Soccer Referee Resources
Ask a Question
Recent Questions

Previous You-Call-It's

VAR (Video Assistant Referee)

Q&A Quick Search
The Field of Play
The Ball
The Players
The Players Equipment
The Referee
The Other Match Officials
The Duration of the Match
The Start and Restart of Play
The Ball In and Out of Play
Determining the Outcome of a Match
Fouls and Misconduct
Free Kicks
Penalty kick
Throw In
Goal Kick
Corner Kick

Common Sense
Kicks - Penalty Mark
The Technical Area
The Fourth Official
Attitude and Control
League Specific
High School

Common Acronyms
Meet The Ref
Contact AskTheRef
Help Wanted
About AskTheRef

Soccer Rules Changes 1580-2000

Panel Login

Question Number: 26592

Pre-Game 8/2/2012

RE: Competitive Adult

Harris of Someplace, Somewhere Canada asks...

What are a good set of pre-game instructions to give to ARs with regards to mass confrontation.

Some referees ask their senior AR to remain at their position to maintain and hold the technical area personnel and substitutes and prevent them from entering the field of play or to watch players who travel very far across the field to enter the fray (i.e. goalkeepers).

Others ask the referees to form a triangle around the group of players and to take mental notes.

Which one do you recommend?

Answer provided by Referee Dennis Wickham

The first key to dealing with confrontations is to contain it. If the nearest AR can stop the third person from joining, it may fizzle rather than escalate. But, when the Referee and AR are near the action, they can't see what else is happening.

IMO, it is possible for the far assistant referee to both control the technical area and observe the players.

There is a triangle, but not one with equal length sides. The far AR is further away.

Read other questions answered by Referee Dennis Wickham

View Referee Dennis Wickham profile

Answer provided by Referee Michelle Maloney

Like positioning with the referee, the focus is on being able to see what needs seeing and being in a position to do something useful in response to what is happening on the field, when as an AR one is attempting to deal with a mass confrontation situation As Ref Wickham says, the triangle is meant to stretch, contract or adjust to fit the needs of the situation. An important part of the pre-game will be to address what the referee expects in the way of help, and especially for ARs to be prepared,with what if questions. The 'right' answer depends on the crew, the teams, and the dynamics of the day.

Read other questions answered by Referee Michelle Maloney

View Referee Michelle Maloney profile

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Harris
The one I recommend is for the nearest AR to enter the FOP to assist with calming players down and maybe preventing an escalation of the situation.
The important part is that the referee see everything that is happening and that the referee crew is safe.

Read other questions answered by Referee Joe McHugh

View Referee Joe McHugh profile

Ask a Follow Up Question to Q# 26592
Read other Q & A regarding Pre-Game

Soccer Referee Extras

Did you Ask the Ref? Find your answer here.

Enter Question Number

If you received a response regarding a submitted question enter your question number above to find the answer

Offside Question?

Offside Explained by Chuck Fleischer & Richard Dawson, Former & Current Editor of AskTheRef

This web site and the answers to these questions are not sanctioned by or affiliated with any governing body of soccer. The opinions expressed on this site should not be considered official interpretations of the Laws of the Game and are merely opinions of AskTheRef and our panel members. If you need an official ruling you should contact your state or local representative through your club or league. On AskTheRef your questions are answered by a panel of licensed referees. See Meet The Ref for details about our panel members.