccer.

I’m settled now, and booked up quite nicely into the spring season, so hopefully I’ll find some nefarious acts and hysterically silly quotes to include here.

In the mean time, if you have any brain teasers or quotes or just general questions, let me know.

If this blog is not helping you, or is a waste of time, or you just delete it, please please please let me know. I’ll take you off the mailing list.

The Spring Season Is Just Around The Corner

Take a hard look at your jerseys.  What is their condition?  Do they look crisp and professional, or do they look tired?  Are your dye sublimated stripes missing in spots?

Consider the impression this leaves teams and coaches with – are you professional? First impressions can create obstacles – make sure your jersey is ready for the field in 2017, and not ready to be retired.

This Week’s Question – Enough?

On a recent High School boys tournament play in game …

Both teams are the usual seeds playing in the play in game.  The 3 official team has its hands full, with 2 coaches who see no fault in their player’s fouls, and only fault in the official’s calls.

The coach of Team A in this case has been grinding on the center and AR1 for a few minutes.  The coach of Team B has also been going off, but is quiet since his team has the advantage.

Two more minutes pass, and the coach of Team A is still going on about a call that was made several minutes ago.

You Make the Call:

What is the call?

What is the restart?

Last Week’s Question – A Bit Grabby

On a recent Bundesliga Soccer game …

Play has moved into Team B’s defensive end, with A2 and A19 leading the charge on the triangle offense.

Team B has not been able to keep up with the rapid passing, however B12 has managed to get close to A19. When the ball comes to A19 and A19 starts to move away, you can see B12 has a full handful of A19’s jersey.

A19 continues to make progress; however, B4 and B21 are now closing on his position since he has been slowed down by B12’s grab.

You Make the Call:

What is the call?

What is the restart?

What You Said:

Referee 1:

In a High school match, the shirt grab would earn a yellow card for sure, but I would have probably waited until progress has stopped and telling the offender to let go before stopping play and issuing the caution. DFK for team A. That being said who knows what the Bundesliga league may or may not call.

Referee 2:

A full grab = Holding.

Assuming no DOGSO here; YC + DFK

Referee 3:

Indicate that you have observed a foul by calling out advantage and with an upswing of the arms but if after a few seconds you don’t see an advantage for A19 whistle the foul and give a direct kick at the point of holding.

Referee 4:

Since A19 is still moving I would call advantage however since the advantage will be short lived as B4 and B12 closing in will negate it. At that point I would call the foul for holding and allow a DFK for A’s team, if no shot on goal is possible.

Referee 5:

Holding–yellow card–make them play defense.

Referee 6:

I would probably allow play to continue for a few seconds and if advantage doesn’t play out, stop play and go with a DFK.

Most likely, I would caution the defensive player for holding whether or not I used advantage.

If advantage was used, I would loudly vocalize to the defender they will be carded and wait for the next stoppage to issue.

Referee 7:

DISCERNMENT – consider this to be a series of fouls (No, NOT for a PI/caution issue, but an evolving play situation issue.) So long as A19 in fact is making progress, albeit probably a tad slower than hoped, allow A19 to gain territory… if/when the “advantage” is apparently dissolving, THEN call the holding foul. You have allowed A19 to get the best possible distance reduction to opponents’ goal, allowed the “slow to whistle” to see if A19 in fact does break the hold, and also allowed a clear series of events for you to issue a caution to B12 for the pattern and duration of the jersey holding as the game may require.

Obviously, be VERY aware if A19 is starting to get frustrated and might do a retaliatory swing of arm or hand… whistle the foul before A19 does something that you then have to impose a foul against A19… do not let this event cause a turn-about in benefit. ANTENA on HIGH GAIN here, as stated before: DISCERNMENT. Read the evolving circumstance, “feel” the event, and allow the best possible outcome for Team A from it.

Referee 8:

The hold on the jersey is a clear foul, but I would apply advantage here and see what happens. If the defenders are able to close on A19 and ultimately challenge for the ball then the advantage did not materialize so blow the whistle. If A19 is able to pass the ball and the attack continues the advantage was well founded.

If necessary, caution B12 at the next stoppage. At the very least have a word with B12 and make it clear the jersey grabbing must stop.

The Answer:

Holding. This is clearly holding, and needs to be penalized.  We can’t rationalize this as “the player should be stronger” – the player was held, and because of that, lost advantage.

Could we allow advantage to play out? Sure, give it a few seconds, and see if they break free. However, if the support team (B4 and B21) arrive, blow the whistle, as the advantage has clearly been lost by the delaying tactic of the hold.

A caution may be in order here for B12 if A19 had a good opportunity to get to a clear space. This “grab” amounts to a professional foul, and must be rewarded with a Caution to help eliminate the behavior.

This was also cautioned in the game I was watching.  So, it translates to the higher level leagues.  Sometimes.

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

 

The Weekly Soccer Referee Blog – Volume 9 Issue 9 – A Bit Grabby

February 26, 2017

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

Volume 9, Issue 9, February 26, 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

“The referee is starting early with the cards here.”

From the color commentator at a recent pro-level soccer game when a player did something that was very cautionable early in the game, and the referee provided a Caution to say “Don’t do that again.”  I thought that was what cards are for.

The Spring Season Is Just Around The Corner

It’s time to go through the equipment bag again, as the 2017 Spring Soccer Season (for those areas that play spring soccer) is almost here.

Remember that whistle that wasn’t quite right?  Replace it now, before the season.

Remember those shorts which aren’t black anymore – but instead have faded to brown?  Or maybe the string in the waistband is getting a little weak – Buy new ones.

Or your shoes, which were making your knee / leg / (pick a part) hurt last year, and you realize they are probably getting worn out – Replace them!  (Shoes are generally good for around 400 miles.  You’ll walk 2 to 3 miles or run 4 to 8 miles on an average soccer game in the center.  Do the math – That means your shoes are probably toast (let’s assume 4 miles per game as a conservative low number) in 100 games.)

Think about it now and address it before you get in the thick of the season, and you’ll be able to keep going injury free.

This Week’s Question – A Bit Grabby

On a recent Bundesliga Soccer game …

Play has moved into Team B’s defensive end, with A2 and A19 leading the charge on the triangle offense.

Team B has not been able to keep up with the rapid passing, however B12 has managed to get close to A19. When the ball comes to A19 and A19 starts to move away, you can see B12 has a full handful of A19’s jersey.

A19 continues to make progress; however, B4 and B21 are now closing on his position since he has been slowed down by B12’s grab.

You Make the Call:

What is the call?
What is the restart?

Last Week’s Question – Got Your Leg!

On a recent Bundesliga Soccer game …

There is a lot of give and take going back and forth between the two teams here, with neither having been able to score after 70 minutes, and the home team’s crowd frustration is building.

With this backdrop, you see Player A15 coming on to defend against B8 as they bring the ball into the Team A penalty area.  A15 launches himself in a tackle against B8, seconds after B8 launches the ball to a waiting forward.

In the ensuing tackle, B8’s cleats directly impact A15’s ankle, causing A15 to fall to the ground, grasping A15’s ankle.  No contact with the ball is made in the tackle.

You Make the Call:

What is the call?
What is the restart?

What You Said:

Referee 1:

A15 launched himself; I think a card is due here.

Cleats exposed; sounds like a Red one.

Referee 2:

Cleats to ankle = Foul + Caution. Since from the description the defender was fouled, in the penalty area, there is no advantage. So immediate whistle. Show the caution. Make sure the player can continue or beckon the trainer onto the pitch.  Restart will be DFK for defense.

The Answer:

The referee got a clear look at this one, and went Yellow with a Caution to A15 for his “reckless” tackle.

I’m leaning towards a Red on this one. Normally, the “magic cloth” makes the injury go away. Not in this case – the player was substituted off minutes later, still hobbling from the brutal tackle. Given the level of acting at this level of play, I can see how the referee might have gone with the Caution, and perhaps ended up regretting it when the player never really recovered.

You do the best you can, feeling the temperature of the game, the level of play, and trying to find the right “fix” to correct a situation.  This is Bundesliga, so it’s like MLS or EPL in many respects – I’m sure the officials get “coached” on what to call, and what not to call.

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

 

The Weekly Soccer Referee Blog – Volume 9 Issue 8 – Got Your Leg

February 19, 2017

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

Volume 9, Issue 8, February 19, 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 would normally be an immediate caution, when a fouled player gets up and walks to the referee and waves a fake card in their face.”

From the color commentator at a recent pro-level soccer game when a player simulated an injury after a trifling brush with an opponent, and then tried to goad the official into a caution.

This Week’s Question – Got Your Leg!

On a recent Bundesliga Soccer game …

There is a lot of give and take going back and forth between the two teams here, with neither having been able to score after 70 minutes, and the home team’s crowd frustration is building.

With this backdrop, you see Player A15 coming on to defend against B8 as they bring the ball into the Team A penalty area.  A15 launches himself in a tackle against B8, seconds after B8 launches the ball to a waiting forward.

In the ensuing tackle, B8’s cleats directly impact A15’s ankle, causing A15 to fall to the ground, grasping A15’s ankle.  No contact with the ball is made in the tackle.

You Make the Call:

What is the call?
What is the restart?

Last Week’s Question – A Bit of an Overrun

On a recent Bundesliga Soccer game …

Schalke player B11 is working with the ball as Bayern player A15 approaches.

A25’s approach is rapid, and as B11 has the ball bounce away, A15 runs right into B11 as A25 is slowing down, causing B11 to fall to the ground. A25 then collects the ball and starts to head up the field.

You Make the Call:

What is the call?
What is the restart?

What You Said:

Referee 1:

I guess you’d have to be there. B11 has lost the ball; A15 bangs into him, knocking B11 down.

A25 was coming in fast, but slowing down; no indication of contact.

Sounds like routine contact; play on. No foul.

The Answer:

Charging – the ball was away, and the offensive player basically ran over the defensive player like a freight train.

The charge was reckless at the least, and the referee in the middle recognized it and promptly awarded a Caution to the player who initiated the charge.

These are higher level games.  On a U10 or below level, you can expect such uncontrolled charges, which seldom rise above the level of careless. They result from a lack of coordination, or not knowing one’s own strength.

At the pro levels, such “collisions” are hardly ever an accident, and the higher level soccer you get to officiate, the more discerning you’ll need to be to differentiate between a charge due to poor coordination, and one intended to put an offensive player on notice that they’d better step it down a notch…unless you act to keep the Laws / Rules of the game intact, and penalize this type of crass gamesmanship.

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

 

The Weekly Soccer Referee Blog – Volume 9 Issue 7 – A Little Overrun

February 13, 2017

The Weekly Soccer Referee Blog

Sharpening Referee Knowledge and Judgment, One Week at a Time

Volume 9, Issue 7, February 12, 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 threw this game!!”

From the coach of a game that started out 3 to nothing and was stopped due to lightning, and then coming back a few days later quickly turned and the leading team lost.

This Week’s Question – A Bit of an Overrun

On a recent Bundesliga Soccer game …

Schalke player B11 is working with the ball as Bayern player A15 approaches.

A25’s approach is rapid, and as B11 has the ball bounce away, A15 runs right into B11 as A25 is slowing down, causing B11 to fall to the ground. A25 then collects the ball and starts to head up the field.

You Make the Call:

What is the call?

What is the restart?

Last Week’s Question – Tangled

On a recent High School boys game …

This is your usual varsity level of play for a 1A game.  Slightly disorganized, but generally moving the ball.

You see Player A12 in Team B’s Penalty Area, bringing the ball in towards the goal.  You see Player B1 make a tackle attempt, and get the ball.  However, B1’s cleat laces become entangled with A12’s cleats, and both players go to ground. The ball squirts out of the Penalty Area.

You Make the Call:

What is the call?

What is the restart?

What You Said:

Referee 1:

I would say PK, the defensive player caused the trip, albeit in a strange way. Perhaps next time they keep the laces tight.

It could be argued the offensive player’s loose strings contributed however they aren’t the one making the tackle.

Referee 2:

Laces are part of the boots, which are part of the player.

Aw, shucks. It’s a trip; thus a PK.

Referee 3:

Yep this really happened to me.

The defender inadvertently brought down the offensive player preventing the shot on goal due to their shoe laces getting tied up.

I called a PK because he prevented a shot on goal when the offensive player was tripped

My explanation to the player and the coach was that each player is responsible for their own equipment. If that equipment malfunctions to the extent that this one did it was a foul in the box.

Both the coach and player, although not happy with the call, accepted the explanation.

Referee 4:

This becomes a question of: Was the player tripped or Did the player trip. From the description, I would liken this to when a player is cleanly stripped of the ball, then trips over the defender. Based on the description this would be a no-call. Play on.

Referee 5:

From what is described, while bizarre doesn’t sound like any violation of the laws of the game. Sounds like B1’s tackle was legal.

It wasn’t clear if the ball left the field – if not, no call keep playing. Maybe the safe signal with a loud no to indicate no foul is being called. If ball left the field, it’s either a throw in or Corner Kick for Team A depending where the ball went out.

The Answer:

Take a look at the Laws (rules) of the game.

Do any of them say “Not by accident?”  Do any of them say “excepting equipment issues?”  Do any of them say “unless they didn’t mean it?”

If you look at them, you’ll find none of them offer exemptions from such issues. I’d wager it is because they expected them to happen, more than the expectation that players would “manufacture” such issues to make stuff happen.

With that said, you have either Holding or Tripping in the Penalty Area, by a member of the Defense against a member of the Offense.

Either is a Direct Free Kick foul in the Penalty area made by the defense, which makes the results one heck of a wacky and hard to explain PK.

Perhaps next time they’ll double-knot their laces.  I do when I’m reffing – I can’t afford to have to look down at my feet to make sure my laces are still tied.

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The Weekly Soccer Referee Blog – Volume 9 Issue 6 – Tangled – Quote of the Week

February 5, 2017

The Weekly Soccer Referee Blog
Sharpening Referee Knowledge and Judgment, One Week at a Time
Volume 9, Issue 6, February 5, 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 were going to call that – you brought the whistle up to your mouth!”

From the coach in a game where in a 2 Ref crew, an official was watching the ball almost go completely over the touch line, but it didn’t, so the referee didn’t blow the whistle.  Oy!

This Week’s Question – Tangled

On a recent High School boys game…

This is your usual early season varsity level of play for a 1A game.  Slightly disorganized, but generally moving the ball in the right direction.

You see Player A12 in Team B’s Penalty Area, bringing the ball in towards the goal.  You see Player B1 make a tackle attempt, and get the ball.  However, B1’s cleat laces become entangled with A12’s cleat laces, and both players go to ground. The ball squirts out of the Penalty Area.

Yes, this really happened.

You Make the Call:

What is the call?
What is the restart?

Last Week’s Question – But I Want to Talk to Her

On a recent USSF Girls game …

The game is lop-sided in score, with Team A playing short with a total of 10 players.

Team A’s coach wants to talk to A10, and he calls out to her. Neither the referee nor the AR hear this.

Team A’s coach now gets irate, and starts yelling at the referee, who allows the player to leave the field at the next stoppage.

You Make the Call:

What is the call?
What is the restart?

What You Said:

Referee 1:

At a stoppage, allow the player off the field for counseling by the coach.

Then allow the restart. Player comes on at the next proper stoppage.

Referee 2:

We’ve all been in the position of “can’t hear the coach.” It could be from the elements, the coach’s constant banter, sounds like my wife so it’s automatically tuned out selected hearing, etc., especially when they are losing. It depends on how the coach yelled at me. If just a frustrated yell, I may not worry about it. If it’s a piercing (see previous wife reference) “It’s your fault we’re losing!” yell, then we may have a talk. Anyway, if the player is given permission to go off, then permission is needed to come back on per USSF rules.

Referee 3:

Sounds like we have a communication problem. The coach is not able to communicate effectively with the players or the center.

Invoke “Ask, Tell, Dismiss:” ask the coach to communicate more effectively. It is not the center’s role to be a conduit between the coach and the players.

Make sure the coach understands the player has left the pitch with permission, and under the new USSF rules may re-enter play from the touchline during play – with the permission of the referee, or during a stoppage from any line – again with the permission of the referee.

Restart doesn’t change, whatever it was.

Referee 4:

Settle down dude. USSF, so ask the coach to cease his behavior. If he continues, tell him to stop, then remove him if it continues after that.

Losing is hard. Poor guy.

Referee 5:

Not sure what the issue is here. Any coach can call a player to the sideline to talk to them during the game. If they want them to leave the field of play, then it becomes game management. A lopsided youth game (no mention of age) with the team playing down a player… do you really want to create a confrontation. I understand rules are rules, but this maybe one of those scenarios where you are better off ignoring the obvious.

If from the scenario, the coach is blaming you and your AR for not allowing the player to leave, then they need a calm explanation outlining your position, with an overview that the coach’s behavior calls for a yellow card, but that today you’re going to manage with a discussion to make sure everyone is on the same page. If the tirade continues then by all means ding them… Be prepared with your position and understand that by going over you are giving them the opportunity to sound off.

The Answer:

This would be a good time to engage the Ask, Tell, Dismiss strategy. Ask the coach to calm down. If the coach continues with his tirade, Tell the coach he is cautioned (showing the yellow card only if allowed by league rules). If the coach then continues, well, I guess he’ll be watching the rest of the game from the car.

This isn’t Basketball or Football where the coach can declare a “Time Out” and coach his players.  A10 certainly could go to the touch line near the coach, and take in his recommendations for play.  With that said, we as officials are not obligated to allow that player to step off the pitch, nor to stop the game to address the coach’s ranting.

The restart on this on depends on what you stopped for.  If you stopped to tell the coach to control his enthusiasm, you have an Indirect Free Kick at the point of the stoppage, wherever the ball was, to Team B.  Then again, if A10 steps off the pitch, you have illegal exit, and then you could Caution A10 for leaving the field without permission.  The restart of course is an Indirect Free Kick.

If the coach insists on being a loud person or makes personal and provocative statements, you may have to Send Off the coach.

For those of you who would say “go easy” or “selective hearing,” by doing so, you are now condoning that behavior as the norm. You will likely set up the guy who will come in, recognize the tirade as abusive, and use Ask, Tell Dismiss, when they actually follow through and send the coach to the showers. Further, unless we call this consistently, the coach doesn’t get the warnings, and this will just escalate.

I’m not saying Zero Tolerance on any outbursts.  There are always going to be emotions – the key is that they are brief expressions, not prolonged tirades.  We should accept the former.  We should use the rules / laws to address the latter promptly and definitively.

My two cents. And that’s all this is worth really.

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The Weekly Soccer Referee Blog – Volume 9 Issue 5 – But I Want to Talk to Her

January 30, 2017

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

Volume 9, Issue 5, January 29, 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 know, this isn’t U-8.”

From a coach of a 3A team, after the referee called a PK against his team, where the coaches defender had a fistful of the back of an opponent’s jersey in the Penalty Area while that opponent had possession of the ball.

Yep, pretty sure even MLS would call that one.

This Week’s Question – But I Want to Talk to Her

On a recent USSF Girls game …

The game is lop-sided in score, with Team A playing short with a total of 10 players.

Team A’s coach wants to talk to A10, and he calls out to her. Neither the referee nor the AR hear this.

Team A’s coach now gets irate, and starts yelling at the referee, who allows the player to leave the field at the next stoppage.

You Make the Call:

What is the call?
What is the restart?

Last Week’s Question – In Or Out of Play

On a Junior Varsity High School Girls game …

The game is moving along nicely, with both teams showing the usual JV lack of control in this case. There are a lot of passes to open space, and a lot of missed connections.  The single referee is running himself ragged, trying to keep up with the uncontrolled play.

The wind in this case is strong from the north.  The center sees a foul, and whistles the ball dead just past the mid line on the south end of the field. Focusing on the injured player, the center brings the trainer on to the field to attend to the player.

After a moment, the center looks up, and sees the ball in the Team B goal.

You Make the Call:

What is the call?
What is the restart?

What You Said:

Referee 1:

You blew the ball dead; it’s dead. Restart near the center line.

Referee 2:

Magic words “whistles the ball dead”. Whatever happened afterward assuming the ball had not found its way legally into the goal prior to the whistle is a who cares. Dead ball, restart where the ball was at the time the whistle blew, no goal. Kick to the team that was fouled.

Referee 3:

Obviously, no goal. Once the decision is made to delay the restart and allow the trainer on the field, you cannot allow the goal.

Even being a single ref and concentrating on the injured player, the ref should have a kept an eye on dead ball to prevent the restart that lead to the ball being in back of the net.

Referee 4:

Been there, had it happen to me. I know where the ball was when I blew the whistle. At that point in time, the ball is dead. I don’t care that a player or players continued to play.

The referee stopped play and clearly beckoned the trainer onto the field. It should be obvious to all observers that play has stopped. Finish with the injured player. Bring the ball back to the point it was at when the whistle was blown. If need be, go to the coaches and tell them there was no goal.

Since this is IHSA, the restart is a drop ball if no team was in clear possession of the ball or an IDFK for the team clearly in possession.

Referee 5:

No goal.

Restart is for the foul that was whistled at the spot of the foul.

The Answer:

NO GOAL! Dead is Dead.  The ball can only be brought back to life by a proper restart.

Where was the foul?  Near the mid line.  Return the ball to the mid line, and restart with an appropriate free kick to the offended team.  No Goal!

Followup to Illinois Referee Numbers Continue to Fall

Referee 1:

I agree with your comment on the shrinkage of the referee pool. I think the younger officials are quitting because they just don’t want to keep dealing with the parents and the leagues refuse to address this topic. I think it is time that we realize that we may need to go to more two man systems because the three man system is getting harder to fill.

Referee 2:

Funny you mention the shortage of referees.

Last week my brother & I attended an informational meeting put on by the IHSA concerning lacrosse refereeing, which was hosted at Glenbard West HS.

Long story short – lacrosse becomes a state championship sport in 2018. They anticipate more schools will participate. So they will need a much bigger referee pool.

This past year they said some girls lacrosse games had to be cancelled due to a lack of referees.

So they decided on the bold move of having this info session to try to attract more lacrosse officials. Many in the crowd were already IHSA official and a handful were not. My guess is that those that are not already IHSA officials are lacrosse folks. Those that were IHSA officials – maybe football?

Anyway, they had a questionnaire we were asked to fill out. One question – “did you find this event worthwhile to attend” – yes. Another question – “who else would benefit from these types of sessions” – my response: “any sport that is in need of additional referees”. DUH.

Maybe IHSA is getting the message. Either that or the 3 high school assigners for lacrosse have a clue about what they will be facing this spring and next.

As a sidebar- both boys and girls play lacrosse in the spring. But they are almost 2 totally different games. Two sets of rules. Two different clinics. Two different tests. Two fees to be paid.

My thought- thanks goodness soccer is the same boys & girls.

Referee 3:

Over the summer, work moved me out of IL. Towards the beginning of the fall season, I was contacted by one of my assignors asking if I would be returning and could take games.

My response was no. Then I went further and pointed out I had already been removing myself from IL soccer for some time and even if I were to return to IL I would probably not return to IL Soccer.

My reason is mainly I just don’t like the way I am treated by IL soccer. I can handle the coaches, the parents, and the players. What I can no longer handle is the politics. I can’t fathom how one or two individuals can dictate to IL Soccer who gets upgraded and who doesn’t. Who is an instructor and who isn’t. Who is…. you get the picture. In my new state, I have been asked to start over with a grade 8 recert because IL refuses to send the ‘ref in good standing’ letter.

I know many ref’s don’t have a clue what is happening behind the scenes, but even they know when you are out of ‘favor’ in IL you can hang up your cleats and go home.

In my new state, there are no ‘super assignors’ allowed. The state referee office responds to inquiries and works hard to stay involved. There is no funny business with money or record keeping. It’s refreshing.

I will continue to officiate matches because I enjoy it. I will continue to be an instructor, mentor and maybe even get involved with the referee committee. Just not in IL.

The Weekly Soccer Referee Blog – Volume 9 Issue 4 – In or Out of Play?

January 22, 2017

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

Volume 9, Issue 4, January 22, 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

“As part of a clandestine experiment performed in 2007, researchers reanimated a dead raccoon with one spritz of the magic spray that trainers apply to instantly heal soccer players.”

From Steve Rushin in the January 16, 2017 issue of Sports Illustrated.  Finally, a logical explanation for what happens on the pitch.  I’ll bet AARP will be investigating this to see if they can get some for their members.

Illinois Referee Numbers Continue to Fall

How low can you go is the question in Illinois, as the usual approach of “Lets Recruit Nobody and Hope we have enough officials” is resulting in just that.

One High School level assignor reports that his staffing numbers have fallen from 1133 to 958 just in this season alone.  This is making it hard to meet all game assignments, since the number of games is going up, and the number of officials are falling.  The IHSA web page showed only 768 officials not on probation for soccer, and 981 if you count those on probation.

Some leagues are going without officials for lower level games (U8 for example) due to the shortage.

Unless the major organizations (IHSA, NISL, MRL, IWSL, ISRC, IYSA, etc.) get engaged in a major drive to recruit officials, this shortage is only going to get worse.

At a recent USSF referee clinic, there was a visible gap in participation.  You had referees ranging from over 60 years old to around their mid-30s, and then a group that ranged from age 10 or 12 to 19 years old.

The other issue is related simply to age and physics.  You can certainly ask someone who is older and perhaps retired to take on more games. However, my old friends have told me that they are either smart enough to know their limits and don’t do that, or overtax themselves and get hurt, in which case they have to return games.

This Week’s Question – In Or Out of Play

On a Junior Varsity High School Girls game …

The game is moving along nicely, with both teams showing the usual JV lack of control in this case. There are a lot of passes to open space, and a lot of missed connections.  The single referee is running himself ragged, trying to keep up with the uncontrolled play.

The wind in this case is strong from the north.  The center sees a foul, and whistles the ball dead just past the mid line on the south end of the field. Focusing on the injured player, the center brings the trainer on to the field to attend to the player.

After a moment, the center looks up, and sees the ball in the Team B goal.

You Make the Call:

What is the call?
What is the restart?

Last Week’s Question – A Little Shove

On an English Premiere League game…

The game is tied at 0 in the second half, with both teams trying to get into scoring position.

B31 makes a good steal on a pass, and turns to head towards his opponent’s defensive end. As he turns, A20 closes in on B31, who has had to kind of lurch to make his turn.

As you see A20 close, you see him reach out with both hands and “help” B31 fall over the ball. After B31 goes to ground, A20 has his hands up.

You Make the Call:

What is the call?
What is the restart?

What You Said:

Referee 1:

Yeah, it’s a grab. Call the foul and go on.

The Answer:

Quiet this week.  Was everyone out at parties?  Maybe it was sitting through recert clinics?

Yes, it’s Pushing.  The key is to find the right angle to see this.  As a referee, you have to know what the players will do, and it’s hard to get a feel for that when you see teams once or twice a year.

The EPL referee in this case clearly knew what to look for, and was in the right position to see this and call it. He cautioned A20 for his “professional foul” and correctly restarted with a Direct Free Kick at the point of the foul.

This was a good use of the caution. The referee showed the players that he would be in position to make calls, and more importantly, he’d be willing to issue cautions for garbage fouls like this one.

The Weekly Soccer Referee Blog – Volume 9 Issue 3 – A Little Shove

January 15, 2017

The Weekly Soccer Referee Blog
Sharpening Referee Knowledge and Judgment, One Week at a Time
Volume 9, Issue 3, January 15, 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 an awfully early booking.  The referee is going to regret that.”

From a recent English Premiere League broadcast, where they went on to criticize some of the referee’s earlier cards in other matches as “controversial.” In my opinion, the player and his team is going to regret that.  Reckless play should be cautioned regardless of the time of play.

This Week’s Question – A Little Shove

On an English Premiere League game…

The game is tied at 0 in the second half, with both teams trying to get into scoring position.

B31 makes a good steal on a pass, and turns to head towards his opponent’s defensive end. As he turns, A20 closes in on B31, who has had to kind of lurch to make his turn.

As you see A20 close, you see him reach out with both hands and “help” B31 fall over the ball. After B31 goes to ground, A20 has his hands up.

You Make the Call:

What is the call?
What is the restart?

Last Week’s Question – Control, or a Lack Thereof

On an English Premiere League game…

It’s early in the first half, with two teams that have a history. One team hasn’t won in this stadium in 13 years.

Both teams come out fairly strong, and make several good plays for the ball. Around 8 minutes into the first half, you see Player A15 moving the ball forward, which he loses to a good challenge from Player B3, with the ball squirting out towards two other players.

Player A9 is the first to reach the ball, and makes a good touch. Nearly at the same time, Player B18 tries to clear the ball, with the toe of his shoe missing the ball entirely and hitting A9’s leg above the shin guard.

Player A9 drops rolling to the ground in pain.

You Make the Call:

What is the call?
What is the restart?

What You Said:

Referee 1:

He missed the ball and got the leg. It’s a foul.

The foulee is trying to get the fouler a Yellow Card.

If you think the opponent is over-acting, hopefully, a word to the wise is sufficient.

But, of course, this is EPL, and over-acting is expected. So just go with the re-start.

Referee 2:

B18 may not have ‘intended’ to kick A8 but it happened. Further, you are aware these teams have history, so doing nothing very likely will result in more hard fouls. Blow the whistle. To maintain game management there is a caution here to B18. Restart with DFK for team A.

Referee 3:

This is a tackle that endangers the safety of an opponent. It was a huge gamble for him to go into the ball like that, and it is a gamble he lost. Hopefully A9 has full future use of his knee. DFK + send off

The Answer:

This was painful to watch when it happened.  It was more painful when the color commentators played it back a few times.

You see B18’s foot (cleats up) clearly making contact with A8’s leg – hard.

The referee thankfully saw it to.  He immediately went to the point of the foul, cautioned B18, and got the medical staff on to the field.  A8 was limping as he went off.  Team A played down for a little bit before he came back on, only to be pulled off later since he was hurting.

Watch for this kind of play.  Nothing in the Laws / Rules of the Game says it has to be intentional.  Careless, reckless or with excessive force (other than the X or attempts to X fouls, where contact doesn’t need to be made) is the sole criteria used. In this case, the referee in my opinion correctly landed on Reckless.

(Okay, for the sake of completeness, handling is intentional.  We don’t call handling when the opponent kicks the ball into an opponent’s stationary hand, whether they raise their hands to show the foul they just manufactured or not!)