The Weekly Soccer Referee Blog – Volume 11 Issue 5 – Freight Train

February 3, 2019

The Weekly Soccer Referee Blog

Sharpening Referee Knowledge and Judgment, One Week at a Time

Volume 11, Issue 5 – February 3, 2019

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

“If you had carded her for that, the foul wouldn’t have occurred”

From a coach on a competitive U19 game, when a U13 player who was playing up, was chipping at the ankles of one of his 18 year olds, who then decided to run over the U13 player.

Choice.  That garnered a card.

This Week’s Question – Freight Train

On a recreational U19 game…

This is a rec league with 2 city teams with one of those rivalries that make you shake your head, because neither team really has enough talent or teamwork to do much of anything.

Since it’s a rec league, you have a variety of players. In this case, you have A4 who is a girl on the home team, who is probably 100 pounds soaking wet, and has just stopped on the field 8 feet in front of the advancing of B20, who is 200 pounds of middle linebacker with the ball at his feet.

B20 continues his advance straight on and runs over A4, knocking her to the ground – hard.

You Make the Call:

What is the call?

What is the restart?

Last Week’s Question – Clumsy Oaf

On an IHSA game…

You are new to this field – the assignor needed help, and you drove 50 miles to make this game.

The game seems to be fairly good, between two 2A Boys teams, both with some good skills.

B4 collects the ball on a nice pass to his feet.  As he is setting up his kick, A13 comes in fast with a slide tackle, which gets only B4’s feet and no ball, as A13 miss-times his slide.

You Make the Call:

What is the call?

What is the Restart?

What You Said:

Referee 1:

Tripping = DFK

Sounds more careless than reckless, but you had to have been there

Referee 2:

Well, we definitely have a yellow card for reckless and perhaps a red card for serious foul play if you feel that it warrants it.

Referee 3:

Blow the whistle for an illegal challenge. The only question would be reckless or careless. If necessary show a caution, but from the description this is a standard run-of-the-mill no big deal foul. Restart with DFK for team B.

The Answer:

Decision time – was the tackle careless, reckless, or with excessive force?

No words on “cleats into ankle” are present.

No words on the player who was tackled “flying through the air.”

So this one by the words, sounds careless.  Restart with a Direct Free Kick to Team B at the point of the trip.

It would be worthwhile to suggest that A13 be a little more careful in future tackles before restarting.  You wouldn’t want him thinking this is something he should do again.

Advertisements

The Weekly Soccer Referee Blog – Volume 11 Issue 4 – Clumsy Oaf!

January 27, 2019

The Weekly Soccer Referee Blog

Sharpening Referee Knowledge and Judgment, One Week at a Time

Volume 11, Issue 4 – January 27, 2019

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 a foul!  Are you BLIND?  How could you miss that – it was right in front of you!”

From a coach that must have wanted to be a referee.  He wasn’t coaching after these comments were made.

OOPS!  NISOA is Different on Hair Pulling

While NFHS and USSF/FIFA haven’t apparently figured out hair pulling yet, NISOA has – it’s an immediate ejection, considered fighting for the puller.  There is also a 2 game suspension applied.

Thanks to an eagle-eyed (of course they are – they are a referee) reader, who picked up on this.  No doubt this was added after the game footage some years ago of a college player violently pulling opponents hair, as well as laying into them in a number of other ways.

My apologies for the error and appreciate the correction.

IHSA Football Scandal Hits Referee Magazine

If you got this months issue of Referee Magazine, you got an eyeful of the IHSA’s most recent football scandal.  It has been covered here at length in previous issues, so I won’t belabor it any more than to say it’s time for IHSA to step up, admit this wasn’t right, and take actions to assure it doesn’t happen again.

The background on this gets more clear.  The individual and a friend who were on the sidelines and dressed as referees got into the preferred parking, and didn’t pay the usual $5 fee.

Can you say Fraud?

The named individual is no longer on the IHSA roster of officials.  How does that track with “nothing was done wrong?”  Not well.

The real knee-slapper was the statement that it was the host school’s job to enforce the sideline rules on spectators.  Based on that, I guess we can all throw away IHSA’s Post Season guidelines – it’s no longer our job to make sure the players have the right number, and the right number of coaches, etc, are on the sideline – it’s the hose school.

Can the IHSA dig a hole any deeper?

Where is the organization’s integrity?

This Week’s Question – Clumsy Oaf

On an IHSA game…

You are new to this field – the assignor needed help, and you drove 50 miles to make this game.

The game seems to be fairly good, between two 2A Boys teams, both with some good skills.

B4 collects the ball on a nice pass to his feet.  As he is setting up his kick, A13 comes in fast with a slide tackle, which gets only B4’s feet and no ball, as A13 miss-times his slide.

You Make the Call:

What is the call?

What is the restart?

Last Week’s Question – Protracted Argument

On an IHSA game…

The two teams are going at it will a smattering of skill and a pile of effort.

You see player B17 heading towards goal, with Players A6 and A2 in hot pursuit, and several defenders between B17 and the goal.

As B17 makes the turn towards the net, you see A6 grab a handful of B17’s jersey and pulls him to the ground outside of the penalty area.

You move in quickly with a strong whistle to address the foul.  Player A2 (who is a captain) tells you that what you called isn’t what happened (regardless of the fact that you got a clear view of the pull down.)

You explain this to A2, who continues on telling you no, that isn’t what happened.  You explain that A2 needs to move on.

A2 insists on pushing more on this subject.

You Make the Call:

What is the call?

What is the Restart?

What You Said:

Referee 1:

It’s yellow cards for everyone!

The defender who took out the attacker (tactical) and the player who continues to dissent!

Referee 2:

A6 – DFK for holding; possible YC for tactical foul.

A2 – Persisting with Dissent; YC.

Restart with a DFK, since that’s why you stopped play.

Referee 3:

Captain or not, A2 needs to move on. You had a clear line of sight and you saw the foul. If there was any doubt you could confer with your AR, but in this case, it seems there is no doubt.

Give A2 a verbal warning. If A2 persists, you have dissent. Blow the whistle, issue the caution. No change to the restart – there was still a holding foul, so DFK.

Referee 4:

This is not a DOGSO.  The grabbing of the jersey is a clear tactical foul, and needs to be addressed with a yellow card.

Now for our captain.  He made his point – you disagreed and told him so.  He continues the banter.

If it were me, it is now time to show who is in control.  You told him to move on, and he ignored your “advice”.

He needs a yellow.  It will dramatically temper his conduct during the remainder of the game.  He won’t want a second yellow. You need to establish control. Otherwise it will get worse.

The Answer:

You have been more that patient enough and you know what you saw.  It was clear.

So, you have told him to stop twice, and he keeps going?  That’s Dissent – pure and simple.  So, give him the Caution he so richly deserves and then address the previous misconduct and the caution that is likely so richly earned by the pulled of the shirt.

Why issue a Caution here?  Several reasons.

The player is questioning directly, your judgement in this matter.  You know because you saw the play.  You have told him as much.  What is his arguing doing?  It’s allowing his team to set up.

He’s delaying the game and wasting your time.  Give Him The Caution.

Now for the Restart.  This started with a Direct Free Kick Foul.  It finishes with the same restart.  Nothing Changes The Restart!

The Weekly Soccer Referee Blog – Volume 11 Issue 3 – Protracted Argument

January 20, 2019

The Weekly Soccer Referee Blog

Sharpening Referee Knowledge and Judgment, One Week at a Time

Volume 11, Issue 3 – January 20, 2019

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 was a terrible tackle – he’ll get a card for that!”

From a color commentator on an English Premiere League game, on a completely legal tackle that got all ball, no trailing leg, when the opponent when over the top of the ball.

The referee didn’t card the player.

This Week’s Question – Protracted Argument

On an IHSA game…

The two teams are going at it will a smattering of skill and a pile of effort.

You see player B17 heading towards goal, with Players A6 and A2 in hot pursuit, and several defenders between B17 and the goal.

As B17 makes the turn towards the net, you see A6 grab a handful of B17’s jersey, and pull him to the ground outside of the penalty area.

You move in quickly with a strong whistle to address the foul.  Player A2 (who is a captain) tells you that what you called isn’t what happened (regardless of the fact that you got a clear view of the pull down.)

You explain this to A2, who continues on telling you no, that isn’t what happened.  You explain that A2 needs to move on.

A2 insists on pushing more on this subject.

You Make the Call:

What is the call?

What is the restart?

Last Week’s Question – Tea-bagged him!

On an IHSA game…

There is some healthy if not spirited play between two local teams.  You see A6 with the ball, who gets run over by B14, with B14’s crotch dragging over the top of A6’s head as A6 falls to the ground.

As you whistle the charging foul against B14, you hear B14 say to B3 “Tea-bagged him!”

You Make the Call:

What is the call?

What is the Restart?

What You Said:

Referee 1:

This may have just moved from careless to reckless. If so, a Yellow Card may be appropriate.

Referee 2:

Good question as it’s a matter of interpretation to the comments. As for the foul, careless or if you feel reckless card them.

As for the comments, you need to know what “tea bagging” is and at that point did they say it with a maliciousness or one of those things kids say.

If it was obnoxious and unsporting then card….if it was similar to “whoa, they just got whacked in the groin” (synonym here), then just keep playing.

If there was intent, then definitely we would have a potential red card in my opinion.

Referee 3:

DFK at the spot of the foul. Possibly a caution depending on the temperature of the game or previous warnings.

The Answer:

This is simply deplorable behavior by any measure – deliberately dragging one’s crotch over an opponent’s head, to try to play mind games, and then being stupid enough to brag about it.

A Caution is warranted at a minimum and possibly Red if the statement was meant to taunt the opponent.  I would advise that this would be a time for some stern words to the Captains that the next “tea bagging” will result in a Red Card.

This is as bad as hair-pulling for the girls games, which depending on the “tug” applied could be anything from careless to reckless to having been done with excessive force and the associated penalties that come with that.

Fouls like this must be recognized and stopped.  You have to listen for it and similar offensive actions and statements, whether you are working in the middle or an AR on the sidelines.

The Weekly Soccer Referee Blog – Volume 11 Issue 2 – Tea Bagged Him!

January 13, 2019

The Weekly Soccer Referee Blog

Sharpening Referee Knowledge and Judgment, One Week at a Time

Volume 11, Issue 2 – January 13, 2019

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

“What the heck is trifling and doubtful?”

From a coach when told that the reason a trifling foul wasn’t called was because it was trifling and doubtful.

How do they get to be coaches if they don’t know stuff like that?

This Week’s Question – Tea-bagged him!

On an IHSA game…

There is some healthy if not spirited play between two local teams.  You see A6 with the ball, who gets run over by B14, with B14’s crotch dragging over the top of A6’s head as A6 falls to the ground.

As you whistle the charging foul against B14, you hear B14 say to B3 “Tea-bagged him!”

You Make the Call:

What is the call?

What is the restart?

Last Week’s Question – OUCH!

On an IHSA game…

The pre-game warmups are in progress.  You are standing at the midfield line, holding your pre-game discussion with the other referee.  (Yes, the school can’t afford to put three officials on a varsity game).

A ball goes sailing past the midline due to an overly-zealous kick, combined with a poor trap.

The coach on Team B sees this, traps the ball, and kicks it back with pretty substantial force.

Which causes the ball to fly straight into the side of your head at high velocity, knocking you from your feet.

Your pre-game discussions with the coach were cordial.  There is no “past history” with the coach.

You Make the Call:

What is the call?

What is the Restart?

What You Said:

Referee 1:

Based upon no past history and decent pregame relationship, I would lean towards this being a stupid mistake with probably a “Gee coach, take it easy” or something to that affect.

Referee 2:

S–t happens; get over it.

There’s no coach I know that can shoot that accurately, no matter how much they brag to their players about their past heroics.

Referee 3:

Well, check yourself in with the other referee regarding the concussion protocol. If they clear you and you feel like it, continue. Make sure you stay aware of what your body tells you.

I would just mention to the coach that they need to be more diligent regarding sending a ball back. Hopefully they apologized, if not then you know what type of personality you are dealing with.

If you have to go be checked by a health care professional this will be one the insurance company is going to ask “who was at blame”!

Referee 4:

Once in a while, no matter how hard we try we get dinged.

Do a self-assessment just like you would expect the team to do on a fallen player. If there is a trainer, ask for help.

If you are not up to officiating, abandon the game. Since this is a two-man, your partner will not be able to proceed alone. If the game is abandoned, write a special report. Assume the coach made a mistake and hope for the best.

Referee 5:

Obviously, as the ref who got hit with the ball, I did not see it coming. I hope I am getting up!

Assuming so, I would be angry and embarrassed for getting hit.  I may say something to the players warming up to kick away from us (the refs). I may even say “hey watch out” to Coach B.

I should ask my partner to watch me for a bit and ask the trainer to check me out because of the high velocity strike to the head by the ball for any injury/concussion issues.

But, in light of cordial pre-game discussions with the Coach and “no past history”, it was an accident.  Assuming I am unhurt and in possession of all my faculties, I would shake it off and go on with the game.

Call: nothing to call.  (No, in light of the facts, I would not Red Card the Coach for violent conduct).

Restart:  Start with the kickoff at game time!

The Answer:

First off, this actually happened to me.  I got my bell rung but good – direct hit to the side of my head.  The coach was terrified that I might eject him.  I couldn’t see a reason for it.

In this case, you have to assess that you have no history with this coach.

You have no reason to believe there is something nefarious going on here.  Your interactions were cordial.

If that were not the case, perhaps something other than walking away and taking some pain relievers for your headache are in order.

Then again, consider this: Could you have a concussion?  If you start to show any signs, get off the field and get help.  If there is a certified trainer on hand, get a concussion assessment done on yourself.  Sometimes, you may not recognize the symptoms – the certified trainer will!  Ask your partner(s) to give you a look – have them check your eyes for example for dilated pupils, or to see if you are walking without staggering or looking odd.  Any symptoms – the game should be abandoned, and you should either get taken to the hospital, or call 911.

A card won’t help this.  Shake your head, smile and move on.

The Weekly Soccer Referee Blog – Volume 11 Issue 1 – Ouch!

January 5, 2019

The Weekly Soccer Referee Blog

Sharpening Referee Knowledge and Judgment, One Week at a Time

Volume 11, Issue 1 – January 6, 2019

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 reffed a good game – of course, whenever we get you, you ref a good game.”

From a coach after the end of the game where the referee was a bit too chummy with the coach before the start of the game.

Happy New Year!

Welcome to 2019!  A year of infinite promise.

Let’s make it a good year!

This Week’s Question – OUCH!

On an IHSA game…

The pre-game warmups are in progress.  You are standing at the midfield line, holding your pre-game discussion with the other referee.  (Yes, the school can’t afford to put three officials on a varsity game).

A ball goes sailing past the midline due to an overly-zealous kick, combined with a poor trap.

The coach on Team B sees this, traps the ball, and kicks it back with pretty substantial force.

Which causes the ball to fly straight into the side of your head at high velocity, knocking you from your feet.

Your pre-game discussions with the coach were cordial.  There is no “past history” with the coach.

You Make the Call:

What is the call?

What is the restart?

Last Week’s Question – Red or Yellow or What?

On an IHSA game…

This is an interesting game – both teams are local and unfortunately there is a rivalry.

You have managed to catch most of the low-level fouls, which has kept the game under reasonable control, when you see B33 making a run at Team A’s goal with the ball.

As B33 advances, you see A12 try to slide tackle it away, with B33 jumping over the legs and maintaining control.  You then see defender A17 come in to block the forward path of B33, who deftly shifts the ball to the right, then the left, back to the right before going around A17.

Finally, sweeper A3 makes an attack with B33 just entering the Team A Penalty Area.  A3 is clearly trying to play the ball, but their timing is bad, and they get into B33’s legs, causing B33 to crash to the ground after B33 touches the ball forward.

The ball skips past the goalkeeper who had come out to support A3 and goes into the goal from B33’s last touch.

You Make the Call:

What is the call?

What is the Restart?

What You Said:

Referee 1:

Goaaaaaal! Yellow card for defender tripping as in your opinion they were trying to play the ball.

Had the goal not scored, still a yellow card and PK.

Restart with a kick off!

Referee 2:

Well, the NFHS in its stupidity states in Section 8- Misconduct (why this is in Misconduct I don’t know as this situation is an obvious DFK foul) ART 1 Section 15 states: “a player commits a foul, attempting to deny an obvious scoring opportunity, and the goal is scored” is shown a caution.

However, not having been there to witness, one could certainly DQ the offending defensive player if is deemed, in the opinion of the referee, excessive force or SFP occurred.

A lot comes into play here with multiple actions. Anybody who says NO CARD of any type is warranted to the defender should be drawn and quartered; or at least brush up on their decision making and realize cleats into a players legs is a potential for serious injury. Doesn’t matter if the defender’s timing was off.

Referee 3:

While this is not an advantage situation, it is similar in that the point of advantage is to see what happens in the NEXT few seconds before blowing the whistle.

From the description, this is a penal foul that will NOT be called. The continuation of play resulted in the ball entering the goal. No referee at any level should ever call this back to award a penalty shot. Allow the goal. From the description this is a simple reckless foul, no cards need to be issued. Restart with a kickoff.

Referee 4:

  1. A1 tried but missed, so play continues.
  2. A17 also tried to block, but B33 avoided, so play continues.
  3. A3 tried for the tackle, but poor technique resulted in contact.
  4. Since the ball went into the goal, the goal counts. Restart= Kick Off.
  5. A3’s tackle appears reckless; just sloppy, not an attempt to injure. So a Yellow Card to A3 seems sufficient.

The Answer:

This is one of the new ones in High School and USSF, where they expect us to read minds.

To clarify this, I stated that the player was clearly trying to play the ball.

Which means:

  1. Since the ball went into the goal after the foul
  2. The point is scored
  3. The restart is a Kickoff
  4. The player who caused the problem gets a Caution, not a Red Card.

Simple enough?

Sure, until you get that time where you just really aren’t sure what happened and you go Red on it, and the coach screams “He was just trying to play the ball!”  even though the player got nowhere near the ball.

Your only reply could be “Not from my perspective coach, and I was a lot closer than you were.”

The Weekly Soccer Referee Blog – Volume 10 Issue 50 – Yellow, Red or What?

December 30, 2018

The Weekly Soccer Referee Blog

Sharpening Referee Knowledge and Judgment, One Week at a Time

Volume 10, Issue 50 – December 30, 2018

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, if I wanted you to pass it to the other team, I would have told you to!”

From a coach screaming at the top of his lungs, “coaching” one of his players.  And people wonder why world class players don’t come from the United States.

More on Unanchored Goals

I was surprised at the response to the question on unanchored goals – it turns out this isn’t just what I see – a lot of referees responded that they had seen them as well, at a wide variety of fields in Illinois.

The thing is, this is clearly within our ability to control.  So, let’s work together and make this a non-issue in the 2018 season with the following approach:

  1. The first thing you do when you get to a field is check the goals.  Before you even warm up.  On your way to drop your bag, check the first one, then take a walk to the second one and check it as well.
  2. If you find an unanchored goal, WRITE A SPECIAL REPORT.  The IHSA for example, asks for a Special Report for such “important things” as a school not providing ball runners.  Let’s start writing them for important things that could directly affect safety like unanchored goals!
  3. Tell the coach and AD (if you can find them) that you are submitting a Special Report on the unanchored goals when you tell them they need to be anchored.  If the coach or AD give you any static, you can send them to me (seriously, I’d love to explain why this is critical), and make sure you include every word they say in the Special Report.
  4. Send me an email on any unanchored goals you find – included the school (city, state), and which field you ran into it.  I’ll start including a list of where Unanchored Goals have been found at the end of the Blog, so others will be aware of the situation, and can check to make sure the problem at that school has been corrected.

Every school / location starts with a clean sheet in 2019.  Don’t give me what you found in the past.  Maybe this will get the coaches and AD’s attention, and we won’t have anything to report?

If we, the Referees, do this consistently, this problem will go away or at least, be significantly reduced.

If we, the Referees, “get along, go along,” we’ll be talking about this until the weather and an unanchored goal kills another player.  And that my friends, is simply unacceptable.

Let’s Make Unanchored Goals a BIG DEAL in 2019.  Let’s Make Unanchored Goals EXTINCT in the 2019 season.

This Week’s Question – Red or Yellow or What?

On an IHSA game…

This is an interesting game – both teams are local and unfortunately there is a rivalry.

You have managed to catch most of the low-level fouls, which has kept the game under reasonable control, when you see B33 making a run at Team A’s goal with the ball.

As B33 advances, you see A12 try to slide tackle it away, with B33 jumping over the legs and maintaining control.  You then see defender A17 come in to block the forward path of B33, who deftly shifts the ball to the right, then the left, back to the right before going around A17.

Finally, sweeper A3 makes an attack with B33 just entering the Team A Penalty Area.  A3 is clearly trying to play the ball, but their timing is bad, and they get into B33’s legs, causing B33 to crash to the ground after B33 touches the ball forward.

The ball skips past the goalkeeper who had come out to support A3 and goes into the goal from B33’s last touch.

You Make the Call:

What is the call?

What is the restart?

Last Week’s Question – Clipped

On an IHSA game…

The teams you are reffing have just enough skill to make it interesting.  The fouls have been run of the mill – nothing more – as the players jockey around, trying to score a goal.

You see B15 taking the ball forward past the mid field line, towards Team A’s goal, when you see A2 running towards B15.

A2 doesn’t change course and drops his left shoulder so it collides with B15’s right shoulder.  This causes B15 to lose a step, after which A6 who was in hot pursuit, slides in to steal the now-loose ball.  There was no attempt to play the ball in A2’s challenge.

You Make the Call:

What is the call?

What is the Restart?

What You Said:

Referee 1:

Can you say ‘Charging’? Restart is DFK.

I’ve had charges like this where the forward was bowled into touch. Result = YC for tactical foul.

Referee 2:

The key for me here is the statement: “There was no attempt to play the ball in A2’s challenge.”

Shoulder to shoulder contact is allowed when competing for the ball but this describes an illegal challenge.

Since there is no possibility of advantage, blow the whistle. Call the foul for what it is – a run of the mill no big deal foul. If this has been a pattern of behavior for A2 maybe a warning is in order. Restart with DFK for team B.

The Answer:

The lack of answers on this one is troubling.  It’s pretty simple – it’s an illegal charge.

A Fair Charge is defined in Rule 12, Section 4 Charging, Article 1 as “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 held close to the body.”

The rest of the story in Article 1 states: ”A player shall be penalized for charging an opponent in a dangerous or reckless manner, or using excessive force.”

The dipped shoulder isn’t meeting the definition of “an upright position” even if it brought their shoulder to the level of the opponent.

So, the restart in this case is a Direct Free Kick to Team B at the point of the contact which caused B15 to lose possession of the ball.

Subtle: yes.  Undercalled / recognized: yes.

Needs to be called and stopped: yes.

Note the words in Article 1 are “dangerous, reckless manner, or using excessive force.”

Excessive force: Red Card

Reckless: Yellow Card

Dangerous: Red Card?

Where is careless?  This seems to be a disconnect in the words.  Perhaps one of our clinicians can bring this to the attention of NFHS?

The Weekly Soccer Referee Blog – Volume 10 Issue 49 – Clipped!

December 23, 2018

The Weekly Soccer Referee Blog

Sharpening Referee Knowledge and Judgment, One Week at a Time

Volume 10, Issue 49 – December 23, 2018

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 was clearly a foul.  You had to have seen that.”

From a coach after one of his players tripped over his own feet, with an opponent 3 yards away.

On what planet could that clearly be a foul?  I see a Caution in someone’s future.

This Week’s Question – Clipped

On an IHSA game…

The teams you are reffing have just enough skill to make it interesting.  The fouls have been run of the mill – nothing more – as the players jockey around, trying to score a goal.

You see B15 taking the ball forward past the mid field line, towards Team A’s goal, when you see A2 running towards B15.

A2 doesn’t change course and drops his left shoulder so it collides with B15’s right shoulder.  This causes B15 to lose a step, after which A6 who was in hot pursuit, slides in to steal the now-loose ball.  There was no attempt to play the ball in A2’s challenge.

You Make the Call:

What is the call?

What is the restart?

Last Week’s Question – Missing Anchors

On an IHSA game…

You are working a game on a school that you haven’t been at before.  You look at the goals, and they are made of steel.  There are holes for anchors, but no anchors are present.

You mention this to the coach and ask him to get the goals anchored before the game is scheduled to begin in 20 minutes.  The coach responds “You are the first person to ask about that – why didn’t other officials ask about that?”

You Make the Call:

What is the call?

What is the Restart?

What You Said:

Referee 1:

Straight up. No goal anchors; no game. Other officials’ errors are not my concern.

Referee 2:

Never, never play a game without some type of anchoring of the goal posts. That’s probably the biggest no no.

Remember the child that was killed?  I’ve had a game like that, since the JV game was played on a practice field.  It took a while but they got bags of sand to weigh it down.

Referee 3:

My response, Coach I speak for myself and the laws of the game. I don’t speak for anyone else nor do they speak for me.

Referee 4:

Well, if the coach was telling the truth then for the previous refs “bad refs”!

The game doesn’t start until goals are secured! The coach know this.

Write up report to IHSA. I’m willing to bet they’ll find the anchors or the sandbags.

Referee 5:

No one has said anything? Really? How is that relevant? If a goal falls on someone, will that be what we as centers get to say to the parents?

Anchored goals are the law for a reason: SAFETY. Tell the coach to move his players away from the goal, no warmups in the penalty area until the goal is properly anchored.

No anchors, no game. Period.

Referee 6:

Game does not start until goals are anchored.  As for other officials, I don’t know what they saw I wasn’t here. I would ask coach if he knew the rules, did he play the prior games knowing of the hazard?

Restart:  When goals are anchored, start game with a kickoff.

I would report coach’s comment alleging the goals have not been anchored and games impliedly were played with the unsafe condition.

The Answer:

This is one where judgement can get you into trouble. I’m glad we were all aligned in this case – Goals Not Anchored – Game Isn’t Played.

IHSA and Every Other Authority states the goals must be anchored to play.  Period.

We’re literally one soccer goal related death away from losing insurance for soccer.

Don’t be the referee that blinks off this one.  The Rules / Laws all say we verify the goals are anchored.  If they aren’t, and a freak wind comes up and rolls the goal killing a player, we’re on the hook.  Clearly.

So, politely tell the coach what the rules state.

Don’t Play A Game Without Anchors on the goals.  No matter how much you want to.  Abandon the game if they refuse to put on anchors.  Report the results to the applicable authorities.  They’ll help take care of the problem.

A life isn’t worth it for a game.  It just isn’t worth it.

Now for the rest of the story.  Yes, this actually happened.  It was in a school that is south of I-80.  The goals were heavy steel – doesn’t matter.  The IHSA rules don’t say “Unless a particular school has heavy steel goals that they probably made in their shop.”

However, I’ve seen the goals not anchored in other locations.  Here are some examples:

Illinois School: The goal (beautiful brand new professional level moveable goal on a beautiful artificial turf field) back bar is “self-weighted”.  I could pick it up with one hand.  Anchor the goals.

Nebraska Catholic League: See those barrels on the back?  I said “You mean those EMPTY barrels that are supposed to be filled with SAND?”  No play – anchor the goals.

Joliet Memorial Stadium: Get anchors for the goals.

Random schools: The anchors are (pick one) pulled out, loose, not connected, insufficient.

I’m not talking schools with the steel posts imbedded in the ground.  I have no concerns there.  I’m talking about moveable goals, Not Anchored.

This didn’t happen once – it is happening again, and again, and again.  If we “get along, go along” and allow play, eventually the odds will catch up with us, and someone will be injured or killed.

Check the anchors.  Do more that a cursory tug – Know Because You Looked!  I’ve found ones with chains around them, connected to nothing.  Look hard – your freedom may depend on it.

You can’t compromise on this.  Make sure the goals are anchored.

If you see kids playing on goals that aren’t anchored or locked together so they can’t roll over, either tell the coaches to address it, or stop play for SAFETY and address it.

The Weekly Soccer Referee Blog – Volume 10 Issue 48 – Missing Anchors

December 16, 2018

The Weekly Soccer Referee Blog

Sharpening Referee Knowledge and Judgment, One Week at a Time

Volume 10, Issue 48 – December 16, 2018

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

“We still have 5 minutes to warm up. I know the rules, and I’d hate for one of my guys to pull a muscle due to an inadequate warmup.”

From a coach after his team had warmed up prior to the game for 45 minutes, and then for another 15 minutes before they were called in for captains and coaches with the game already 20 minutes behind schedule for Senior Night.

This Week’s Question – Missing Anchors

On an IHSA game…

You are working a game on a school that you haven’t been at before.  You look at the goals, and they are made of steel.  There are holes for anchors, but no anchors are present.

You mention this to the coach and ask him to get the goals anchored before the game is scheduled to begin in 20 minutes.  The coach responds “You are the first person to ask about that – why didn’t other officials ask about that?”

You Make the Call:

What is the call?

What is the restart?

Last Week’s Question – Lump in the Pitch

On an IHSA game…

You are working a game on a school which has multi-purpose fields.  The school is land-locked, surrounded by homes and industry, which drives this.

As you walk the field down, you find a white cap in the pitch, around 6 yards from the north touchline and 8 yards off the mid line.  The cap is 5” in diameter and sticks up around an inch.  It doesn’t have any sharp edges, but you think for a moment what might happen if someone steps on it or slide tackles over it.

This field has been this way for 10 years.  You just found it.  You ask the coach, and he says if they take the plug out, it exposes a 4” diameter hole with a pipe sleeve in it.  That would be worse with regards to catching a foot or injury.

You Make the Call:

What is the call?

What is the Restart?

What You Said:

Referee 1:

Whether the field is safe to play is the center referee’s decision.

Unsafe – Abandon the game and make a report.

Not unsafe – Play the game, but still make a report. Hopefully, it’ll get someone’s attention before a serious injury and subsequent lawsuit.

I’ve had fields where there were large sewer covers just off the side of the field, where I would have to run the AR position. In those case, I often moved back to run on the surrounding track.

But this is on the field. That’s why they pay you the big bucks.

Referee 2:

Good question…

Always error on the side of your lawyer.

If you can find a way to make it safe, do so.

Send an email to the school AD about it….they can find a way to fix the issue.

If you want to play the game….refer back to my first statement.

Referee 3:

Lump in the Pitch – my rule is simple: if I wouldn’t want my 16 year old club/varsity playing daughter to play, I won’t play.

For example, I have worked a number of times at a field where the goals are barely secured with one chain and they are the old style squared off posts.  Nets are shabby and nearly non-existent.  But, is it really that dangerous that I wouldn’t want my daughter to play on that pitch?

No.  I’d be OK with her playing, so we play.

The example you described?  Not a chance.  No game.

Referee 4:

We have two conflicting interests here: Safety and Spirit of the Game. This is not a new ‘feature’ of the field. You could abandon the game and write a special report and you would be within your rights to do so due to a concern over safety.

I have been on fields like this, where there is no alternative field and there is a questionable ‘feature’. I would suggest a conference with both coaches and the home AD. Review your concerns. Some ADs will have an alternate location in their ‘back pocket,’ or will put a cone on top of the offending ‘feature’.

Referee 5:

If the pipe sticks up an inch this is dangerous. If you play the game and somebody gets hurt from hitting this thing it’s your fault. I would not play the game. This can be fixed, but because nobody had gotten hurt yet, they put up with it. If we as referees continue to play on unsafe fields, problems like this will never be corrected.

The Answer:

This is one where judgement is required.

This field has been this way for years.  This didn’t just happen.  People have played soccer on this field for years.

So, this is equivalent to a clump of earth in a field.

Look at it carefully.  Does it have exposed (hit by mower), sharp edges?  If so, those need to be fixed.  Does it have anything unsafe associated with it?

Think about it – how many grass fields are totally level?  This is up an inch.

I would mention it to both teams as the referee and tell them about where it is.  Apart from that, if it isn’t unsafe, we play.

Then again, wrong is wrong.  If it is unsafe to you, the players or both, note it as such, and ask if they have another field.  Be prepared for “You’re the first official to ever say anything about this.  If it is really bad and someone could be injured, don’t play the game.  Make sure you file a Special Report with the game authority if you have to cancel the game to explain the circumstances.

Ultimately, we are responsible for safety of the teams and ourselves.  Don’t let the urge to “let them play” cloud your judgement on a safety issue.

The Weekly Soccer Referee Blog – Volume 10 Issue 47 – A Lump in the Pitch – IHSA Playoff Scandal

December 8, 2018

The Weekly Soccer Referee Blog

Sharpening Referee Knowledge and Judgment, One Week at a Time

Volume 10, Issue 47 – December 9, 2018

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 out of bounds line is here” (while gesturing at the line)

From a parent playing in a 3 on 3 tournament.  Apparently, he thought it was basketball rules, where if the ball touches the line, it’s out.  It wasn’t.

This Week’s Question – Lump in the Pitch

On an IHSA game…

You are working a game on a school which has multi-purpose fields.  The school is land-locked, surrounded by homes and industry, which drives this.

As you walk the field down, you find a white cap in the pitch, around 6 yards from the north touchline and 8 yards off the mid line.  The cap is 5” in diameter and sticks up around an inch.  It doesn’t have any sharp edges, but you think for a moment what might happen if someone steps on it or slide tackles over it.

This field has been this way for 10 years.  You just found it.  You ask the coach, and he says if they take the plug out, it exposes a 4” diameter hole with a pipe sleeve in it.  That would be worse with regards to catching a foot or injury.

You Make the Call:

What is the call?

What is the restart?

Last Week’s Question – Ask, Tell, ….

On an IHSA game…

The coach of Team A has been in their usual form today, constantly chattering away as the game progresses.

The coach has made several comments about the officials and the way the game is being called.  You have already exercised Ask and Tell.

The coach just made another comment, calling into question your fitness as you went end to end to end to end on a back and forth play.

You Make the Call:

What is the call?

What is the Restart?

What You Said:

Referee 1:

Yellow card!

I usually wait until a dead ball period, if not then IDK for opponents from when you stopped play.

If the opponents were on a push, delay…

Also for fun, wait until the coach’s team is on an attack…then stop play!

I crack me up!

Referee 2:

You’ve already done the ‘Ask’, then the ‘Tell’. Time for step three.

Referee 3:

Unless the opponent was going to goal, I would stop time, walk slowly over to 10 yards inside the field directly in front of the offending coach’s bench, and say “Coach, I asked you to stop your dissent, then I told you to stop your dissent, now I’m issuing you this Yellow Card for dissent.

You are allowed to coach your players during the game and that’s all I expect to hear from you for the remainder of this game.”

Then walk back to your proper position to restart play – and I would try to keep my body facing that bench while moving into restart position.

Then restart with IDK for team in possession at whistle.

The Answer:

Well, you have Asked and then Told Coach A to stop.

Now he has said something that is abusive.  I should note the coach in this case looked like he was smuggling a large medicine ball under his shirt.  He couldn’t have run the field end to end once, much less 3 times.

So, it’s time to go to Dismiss, and REPORT IT.  If we all work consistently, the abuse of officials will be reduced over time.

Why toss the coach?  Several compelling reasons to consider:

  1. Personal – the comment was a personal attack on your fitness.  Such comments are inappropriate – if the coach wants to help, he can take the test and try to do better.
  2. Provocative – it was said loud enough for the players to hear, undermining your work on the field.
  3. Caustic – such comments have no place on a sports field
  4. Calling the game into disrepute – That’s basically what he is doing at this case.  If it’s loud enough, the parents will start to chime in.

It meets the requirements of dissent.  Let’s all go Zero Tolerance for Coach Dissent in 2019.  The AD will get a note from the IHSA, and the coach will get feedback.  If the coach is a problem coach (driving officials out), maybe if we all work together, we’ll either get the coach coached and corrected, or we’ll get a new coach.

If the coach gets tossed enough, it will impact their State Finals status.  So it’s really in our best interest to enforce this rule, stop this behavior!

I know some of you say “But I have a THICK SKIN.”  Your thick skin allows coaches to continue to bark, chirp, and outright attack officials who haven’t built up this “thick skin.”  Which makes those officials bail out, after less than a year or two.

For their good, for the good of the game, ALL of us need to consistently stop abusive comments – immediately, and make it clear they have no business on the field.

That doesn’t mean you go Yellow at the first chirp – remember, we’ll allow them the emotional “HEY!” when a player goes down.  When this comment becomes more than an emotional outburst is where we need to enforce the rules and maintain control.

That’s my two cents – what do you think?

The Nativity Football Scandal – Strike 3 for the IHSA

The IHSA has taken no action on the football game in question, and Nativity went on to become the State Champions in 7A Football.

For the rest of time, Simeon team members will consider that with an “*” due to the official who put him self-interests ahead of the good of the game.

We’re not talking a senior official here – this guy is a new “Registered” official.

There are a few lessons learned here:

  1. Stay off the sidelines if you have an interest (someone playing from your family in a game).  This should be common sense.
  2. If you are on the sidelines – get out of uniform.  Take off your jersey, put on a sweatshirt or coat, and make sure you are well-away from any officials.  If you are watching the game, you sure as heck shouldn’t be commenting on the calls of the game.
  3. If someone sees you and asks you questions, you just say “I didn’t see that,” or “I can’t comment on another official’s work, since my perspective is different from theirs, and I don’t know what they saw or didn’t see.”  Then suggest that we need officials, and that the person should sign up and take the test and get on the field.
  4. Best approach – If you are in uniform and not working the contest, stay off the sidelines.  Go somewhere else and watch, away from the officials.  Whether you are saying anything or not, it can be implied or felt you are.

Consider this situation.  You are watching the game, and the AR knows you.  He leans over and says “What a wild game, have you ever seen one like this?” and you reply “No, this is really crazy.”

The fans see the motion and lips moving.  They fill in the words they think they want to hear, most notably if their team is losing.

This simple action can cause the game to be called into disrepute.

As for the IHSA, I think it’s time for that organization to either be dissolved and rebuilt, or to have a competing organization start up, and drive them out of business.

A few years ago, Certified Officials could rate their fellow officials.  There were some accusations that officials were colluding with each other to get good ratings.  Then again, how good of a rating are you going to get from the coach in the Goalkeeper example above, who said you “gave away a shutout?”

Perhaps the IHSA doesn’t understand balance.  I’d change the ratings this way:

Same game, same date, look at all of them.

Coach gets a caution or tossed – look hard at the coach comments and the associated Report.  Do you see coach bias?

Now look at the official ratings.  Do they make sense?

When in doubt, exclude biased ratings.

Repeat.

Yes, this isn’t as easy as downloading all the ratings and averaging their scores.  It implies some intelligence is needed to interpret the ratings and apply them fairly.

We’re talking about who gets to go to State Finals here.  It’s pretty important – and if you don’t believe that, you can just ask ANY player or coach with the Simeon football team how important it is.  I’m sure they’ll spend quite a bit of time explaining it to anyone willing to ask and listen.

If IHSA can’t get this right (and by that, I mean officials who get selected for State Finals in soccer can run, have the right temperament, and have reffed the right level of games to handle the match), then the organization is not adding value and needs to be replaced or re-staffed.

Why Three Strikes?

IHSA’s had 3 major goofs in the past few years:

For Soccer, the Burlington Central disaster. (Out on a Limb Presentation at Recert Clinics highlighted that game, where an otherwise good official got in over his head, lost his temper, and changed the outcome of the game.

For Football: The Simeon / Nativity disaster, and the previous year legal challenge when an offensive foul resulted in improper time extension and a game-changing score.

That’s 3.  They should have fixed this after the first event.  Instead, they proceed forward like the Titanic, collecting ice for their drinks off the deck as the ship sinks.

The schools will need to drive this, out of necessity.  They fund and support the IHSA.  Will they have the courage, or will they wait for more playoff scandals?  Time will tell.

The Weekly Soccer Referee Blog – Volume 10 Issue 46 – Ask, Tell…

December 2, 2018

The Weekly Soccer Referee Blog

Sharpening Referee Knowledge and Judgment, One Week at a Time

Volume 10, Issue 46 – December 2, 2018

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

““Hey ref, which one of the blue team is your daughter?”

From a parent watching a U16 game.  The referee’s response was: “She hasn’t gotten here yet but you can go to the parking lot to look for her.”

And the game stopped until he did.  He never found her.

This Week’s Question – Ask, Tell, ….

On an IHSA game…

The coach of Team A has been in their usual form today, constantly chattering away as the game progresses.

The coach has made several comments about the officials and the way the game is being called.  You have already exercised Ask and Tell.

The coach just made another comment, calling into question your fitness as you went end to end to end to end on a back and forth play.

You Make the Call:

What is the call?

What is the restart?

Last Week’s Question – Goalkeeper “Privilege”

On an IHSA game…

You see Team B player B22 take a weak shot at the Team A Keeper A00. The ball is rolling on the turf field so slowly that 4 more revolutions and the ball would stop.

Just before it stops, Keeper A00 bends over and with 2 hands, pushes the ball to his right at about the 7 yard line. Keeper A00 then follows the ball about 6 yards then picks it up.

You Make the Call:

What is the call?

What is the Restart?

What You Said:

Referee 1:

The call would be IDK, as the goalie had controlled with his hands, released his hands from the ball and then picked it up.

Oh well,

Let the coach and parents begin……..

On a personal note regarding the football game.

As I wasn’t there I can’t form a verdict…however….if a parent is wearing their officials equipment at a game they are not working and are on the side line…BAD official (only exception would be if you or one of us finished a game and went to watch the other game your friends were doing and don’t have a vested interest. I would be at a place that has no bearing on calls, etc). The IHSA should come down on that official.

I’ve had friends come watch post season games (not in uniform) and will stand/sit behind the 4th official spot)…I don’t ask them what the call should be for a play but afterwards I may ask what did they see. At that point there is no bearing on the game.

Again, as I wasn’t at the football game, I can’t comment logically but if he did what he did he should be at least sanctioned…and I hope the crew did not consult with him. If they did….bad crew.

Just my thoughts.

Referee 2:

Clearly a parry and thus an Indirect for the opposition at the point of the second touch by his hands.

Referee 3:

No problem; no foul. As GK has not gained possession of the ball, he is allowed to pick it up. Sounds trivial at best. Disregard.

Re: Nazareth —

  1. Suspension of Ref license for a few years.
  2. Head referee – For not counting his crew and getting rid of the extra ref, a year’s probation.
  3. Other refs – For taking advice from the illegal, also a year’s probation.

Considering the illegal’s contribution, a replay seems warranted.  Can’t believe the judge ducked this one.  But, knowing IHSA, fully expected them to do nothing.

The Answer:

You won’t find this one in the NHFS Rule Book as an example.  It is in the rule book if you read it.

Rule 12, Section 7, Article 2 A goalkeeper shall not deliberately parry the ball and then touch it again with his/her hands before it has been played or touched by another player of the save team outside the penalty area, or by a player of the opposing team either inside or outside the penalty area. (Subject to 12-7-3, 12-7-4) (which say the goalkeeper can’t play the ball with their hands if it is kicked to them by a teammate or thrown in to them by a teammate.)

Is this a deliberate parry?  What does the definition say?

Parrying – The deliberate attempt by the goalkeeper (yes, this was deliberate) to control (yes, they did control the ball) and/or deflect the ball down or out with the hands or arms.

So, we have a violation of Rule 12, Section 7, Article 2.

Penalty: Indirect free kick awarded to the opponent at the spot of the infraction, unless in the goal area.

Be ready for the coach of the team charged with the violation to complain.  It is what it is.

Here is what the official who was dealt this mess did and what happened:

“As Paul Harvey use to say, “Now the rest of the story.”

On the goalie roll, the defense ran up to the ball to stop the kick. Time was stopped to issue the encroachment caution. I turned to look at the clock. It had 9 seconds showing to the end of the game.

The indirect kick was taken, saved, rebounding to the offense and a goal was scored.

I was chastised for the call and “giving away” a shut out. Another instance of why follow the rules according to the coach.”