Referee Talk

"If you see it, call it"


I do a good magic trick. I show a red card and players like you disappear.




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10 thoughts on “Referee Talk

  1. Chris B
    September 8, 2014 at 11:14 pm

    How was everybody’s first weekend?

    1. Brian Marion
      September 11, 2014 at 4:06 pm

      Only had one “issue” this weekend. As an AR1, Coach of Blue team kept interfering with my ability to see down the touch line. I know I own the meter so I can run up and down and make the calls. So I ask (nicely) for Blue Coach to please give me the room I need to make the call. However, he kept infringing on that meter to the touch line. Finally, I had enough. At the fourth warning, I told the Assistant Coach to warm up because the next time Blue Coach infringed the touch line, I was going to ask the CR (actually my daughter) to dismiss the Blue Coach. Lesson learned: Be Really, Really Clear about, “1. Ask, 2. Tell, 3. Dismiss.” For the following game on same field, we separated the parents and coaches/teams.

      1. Chris B
        September 14, 2014 at 6:07 pm


        Coaches on the touch line are a perennial problem. As AR1 you can ask the couch to “give you the line”. Maybe twice since they are probably pretty unaware in the heat of the match. But for the third time you should call the CR over and let them to do the “tell”. It is not the place of the AR to do the ask tell send off. In this case the coach was never formally caution so you can not threaten with a send off. Only CR can do that at the time we call the “tell”. This caution should be unambiguous. Tell the coach that they are formally cautioned to refrain from some behavior and that the next infringement will lead to their being sent off. In this case you should not speak to assistant coach regarding preparing for sendoff. This is the teams business. If the coach is sent off you should then check to see that the assistant coach has a pass so they can remain in the technical area and run the games. If there is not a team official with a pass to step in, the games is called and the offending coach/team forfeits.

  2. Matt Bjork
    September 11, 2014 at 6:39 am

    Had this situation a few times this past weekend… And in front of my Ref class instructor who was coaching. 4 licensed refs couldn’t agree – but the answer comes from him.

    Big kick from the red team sends the ball sailing downfield past a red team striker in an offside position near the midline. The ball dribbles down inside the penalty area, at which point the striker touches the ball first and is called offside. Where is the restart – near the midline or where the ball was received?

    2 things must happen to trigger the penalty, and the restart is from where/when both are true.
    1) Be in an offside position when the pass is made.
    2) Be involved in the play.
    So, whenever it is clear that the offside player is involved in the play – the restart is done from that position of the player. A big difference in this case.

    1. Chris B
      September 14, 2014 at 6:11 pm

      What happens if the ball goes through and the player in the offside position moves on the ball and gets to a playable distance to the ball. Should AR raise flag to signal and offside infractions or wait until the player touches the ball?

      1. Eva S
        September 15, 2014 at 1:00 pm

        Per “Interpretation of the Laws of the Game and Guidelines for Referees”:

        A player in an offside position may be penalised before playing or touching the ball, if, in the opinion of the referee, no other team-mate in an onside position has the opportunity to play the ball.

  3. Matt H
    September 13, 2014 at 6:36 pm

    I had a situation today that doesn’t come up that often. Visiting team coach informed me before the game that they ran some “unusual” corner kicks, so we were expecting some sort of trickery later in the game.

    A corner kick was called for the visiting team. One player gets the ball and sets it down on the corner arc. Then he calls out to a teammate to come take the kick, and steps on top of the ball as he runs out to switch with his teammate. At this point, I knew that the visiting team intended for the ball to be in play (and to their credit, the home team did not clue in to what they were trying to do). As soon as the new teammate got to the ball in the corner, he started dribbling quickly down the end line towards the goal. The AR (standing right next to the corner flag) immediately raises his flag, and I blew the whistle. The infringement? The ball never moved when the first player touched it – it was still in the same spot on the corner arc when he stepped on it and called his teammate over. The law on corner kicks states: “The ball is in play when it is kicked and moves.” Since it had never moved from its spot, it was not in play. So when the second player came over and started dribbling towards goal, he was the player that put it into play. The problem was that he touched it twice. The law also states: “The kicker must not play the ball again until it has touched another player.” Because the player touched it twice, it was an indirect free kick to the other team from the spot of the infringement. I conferred with my AR to make sure I understood what he saw, and then I took the time to explain it to the visiting team coach who was didn’t understand what was wrong with his trick play. A big thank you to my AR (Dante Ruiz) who was all over the correct call.

    One extra thought: I think the play could be valid if the ball was originally set inside the corner arc, and then rolled forward by the first player with his foot to the rest on the arc line when he calls his teammate over. At that point, I believe the ball would be in play since it has been kicked and moved by the first player, even though it hasn’t left the corner arc area. I could find nothing in the law about the ball needing to leave the corner arc to be in play, only that it must be kicked and moved, but I’m not entirely sure about that. If anyone has a thought about that, I’d love to hear it.

    1. Chris B
      September 14, 2014 at 6:28 pm

      Right! Kicked AND moves. This is particularly important for indirect free kicks near the opponent goal. Many players think that they can have a first player run over the ball and tap the top. Then a second player sweeps in and tries to score. The first contact needs to move the ball. If the ball does not move then the second contact is a “first touch” and the ball can not result in a score until touched by another player.

  4. Chris Bragg
    October 6, 2014 at 4:00 pm


    I need help from some big brains. This question comes from Malik Ngom. Here’s the situation.. Attacker is in an offside position and receives a ball from a defender who has headed the ball poorly and sent it on toward his own goal. Attacker moves onto the ball. Do you indicate an offside offense or let play proceed. I recall some guidance about balls deflected by defence to an offside attacker. I’m looking for some help here.


    1. Eva S
      October 7, 2014 at 10:35 am

      More discussion on this situation…

      Seems to depend on “control of the ball” by the defender and that it is in “the opinion of the referee”.


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