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You are 81 minutes into a fast paced tough physical contest. The card count is 5 yellows to blue team 6 yellows to green. The game has been simmering but so far you have kept a lid on it! The tackle made by the blue player is a reckless one that is a cautionable offence and yet the ball breaks favourably for a great scoring opportunity to green so you apply advantage thinking to come back and show the yellow card at the next stoppage. The great opportunity is wasted when the wide open green player's shot hits the crossbar and rebounds out where blue starts a counter attack and up the field we go. The fact is the blue player was on a caution earlier and the next stoppage if he is to be shown a second yellow then a red card must follow. The blue counterattack has this same blue player take the shot that scores a goal against green. What's Your Call?
Your Match Your Decision! Your Reputation!


Well done to all for some great insight and ideas! Best idea might be try to avoid these situations! Car parked for quick exit and keys on the whistle chain also a good idea!

It is a risk to allow play to continue through application of advantage after a cautionable event! There is possible injury to the player, retaliation against the opponent, you might forget who the culprit was or if the wrong player later or in this case a possible unknown send off in the making because this is a second cautionable offence!!

It is true that many hmmms or what ifs could be evaluated as to the degree of reasonability to allow anything other than a clear cut advantage ball rolling into goal in the late stages of a intensely physical match particularly with a cautionable tackle attached but if advantage is considered and found to be prudent as an opinion and as a fact concerning play it is indisputable. Note we say GREAT opportunity so lets not quibble why the advantage but how to proceed once it is realized and no goal or ball out of play occurs.

The referee has allowed play to continue CONTENT to wait until a natural stoppage as no immediate NEED is yet apparent to him, requiring him to stop play, no retaliation or angry player in pursuit, no serious injury and perhaps him not realizing this was a second caution and thus send off event.

Once play is allowed to continue and the goal is scored as the next natural stoppage a kick off restart will occur as nothing in-between the time we decided to allow play after the cautionable foul until the goal has occurred to change our minds. Including the fact we likely did not yet realize this was a second caution to the player who scored the goal!

We all realize that some funky reactions are about to occur as we write-up the goal and note the scorer and the fellow to be cautioned are one and the same. If the referee was not yet aware from his notes or memory this was a second yellow the ARs or 4th must surely let him know!

COULD or SHOULD we have prevented this?
IF an AR realized it was a second caution about to occur if he raised his flagged and signaled the referee is he overstepping his role?
In my opinion the AR keeps the flag down as he must assume the referee is aware of the possible consequences of allowing advantage in such circumstances. The AR is to assist the referee whenever possible, to raise the flag and have play stopped at the AR's choosing is a decision best discussed in the pregame!

If in the pregame you covered how the AR is not allowed to let the referee screw up could this info translate into the AR realizing hey thats two cautions for him I will show my CR although he likely knows that I realize it too, so eye contact two fingers tapping top left shirt pocket mouthing TWO holding up two fingers! Might not work if the player's number was two but given how important this is! With no radio communications available at the grassroots just what procedures could be implemented?

It is a matter of conjecture whether a referee MUST be aware of a second caution and by what standard is this information recorded and remembered. It is crucial that the identity of the player is retained if indeed it is a cardable foul and play is allowed to continue! The referee saying it out loud could communicate this to his AR and or 4th and thus reassure the opposition the culprit was not going unpunished!
"Number?? Blue that was cautionable consider yourself in the book, or we will be seeing you shortly"

IF the referee suddenly realizes or a helpful AR points out, ?Hey that will be his second yellow!", NOTHING in law prevents a referee from arbitrarily stopping the match to caution for that original misconduct! Law 5 states we are not obligated to stop play but COULD wait till the next stoppage. It does not mean we have no alternative ONLY that the foul which accompanied the misconduct a DFK restart from the foul point is no longer possible because we were of the opinion the advantage was in fact realized. The MISCONDUCT does not go away only the foul is forgiven if advantage is realized!

Assuming the referee stops play solely to deal with the misconduct be it on the AR?s flag or his own determination the correct restart is an INDFK from the spot of the misconduct.. The key here though once a goal has been scored the time to act has passed and the goal is a legal goal with a kick off after you show a yellow card then a red card to the goal scorer as his team is now down a man.

It was suggested by a few we could overlook the send off and not show a yellow if it was not yet apparent that the goal scorer was already highlighted to do so to avoid the what the hostile reactions but in fairness to the team that was scored upon they have the right to play a man up can you really take that away because you will get some flack as referee? Your match! Your Decision! Your Reputation!

416 Patrick Chambers Kailua HI USA Referee
Play advantage and stop play after the opportunity has been wasted. Issue the YC and then the RC. R/s with an IFK to green from the location of the offense. The following recently appeared on the USSF website and was authored by Jim Allen. The scenario mirrors yours. (Blue=blue and Green=red) Your question: I have a question prompted by the recent USSF Memorandum on "Fouls, Misconduct and the Restart of Play" combined with an actual incident that happened in a game yesterday. In yesterday's game, Red had possession on the ball near midfield moving towards Blue's goal. A Blue player fouled a Red attacker in a manner that deserved a caution, but other attackers continued and advantage was applied (and realized). About 10 seconds later the Blue GK cleared the ball and the attack was over (although the ball was still in play). As the referee, I then immediately stopped play due to two concerns: (1) the two players involved in the foul were still together and I was concerned about retaliation or further escalation of the incident; and (2) the Blue player had a number only on his back (which I could not see during the incident), and I was concerned I would lose track of the guilty party if play continued. After cautioning the player, we were a little uncertain about the correct restart. Did we stop play to issue a caution (in which case the misconduct should be an IFK from the spot of the misconduct) or did we stop play for another reason (in which case the restart might be a drop ball at the location of the ball)? It's been pointed put to me that the far easier solution would have been to allow play to continue until the ball went out of play, but the two factors cited above seemed of greater concern at the time and that stopping play was the better course of action. USSF answer (August 22, 2006): Many referees seem to believe that, when advantage is applied to misconduct, they must wait for a "natural stoppage." However, we need to remember that Law 9 defines how play stops: the ball leaves the field or the referee stops. Period. Neither is more "natural" than the other. The referee could stop play for an injury, another foul, because it is Tuesday, or because the advantage already applied no longer exists. Yes, the far easier solution would have been to wait until the ball went out of play, but, as you point out, you had good reason to stop it when you did. Therefore, you must follow the instructions under Law 12, Indirect Free Kicks: "- commits any other offense, not previously mentioned in Law 12, for which play is stopped to caution or dismiss a player "The indirect free kick is taken from where the offense occurred.* (see page 3)"

429 Jim Meehan Huntsville AL USA Referee
The goal should be allowed. By allowing play to continue and applying advantage under Law 5 the referee, as outlined in USSF Advice to Referees 5.6, has already determined that other factors (e.g. game control, severity of a foul or misconduct, possibility of player retaliation, etc.) do not outweigh the benefit of play continuing. The advantage did develop and the green team did complete and attempted shot on goal. The fact that the shot was unsuccessful is inconsequential. LOTG Q&A Law 5 - 6. instructs that "the player guilty of the cautionable offense should be cautioned or sent off whenever the ball next goes out of play." Advice to Referees 5.6 also states that regardless of the outcome of the advantage call the referee must deal with the misconduct at the next stoppage of play. In this case that next stoppage of play is the goal being scored. Again the fact that the player who will be cautioned is the goal scorer is, I believe, inconsequential as the player is legally continuing to participate in play which is proceeding according to the Laws of the Game. The question now is whether to issue the second caution which will result in the player being sent off. My general impression is yes he should now be cautioned for the initial offense, being the second caution the player should now be shown a red card as well and sent off. What must be considered, however, is the level of play and the level of understanding of these actions that will result from the two teams. In advice to referees 12.27 USSF indicates that the referee is expected to evaluate 3 factors before issuing a caution. The third being "Would the issuance of a caution for this misconduct likely have desirable results for game and/or player management." So while I would be inclined to issue the caution and subsequent red card, if I believed that such action would not be well understood or would send the match into complete disarray I would elect not to do so. In this case I would at least have a conversation with player in question on the way back to the restart (kickoff) indicating that only by the grace of some benevolent power have circumstances be contrive which allow them to continue to participate in this match and they should take advantage of this reprieve and change the course of their actions.

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